Monday, November 05, 2007

Creepy guest

Every once in a while I'll see one of these things in my condo:



They're pretty fast and creepy and my gut reaction when seeing one is, "Holy smokes! What the heck is that?!??! Ick! Kill it!", but from what I've read, these little critters are actually beneficial. They're called house centipedes and according to those in the know, they've come to the US all the way from Europe. It just wouldn't be kind of me to kill them after they've travelled so far. What kind of welcome would that be? "Hi, welcome to the US. Meet the bottom of my shoe. I hope you like it." No, no, that just wouldn't be right.

They are predators (as are spiders) and they eat all sorts of "bad" bugs. So, I figure, if these things are managing to survive in my condo, there must be a healthy diet of bugs that I just don't see around. As long as they don't start biting me (which supposedly they are capable of doing), I suppose I won't start squashing them, either... even if they are awfully ugly creepy
things.

3 comments:

shiloh said...

I once saw one of those in my house!!! It was about 15 years ago but, boy, I still remember the creepy feeling of seeing it and wondering..."what the heck is that?".....

Linda said...

We feel the same way about spiders. We never kill them (except for one which the kids thought was a black widow....). I figure if they can stay alive in the house, they must be eating a lot of bugs which I don't want in the house.

Anonymous said...

In captivity, house centipedes feed readily on cockroach nymphs, flies, moths, bedbugs, crickets, silverfish, earwigs, and other insects and small spiders. They capture prey by half pouncing and half lassoing them. They can capture several prey items at one time. They feed on one specimen while holding the others with their quivering, lashing appendages (Lewis 1981)