Centipede’s have long antennae. Their back legs are much longer than the rest in order to help them project backwards.
Usually live outdoors in damp areas such as under leaves, stones, boards, tree bark, or in mulch around outdoor plantings. When these centipede habitats are near a home’s foundation, centipedes will wander inside where they may be found at floor level almost anywhere.
Centipedes eat only insects (carnivorous) such as spiders and ants, which can be beneficial to have them around if they can be tolerated.
They develop by gradual metamorphosis, so immature have a similar appearance to adults, but are smaller. Eggs are laid in the damp places that they live in, as well as behind sheaving, shingling, mulch and floor covering of landscaped areas, rocks and beneath bark on firewood. All life stages can be observed running rapidly across floors or accidentally trapped in bathtubs, sinks, and lavatories.
Accidentally injured, larger centipedes may bite, causing some pain and slight swelling. Actually, their ‘bites’ are not caused by their jaws or mouthparts, but by the front legs which are modified to look and function like jaws and contain venom glands. Smaller species are not large enough to penetrate human skin. Centipede bites are usually not serious, but an antiseptic should be used and a physician consulted when the skin is punctured.
Controlling the debris that provides them shelter, and controlling the other insects that they eat will help reduce their population.