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Centipedes

Description

The most problematic centipede in Utah is the house centipede. This species is 1-1½˝ long and has a yellow-grey body with three brown, longitudinal stripes on the top of its body. Unlike other centipedes, the house centipede is the only known species that is able to survive completely within homes and buildings.

Habitat

Preferring damp, moist areas, centipedes are frequently found in basements, storage areas and bathrooms. Outdoors, they tend to be under an accumulation of leaves, under stones, decaying firewood, mulch, etc. Generally, they are active at night. Although centipedes can bite, the bite is seldom worse than a bee sting.

Diet

A centipedes main diet consists of insects, spiders and other arthropods. They eat most anything that is small enough and soft bodied.

Life cycle and Reproduction

Females deposit 10 to 60 eggs in well hidden, moist areas including under soil or in decaying organic matter. They usually lay eggs during the spring and summer. However, in more tropical regions this can occur year round. Eggs hatch after 1 to 3 three months when immature centipedes emerge. Centipedes can live for up to 5 years.

Threat

Centipedes are mostly a nuisance pest, but can bite humans. However, this is not generally a serious concern. Young centipedes are usually not able to penetrate skin, and bites from larger centipedes usually only cause minor irritation similar to mild bee stings.

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