Centipedes are a nocturnal species that use venom to capture prey. There are a few species of Centipede which can infest homes, but normally most species can be found just as happily outdoors. It is when they are indoors that the unhappy part comes along for homeowners.
In the South the most common centipede pest species is that of the house centipede. The most apt description is that of a many legged beast, which is lighting fast , and looks like it emerged from the ninth circle of Hades. The house centipede moves fast when it needs to, and is a record holder in speed for it’s size. Generally when you see one it is an unpleasant experience. These are nocturnal insects and people usually unearth and or encounter them during the day. In such occurrences it’s confused and you are most likely screaming passages from the bible. All in all a pretty stressful situation, not even counting the fact that centipedes are venomous.
Here is the good news.
Most centipede species you may encounter in your home are generally too small for their pincers to pierce human skin and inject venom. Even if stung the amount of venom if injected is usually too small to have any fatalities come about from it. The most likely scenario is a bee sting type of pain and localized swelling if bitten; assuming an allergic reaction does not occur. As always suggested with small pets and children in the home, it’s best to be on the side of caution with such things.
If they are present centipede species can be found anywhere in the home where it is dark and damp. One problem with such species as the House Centipede for example is that they are excellent hunters of smaller insect species_ This may sound like a good thing until you know that in the pest industry such insects Pike the House Centipede are generally a great indicator for an overall larger insect presence in your home. Centipedes are insectivores, meaning they eat mainly other insects. If you are seeing centipedes in your home, that is most likely because their main food source (other bugs) is good enough in your home versus just staying outside for a meal. imagine if that’s the bug you are seeing, it’s only there because of all the ones you aren’t seeing.
Knowledgeable pest control companies know that their product will be treating for an overall pest problem in the home if there are centipedes present in the house. Just because they are considered a pest, does not mean they cannot be used as a useful tool in recognizing the proper way to treat a home for other pests.
Now you are probably wondering where I was going with that catchy introductory sentence’? Centipedes have an odd number of leg pairs, meaning they can never have a exactly 100 legs. Centi means 100, and pedes means feet in Latin. So the name centipede is translated in latin as one hundred feet. If they can’t have one hundred legs, then they can’t have one hundred feet. The lie is in the name. The really crazy part is for some species of centipede, that they can have upwards of over 300 legs Now that is a centipede I would not want to encounter in my bathroom at night.
Black Widow Spider. A species of spider well known for their large black body with a red hour glass, long black legs, and venomous bite.
The Southern Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans)
The Black Widow Spider has a neurotoxin called Latrotoxin which they use on prey for hunting, defense, and mating purposes (feel sorry for the spider fellas). The male Black Widow is generally too small to inject enough of the neurotoxin into humans. The female however is the one responsible for the bites dangerous to humans, although most Black Widow bites reported are generally non -fatal to humans. However bites to children and elderly should of course be taken to be seen by a medical professional who may advise an anti-venom treatment.
Black Widow species are notorious for placing there webs in the corners of garages near the door as well as around the exterior of houses low to the ground. A tell-tale sign of a web being that of a Black Widow is the strength of that web. Black Widows have very strong webs, which provide resistance and may not break at first with a cursory spray of a hose as most spider webs do.
The Black Widow Spider Is No Joke
Black Widows are a serious and dangerous household pest. Immediate treatment around the exterior of the home as well as the interior of garages is advisable. Special care should be taken if you have children or small pets in the presence of any species of Black Widow, not just our unfriendly southern neighborhood type we have here in the south.