With all this talk about the deadliest animal in the world, the cicadapocalypse or the uptick in ticks, at least we know that these are all (for the most part) outside the home.

But what about the most revolting, terrifying, spine-chilling monster that hides in the dusty corners of many of our homes? You know the one. Yep.

House Centipede
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Ladies and Gentlemen, the House Centipede

There comes a moment when we all encounter the house centipede for the first time, often accompanied by an audible scream. But what exactly do you know about this common creepy-crawly resident?

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Almost instinctively, the sight of these repulsive invaders with their long, slender kinda fuzzy bodies darting across your bathroom tile triggers a profound sense of discomfort, even in the most bug-friendly individuals. Your initial reaction might be to annihilate them (or consider burning your house down), but the odd thing is, they actually offer some benefits. Stick with us.

Why Are House Centipedes So Nightmare-Inducing?

While these creeps are only about 1-2 inches long, their numerous lengthy appendages (15 to be exact) mixed with their paper clip-style antennae and the dust bunnies they inevitably have stuck to them, they seem much, much larger.

Do House Centipedes Bite and Are They Venomous?

Turns out, house centipedes are actually venomous. It's a mild venom, and they will inject their prey to slow it down, then they [gulp] wrap their many legs around them, and ... I can't. You can see one in attack mode in the photo below. Sorry about that.

That said, our skin is too thick for them to cause us any harm, so no worries there.

House Centipede In Attack Mode
Getty Images

What are the Benefits of Having House Centipedes in Your Home?

Oddly, house centipedes eat many of the other bugs that you are also afraid of (okay, I'm afraid of) including cockroaches, spiders, silverfish, and other insects that I haven't heard of but are probably just as creepy, like firebrats and carpet beetle larvae.

However, this scenario has a downside. If house centipedes thrive in your home and have an ample food supply, it indicates a significant presence of other pests. Since they don't consume the same food humans do, it signals a potential pest problem.

Will Cold Weather Kill House Centipedes DEAD?

By the way, these little stowaways hitched a ride from the Mediterranean around the mid-1800s so they aren't made for the cold weather. That said, that nice cozy home of yours is the perfect climate for them to feel right at home, particularly in a nice, steamy bathroom. Centipede spa!

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