House centipedes are a very peculiar little bug. Most people don’t even know whether or not house centipedes actually qualify as a pest or not. This week, we are exploring what exactly a house centipede is. Additionally, we will be reviewing why this little critter is a potential warning sign to larger problems in your home.

Traits Of The House Centipede

The house centipede is a small centipede that originated around the Mediterranean. It has spread throughout the world and thrives inside human homes. This is why it earned the moniker “house centipede”. The little centipede has 15 pairs of legs that are quite long.

It is primarily nocturnal, so they may be in someone’s house for years before they even realize that they’re there. Most often, homeowners see them when they get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. He or she flicks on the light switch and sees a little bug scurrying away from them. Fortunately, this surprise is basically the only negative impact of having house centipedes. House centipedes have zero interest in humans or their property. This is one bug that does not want to bite you or your pets and will completely disregard your clothes, wood, and furniture.

So Are They Even Pests Then?

The short answer is no, house centipedes are not pests.

House centipedes do frighten some homeowners, which is understandable. They are extremely fast bugs that only come out at night, in theory, they sound very bad. However, the house centipede is the opposite of pests. In fact, they are huge helpers to homeowners.

What makes the house centipede such a valuable ally? They are insectivores. All this means is that they eat all of the other bugs that are trying to get into your home. Their diet consists of spiders, bed bugs, termites, cockroaches, silverfish, ants, earthworms, and crickets. If they are in a pinch, they’ll even hunt stinging insects such as wasps. In other words, they eat the pests that have the most potential to harm you or your home.

If They’re So Good, How Are They A Warning Sign?

The bad news is that if there is a large enough population of house centipedes that homeowners notice them, it is likely that there is another infestation altogether in that house. House centipedes, due to their diet of other insects, are drawn to houses where there’s a plentiful food supply.

If you see one house centipede, there is no reason to panic. However, if you or your family is noting a significant number of house centipedes, contact your local pest control company. They will be able to send someone out to evaluate your home for other pest populations.