Throughout the years, people have always been interested in finding as many information about animals. Some of the most intriguing animals are the centipedes, but they have only been classified in 1817, by the French zoologist Pierre Latreille. Centipedes are thus part of the Myriad group and they belong to the Chilpoda class. They resemble the millipedes, as they are all long, slender, and they have many legs and body segments. The difference between them is that centipedes have only one pair of legs attached to each body segment, and the millipedes have two pairs. Centipedes are generally outdoor animals and they can be found in protected and damp locations. They are hiding under boards, rocks or logs, so people rarely get the chance to see them. Another reason why centipedes are hard to spot is due to the fact that they are nocturnal creatures, so they are active at night and they hide during the day.
The size of centipedes varies from 5 to 70 millimeters. Centipedes also can come in different colors, from pale yellow to dark brown. Most centipedes love moisture and as they do not have a waterproof layer, they tend to seek for moist areas, where there is no danger of drying up. Another interesting fact is that most centipedes are either blind, or they have a poor eyesight. As a result, they developed a strong sensitivity to touch. Their major sense organs are the antennae, which allow centipedes to feel and to smell everything around them. Centipedes also have a pair of poisonous claws, which they use to catch and to kill their pray. Their meal usually includes spiders, worms, woodlice, mites and many other insects. Although they have poisonous claws, it is unlikely for centipedes to bite humans. Even if they do, their venom has no effect, and it normally only causes some local, temporary pain. Regarding their reproduction, it is known that female centipedes usually lay 35 eggs, in or on the soil ground. When they are born, baby centipedes only have four pairs of legs, but the number increases as they grow up.
Centipedes do not cause any harm to humans. On the contrary, they may be even useful, because they kill other harmful insects that can destroy your gardens. House centipedes are more dangerous though, as they are considered pests in many regions of the United States. They were first recorded in 1849, in Pennsylvania, but their number has increased significantly since then, due to the large number of eggs that the females lay. House centipedes usually seek indoor spaces and they can be found in many buildings, hiding beneath concrete slabs, cement block walls, cardboard boxes and into floor drains, so generally in damp, cool locations. If you have problems with house centipedes, pesticides are the best way to get rid of them. Other than that, normal centipedes should not cause any problems, so there is no need to fear them.