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Insects and Arthropods
House Centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata)



 

 
House Centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata)
 
The house centipede is the most common centipede found in Michigan homes. Although this very agile and fast moving, longlegged critter has an unnerving appearance as it darts over walls and floors, it should be considered harmless and no cause for alarm. It is the only centipede found in Michigan that is capable of reproducing indoors. It prefers homes with damp basements or crawlspaces.   The house centipede should be considered a beneficial organism as it feeds on spiders, insects and other small arthropods. There are only a few reports of this animal biting people, usually when handled or stepped on with bare feet. The bite can be as painful as a bee sting in some cases. If bitten, the wound should be cleaned and antiseptic applied to prevent secondary infection and ice applied to reduce swelling. When necessary, they can be controlled by treating basements, particularly under appliances a residual insecticide registered for use inside homes such as cyfluthrin (sold as Bayer Advanced Home Insect Control for homeowners or Tempo for commercial applicators) or one of the Ortho products.
 
Be sure to read and follow all instructions and safety precautions found on the label before using any pesticide.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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