House Centipede


Actual Size: 1.5”

Characteristics: Grayish-yellow; three dark stripes on top of the body.

Legs: Up to 30

Antennae: No

Wings: No

Habitat: Drawn to areas with moisture; outside, they are found beneath leaves and stones. Inside, they are often in crawl spaces, bathrooms, and more.


  • Possess fifteen pairs of long, slender legs.
  • When disturbed, will move quickly to darkened hiding places.
  • Attracted to moisture and found in bathrooms and damp closets.

House Centipedes in Bristol

It’s easy to see why so many people are fearful of centipedes. With what appears to be hundreds of long thin legs, house centipedes can look like something straight out of a nightmare. Even worse, they crawl at high speeds, making them even more terrifying. Thankfully, centipedes are relatively harmless. Although two of their front legs contain venom, it is used almost entirely for stinging their prey, including silverfish and termites. For the most part, centipedes are nighttime hunters. Despite having developed eyes, they primarily use their long and highly sensitive antenna, which can pick up smells and vibrations, for hunting purposes.

House Centipede Habitat

House centipedes are attracted to moisture and can be found outside under stones, boards, or sticks or beneath moist leaf litter and other organic matter. When found in homes, house centipedes most often occur in moist cellars, damp closets, and bathrooms, where they feed on insects and spiders. When disturbed, centipedes move quickly toward darkened hiding places. If house centipedes are abundant, there may be an underlying moisture problem in the home that should be corrected.

House Centipede Behaviors & Dangers

House centipedes have a pair of poison claws located behind their head and use them to poison and paralyze their prey, usually small insects. The weak jaws of the house centipede can penetrate the skin, but with difficulty. Bites can result in swelling and pain, but usually are no worse than a bee sting. House centipedes are considered nuisance pests and when they come into your yard, it is often because they are looking for food. If centipedes find food near your exterior walls, and there are open cracks or crevices, they can accidentally get inside your home.

If you are dealing with house centipedes on your property, contact your local exterminators.