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Centipedes: They bite, but don't kill them. Here's why

Monday, April 8th 2019, 3:55 pm - It's that time of year again.

Warmer weather means more bugs. And while you might not like sharing a space with creepy crawlies, there are benefits to keeping some of them around.

Of all the bugs that invade Canadian homes, many find the house centipede -- also referred to as scutigera coleoptrata -- one of the scariest.

This species is thought to have been introduced to the Americas via Mexico and now reaches as far as the great white north.

It's shorter than other centipedes, with about 30 legs that can detach when trapped. To some, they look terrifying but they are considered harmless.

A bite from one, however, will sting, similar to that of a bee's.

WAIT, WHAT? CENTIPEDES CAN BITE?

"Centipedes definitely freak people out," Bruno Levesque, a regional manager for Orkin pest control services, tells The Weather Network.

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"You don't typically need to be worried about your health when a centipede bites you. Often it's hard for the centipede to puncture your skin ... when it bites, it's mostly just painful."

HERE'S WHY YOU SHOULDN'T KILL CENTIPEDES

House centipedes love damp, dark spaces like bathrooms and basements and when you see one, your first instinct might be to kill it. But before you do, keep this in mind:

Centipedes love to dine on ants, spiders, cockroaches and bedbugs -- so if you see a centipede in your home but no other bug species, there's a pretty good chance they've taken on the role of exterminator for you.

Centipedes can be easily scooped up and left outside to continue their work.

If you want to prevent them from getting in your home, consider:

  • Drying up damp areas
  • Eliminating large indoor insect populations
  • Sealing cracks in your home
  • And just remember: They're more afraid of you than you are of them. If you decide to let them stay in your home, they'll try their best to keep out of sight.

VIDEO: WATCH A CATERPILLAR TRANSFORM INTO A BUTTERFLY BEFORE YOUR EYES

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