Centipedes are predatory arthropods belonging tot he class Chilopoda. They also belong to the subphylum Myriapoda, an arthropod group which also includes millipedes and other multi- legged creatures. Worldwide, an estimated 8,000 species are believed to exist. Centipedes are elongated metameric creatures with one pair of legs per body segment. Most centipedes are venomous and and can inflict a painful bite if provoked or threatened. Centipedes can be found in a wide variety of environments including tropical rainforests, savannas, prairies, and deserts. They prefer dark, moist places and can be found in soil, leaf litter, under stones and dead wood, and inside logs. Centipedes are generally predators and have adapted to eating a variety of different prey. They usually consume insects, spiders, worms, and mollusks. Larger centipedes are known to eat frogs, small birds, and even bats. Main predators of centipedes are birds, snakes, frogs, and mammals such as mongooses, mice, and shrews. Centipedes are known to invade homes, but humans rarely see them during the day. They typically hide in damp areas around the house, such as bathrooms, basements, and closets. At night is when centipedes are most active, as they forage for food. Centipedes are often misperceived as dangerous pests. While centipedes do have poisonous jaws, their jaws are rarely powerful enough to puncture human skin. If a bite does occur, localized pain and swelling is common, similar to that of a bee sting.

Common Pests

We know about pests, you can too. Visit our Pest Library for more information n the habits and habitats of some of the most commons pests.

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