Photo of a House Centipede stuck to a yellow sticky card
House Centipede
photo of a diamondback soil centipede and a U.S. dime for size comparison
Diamondback Soil Centipede – Geophilus vittatus

Centipedes, despite the fact that the Latin prefix “centi” means ‘hundred,’ do not have 100 legs. They have one pair of legs per body segment, and the total number of legs varies anywhere from about 20 to over 100 (some sources say over 300), depending on the species. They have long, jointed antennae, and most species are carnivorous, making them–on the whole–beneficial (they feed on insects and spiders).  Some kinds of centipedes, such as the House Centipede, can live indoors as well as outdoors, so will end up in people’s houses, garages, sheds, etc. Bathrooms, basements (especially if damp), and dark closets, are common places where people would be likely to find them.

photo of a millipede beside a centipede, for comparison purposes
Comparison: Centipede (above) versus a Millipede (below)

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