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We’ve all seen them scurrying around in the Auburn/Colfax/and surrounding foothill area. They’re long, skittery and were probably last seen climbing up out of your bathtub drain or hanging out in your basement. Most commonly referred to as “those olympic running thingy’s with all the legs,” their actual name is the house centipede — in Scientific terms “Scutigera coleoptrata”.

House centipedes have long, flattened bodies, which can measure as long as 1-1/2 inches long. They are arthropods and have 15 segments, and each features one pair of legs. The centipede’s legs are long, slender, and thread-like and have black and white banding. On females, the last pair of legs is more than twice as long as the body. The body is a yellowish-brown with three dark stripes running along the top of the body with lighter shading between them. They have large, well-developed eyes.

When house centipedes get inside your Auburn area home they are usually found in the kitchen, bathrooms, basements, drains or garage and crawl space. It is not uncommon to see house centipedes that were trapped inside a sink or bathtub. Outdoors, they will be found in stacks of firewood, under leaf litter or in protected crevices in rocks or tree bark.

House centipedes prey on many household pests in the foothills. Some of their preferred prey include, cockroaches, flies, moths, crickets, silverfish, earwigs and small spiders, but they will prey on almost any insect pests. However, their predation makes only a marginal reduction in the populations of the insects they prey upon. House centipedes capture prey by grasping them with their legs and using their modified front legs as jaws to deliver venom into the prey. Unless provoked to defend themselves, house centipedes rarely bite people or pets and mostly prefer trying to escape threatening situations. Also, although house centipede venom is not as toxic as some other centipede species and their bites rarely cause any serious effects. Bites normally cause minimal, localized pain, but some individuals may experience severe pain. However, serious bite effects are more likely to be the result of secondary infection than the bite itself.

Centipedes typically leave no direct evidence other than being spotted in a sink or tub and being seen quickly running across floors or climbing on walls or ceilings.

If house centipedes become a problem for you, and you live in the Auburn/Colfax/or surrounding foothill area, don’t hesitate to give Gold Miner Pest Control a call at (530) 346-8379, and we can set up an appointment with one of our technicians to come out and treat your home for the current infestation and also prevent and new infestations.