Dear House Centipede on my closet wall

Hi, I’ve been meaning to thank you for a long time. From what I understand, you and your brethren are the reason I haven’t seen a spider in this apartment for about 4 years, or a roach in about 6. If indeed you’ve been munching on those things as you find them and have been keeping them away from me, any words of gratitude are insufficient. Love ya for it, seriously. You’re more than welcome to stay for as long as you want. Enjoy the music and the central air.

But, and there’s always a but, right? There are house rules you have to abide by. Mainly, you have to stay hidden, ok? I hate to bring this up, because it’s kinda rude, but let’s be honest here. I don’t want to see you. You freak me the fuck out. I know, I know, you can’t help how you look. You are as god/evolution (your belief of choice) made you and all that, but you give me nightmares and I can’t help my reaction when I see one of you. Maybe I don’t scream and jump on a chair, but that’s only because I’m not the screaming type, and there’s stuff on all the chairs.

Stay in the shadows, if you’d be so kind. There are lots of crevices and dark places for you to lurk. If you have to go from one place to another across open territory, or want to entertain our bored cat, please do it at a time when I’m not home and won’t have to see you. Would that be alright? Good. We have an understanding.

Thanks again, and enjoy your meals.


ps, come to think of it, you can’t. Sorry about that whole squashing thing. It was just a gut reaction. I’ll try to refrain next time.

House rules here are to stay off the ceilings. If I think you’re gonna fall on my head, I’m gonna go after ya. Walls are OK. I don’t like it but if we leave each other alone it’s all right. I don’t recommend the floors. Depending on which cat gets ya, you’ll either be dispatched quickly and made a snack, or have each leg removed one at a time over an unknown period, and I can’t guarantee which one will get to you first.

Send him or her to me! I love house centipedes. Really–I think they’re quite beautiful, and I rather love watching them move… all those legs rippling in perfect harmony. Plus, as noted, they nom on other critters. The only time I have a minor issue with them is when they decide to hang out on the ceiling, because the truth is, they’re not very good at it–they kind of randomly fall off, which can be startling.

Oops… already dead. Next one can come visit me. He can live in the hallway eating all the roaches that are attracted to the trash that piles up in our too-tiny trash-chute area.

Must die.

Yeah, if I’d gone into the other room and counted to 10 I might have let him live. It wasn’t a clothes closet after all, just an equipment closet. He was big! Must’ve been old. Too bad he had to end up as a big stain on the wall. A big stain. I’ll wash it off once I get over my heebie jeebies. I already had to scrape him off the bottom of the shoe I took off to smack him with.

I’ve never seen one on the ceiling, but I don’t look up very often. Maybe I should. Eeeks. I agree, stay away from my head and feet. On the wall, just sitting there, looking really big, oh so big, is freaky enough. When they’re on the floor racing toward my foot, I figure that’s an invitation to do something with the sudden burst of adrenaline that such a sight causes. I live on the 2nd floor and they probably hear my foot slam down on 'em in the basement apartment. Luckily I only see one a couple of times a year.

Do rodents eat them? Would anyone keep them as pets, or as food for their pets or to sell for pest control? LawMonkey, I wonder if you can find a pet store that sells 'em, and unleash a jarful on the trash pile.

Just how big [del]is[/del] was that centipede in your closet? Like this?


Centipedes eat rodents. While googling to find the above giant centipede photo, I found several of big centipedes eating mice.

House Centipede? I immediately wondered if it’s name was Dobby. Have you considered offering some clothes?

I would rather live among thousands of spiders than have a single house centipede in my home. They are an abomination unto nature. One should not be able to identify the species of a creepy-crawly just by the sound they make when they hit the floor.

ETA: This does not apply to garden centipedes or Madagascar centipedes or anything other than house centipedes.

I’m 100% with Sudden Kestrel. The spiders eat all of the other bugs. I hate hate hate centipedes. They move so fucking fast and if you don’t kill them just right you’re suddenly cleaning bug guts off the wall.

