Volume XXXINumber 1Page 16 They’re not nearly as big as they look. A house centipede’s bodyis only an inch long, but its long antennae and 15 pairs ofextended, spindly legs make it look much larger. They give it afrilly, rippling look as it moves.The last two legs are exceptionally long. They look almost likeantennae, making it hard to tell the front end from the rear.Their long legs allow house centipedes to run fast, making themgood predators as they pursue cockroaches, silverfish and otherhousehold prey. They pounce on an insect, wrapping it in allthose long legs, almost like ensnaring it in a net.All centipedes use poison fangs to subdue their prey, but no onehas ever been known to be bitten by a house centipede.Seldom seenThese centipedes are nocturnal hunters. They hide in dark, dampplaces during the day and come out at night to catch insects.Because they’re so shy, you seldom see them unless they fall intothe sink or bathtub and can’t get out.What should you do if you encounter one of these strangecreatures skittering around your house? Walk away and leave italone. It will run and hide.House centipedes are harmless to you and your family. In fact,they’re your allies, providing free pest control.If you just find it too freaky and don’t want it in your homeanyway, just cover it with a glass, slip a piece of cardboardunderneath it, then take it outside and release it. To keep itfrom returning, use a dehumidifier to dry out your house. Thatwill make it an inhospitable place to house centipedes.Despite their name, house centipedes are quite capable of livingoutdoors. They can be found under logs or rocks or behind rottingtree bark.Take care of these miniature, invertebrate wonders and they’llhelp you control your pests. If you don’t mind alien-looking creatures skittering around yourhome, house centipedes are handy things to have around.