Centipedes are definitely not the most aesthetically pleasing insect. With their multi-segmented body, these insects are a little unnerving. When you see one, however there are a few things you should be aware of.

1. They really don’t have 100 legs

In truth, the centipede could have as few as 30 or as many as 350. In fact, because each pair of legs is attached to a body segment and there are always an odd number of body segments, there could never actually be 100 legs. They are born with a few segments and as they mature, centipedes develop more.

2. The hunter

Centipedes are hunters. The small centipedes we see in Canada consume soft-bodied insects, spiders, worms, and even other centipedes. Because of this, it’s important to note that if you see more than one, especially an infestation, it may be indicative of another pest infestation. Call a pest control company immediately to check it out.

3. Poison alert

While it isn’t enough venom to knock out a human, the last two “legs” on their body are actually poisonous mandibles called forcipules. They use them to paralyze their victims. If you are ever unlucky enough to be bitten, it will feel like the sting of a bee and should last only an hour or so, though the swollen area may last a few days.

4. Centipedes can sacrifice a part of themselves

Have you ever seen a centipede with a few shorter legs? It’s likely because they lost them to a bird or other predator. Centipedes can continue to regenerate their legs as they molt. It’s a great defence mechanism so they can get away to live another day.

5. Centipedes get thirsty

Centipedes lack the waxy coating that other Arthropods have which means they don’t have any waterproofing. That’s why you will usually find centipedes in moist environments like your sink or bathtub drains.

Understanding the behaviour of the pests infesting your home or office is important to make sure there aren’t other issues at play. Make sure you call a pest control professional before you go too far to make sure you don’t have a bigger issue than you originally thought.

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