I always tell this story about centipedes:

Stayed up late one Friday night, until like 3. So we get up at 10 am the next morning. We’re playing some 2-player game on the Xbox when I decide I want a snack. I go into the kitchen, break out the cutting board and knife, and start chopping up some fruit. I’m still not fully awake, mind you.
I kind of glance to one side and I see I’ve left one of those foil covers from the creamer bottle on the counter. ON IT IS A CENTIPEDE. I don’t know if he’s licking the creamer - do they do that? - or just stuck to it.
Now I almost never scream at bugs. I’m a tough girl. But I was completely taken aback. It was less than six inches from my hand and I’d never even seen it. I scream. I drop the knife.
I hear my SO drop the controller and shout “What’s in there?” (He knew exactly what the problem was. As i said, I rarely scream.) He comes running in.
In my mind, I say coherently, “There’s a centipede on the table not six inches from my hand!”
He didn’t understand anything but centipede, and he jumps on it and kills it.

Afterwards, I felt kind of bad. I mean, he wasn’t doing anything. He was just hanging out, licking the creamer, probably all, “Hey dude, I’m having a snack, too,” when he saw me, and I go into hysterics. Poor guy.

Good thing it wasn’t a human centipede.

Had a couple of lovebirds who used to hunt them down and eat them. They’d grab 'em, crunch each individual section, then slurp them down like hairy spaghetti.

I really loved my lovebirds, but sometimes I was strongly reminded these cute little things were descended from dinos, and probably the hunting sort of dino.

I love bugs. They are so neat. Give me a nice, fat, wiggly bug, and I squee.

But those things are the spawn of satan. The first time I ever saw one, I immediately remember thinking, “That can’t be a thing from earth.” And IIRC I was so freaked out I ended up posting about it on the Dope.

I have a similar understanding with spiders. I’m perfectly happy to let a (very few) live in my apartment, so long as they stay out of sight. And even if they break that rule, I really do prefer to toss them out alive. But if they fight me, or really gross me out - well, they’re getting flushed. Just the way it goes.

I hate house centipedes. They are freaky because not only are they unbearably hideous, but they move so darn fast…it’s nasty. I cleaned out my basement the past few weeks as I’m going to finish it this summer, and I think I killed about 5 or 6 of them. I’m OK with them if they stay hidden, but I see one, it won’t be alive if I can catch it.

Thank you. I need to go on a diet anyway. shudder

  • purplehorseshoe, who tolerates almost any spider, and never knew house centipedes existed before seeing that other thread from earlier


I didn’t know house centipedes existed until there was one on my living room wall. I responded with a lot of crying.

So if house centipedes eat roaches, and (according to a SD column I can’t find at the moment) cats eat roaches, and rats each roaches, and I have cats, rats, and centipedes, WHY DO I STILL HAVE COCKROACHES?!?


Little bastards need to be killed with fire. I was at a cafe once minding my own business when one of those evil shits crawled on the wall beside me. I jumped up and screamed like an asshole, startling everyone inside. Sorry, guys! Crawly things scare me.

I hate these things more than any insect on earth. It’s amazing how they are just the perfect combination of ugly and freaky-looking to cause me maximum terror. My pulse rate has shot up just now from reading this thread. They move so damned fast and you’ve got like one chance to smash them before they run away.

One of them fell on me from the ceiling in my bedroom during a power outage. I heard a plop, felt something racing up my leg, and reacted instinctively to smack it with my bare hand. I got it, but oh man, they are mushy and disgusting! And since the power was out, I had to clean it up and conduct the search for more by flashlight.

Generally I like to use an electric bug zapper to get them. It’s got a longer handle so you don’t have to get as close. The only problem is that the electricity for some reason causes all of their legs to fly off, but all I care about is that IT’S DEAD. Those bug zappers are awesome. I don’t even know if they sell them in the US (I got mine in China) because it’s a lot of open voltage, but they work amazingly.

A few weeks ago, my three-year-old daughter, sitting by an open (screened) window, started to whimper. “Daddy! There’s a spider and a bug here!”

I went over to look. “Honey, it’s okay, it’s just a dead centipede and a dead daddy-longlegs. I’ll get rid of them. They’re dead, see?” I reached down to poke the dead centipede–


Her mouth opened silently for about two seconds, and then the screams started. They didn’t stop for at least ten minutes. I held her and comforted her and reassured her, but inside I was screaming, too.