Sunday, July 13, 2008

House Centipede

Everyone's napping except for me because it's just too hot, but that leaves me a perfect opportunity to learn how to use images from the web on my blog without breaking copyrights. So hopefully I have properly back-linked this picture of a House Centipede, because Dave smashed the one we found before I had a chance to take a picture of it. To his credit, he was saving my life from "this crazy scorpion...cockroach...centipede...thing" as it sped past my foot as I stood innocently at the stove putting globs of cookie dough on the stone. This happened the other night, and it was one of those things where you rush to the computer and type in something like "creepy insect with lots of legs" and you instantly get a picture of the exact thing you just smashed. Who knew this was so common? We were surprised by it, as was almost everyone else who posted a picture on Flikr. So I thought I'd share what we learned about this most creepy-looking insect.
First of all, Wikipedia (which I'm really starting to love as an information junkie) has some great information, of course. House centipedes feed on spiders, bedbugs, termites, cockroaches, silverfish, ants and other household arthropods. They live anywhere from three to seven years, depending on the environment, and mostly live outdoors in cool, dark places. So while gross and scary, they seem pretty useful! We definitely have ants at our house, and there are spiders everywhere, especially in the spring and summer...and I'm ok with those in moderation (as long as they stay outside and aren't making our house look like a haunted mansion every night) because some of them eat the poisonous spiders (like Recluses), I'm not a big fan of the flying things (mosquitos, moths), and it can be good for the garden. I see the occational silverfish, which is annoying, but I don't think they do much serious damage. We might have a few termites, but I'm choosing to ignore that for now. As for bedbugs, I'm not sure that I'd rather have a House Centipede in my bed taking care of that problem, so I'll just keep washing the linens and vacuming the mattress on a regular basis. Man, if I ever see either one of those things in my bedroom, it's time to redecorate! And cockroaches...I think I'd have to opt for the centipede...or maybe the exterminator wins that one.


Sarah said...

dude that is freaky looking.

i'm supposed to be vacuuming my mattress?! i better get on that.

wendy said...

Well, I think I'm slightly a germophobe and one time I watched this Oprah about bedbugs and stuff... I'll just stop there. We have freedom in Christ, and that's the bottom line, right?!! I rarely actually vacuum the mattress, but I've done it. :P

Renae in St. Louis said...

Ack! Centipedes are right up there with those darn recluses I've been discovering more of around here in the last week. Plus if I remember correctly, from a fellow apartment dweller from way-back-when... they bite!

I've been doing lots of re-organizing, decluttering, etc. (vacuuming *under* my bed comes soon!!), so I'm surprised I haven't found more of these yucky creatures. Unfortunately, my usual housekeeping rituals provide them safe haven. Maybe my current "nesting" phase will help me reform my habits... gotta figure out where to put #5!