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ENVIRONMENT | Bug alert

Here's why you SHOULDN'T kill house centipedes


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Friday, July 20, 2018, 9:06 AM - 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 (see the video above!).

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

(RELATED: EVERYDAY IS HALLOWEEN FOR THESE CREEPY INSECTS)

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.

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 of your home
  • 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: TINY SPACE SUITS FOR INSECTS




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