Legs and More Legs
Centipedes are easily recognizable due to their multiple pairs of legs, but the house centipede takes this characteristic to a new level. Their 15 pairs of legs are so long, slender and close together that they have a feathery appearance. The legs closest to the hind end of the house centipede are generally the longest.
Other physical features of the house centipede include black and yellow mottling covering the entire body and a dark line down the back. Compound eyes complete their unique appearance.
Habitat and Behavior
House centipedes prefer cool, damp areas such as basements. As highly predatory insectivores, house centipedes actually serve a beneficial purpose by dining on spiders, bed bugs, cockroaches and other more troublesome pests. In relation to humans, house centipedes rarely bite and present no health risk.
People are often startled by the speed of house centipedes. The leggy insects can cover roughly 16 inches per second, which equates to a human running 42 miles per hour. This speed comes in handy when house centipedes spot a human, as they tend to be non-aggressive and run for cover.
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