Yep, we get it — centipedes, the creepy scampering insects that can travel up to almost 1.5 feet per second, can cause alarm when you spot one in your house. However, you should also know that they are actually helpful insects to have around.
You just saw something that looked like a centipede. What was it? Are there centipedes in Virginia?
Yes, there are centipedes in Virginia. And before you grab your shoe to squish a centipede the next time you see one, try not to be intimidated by its appearance, especially if you live in Virginia.
In this article, I’ll explain why.
Centipedes In Virginia
Although they may look like an absolute freaky menace, the common house centipede, which has the scientific name of Scutigera Coleoptrata, is a creepy crawly that really gets a bad rap because of the way it looks.
Centipedes, which are a type of arthropod, can be either reddish brown or gray in color. They have about 15 pairs of legs and can be up to an inch and a half long, although they usually look much bigger.
They also have very long antennae, which help them to navigate around the environment they’re in.
Centipedes, which are a type of arthropod, can be either reddish brown or gray in color. They have about 15 pairs of legs and can be up to an inch and a half long, although they usually look much bigger. They also have very long antennae, which help them to navigate around the environment they’re in.
All their legs give them a lot of speed and maneuverability.
They’re sensitive to sunlight and other UV light, and prefer to hide during the day. So if you move a potted plant (one of the places that they like to hide) you’ll soon find them scampering for cover — sometimes faster than you can even say their name.
However, the real truth is that they will basically cause you no harm, and they are really helpful to have around your home — particularly if you live in Virginia.
Even though you may not invite them in as house guests, centipedes will make themselves in your home if you live in Northern Virginia, especially. But as we’ve said, house centipedes are really not dangerous, even to cats or dogs. And being insectivores, they act as a kind of natural pest control.
Centipedes will feed off of other insects that you may find making themselves at home in your house, like bed bugs, ants, cockroaches, termites, spiders, and silverfish.
They also don’t make webs or nests, so won’t cause any problems in your home either.
So, I Don’t Need To Be Scared?
Basically, as we’ve said before, centipedes are generally creepy creatures that will do more good than harm. That’s because they really pose no threat to you, your pets, or your home.
However, you should be aware that they are venomous insects, and that it is possible to get bitten, though it’s rare. It has been known for centipedes to bite people if they feel threatened, but they usually reserve this for the other insects that they kill for prey.
In the unlikely chance that you do get bitten by a centipede, the amount of venom you would get if it was able to penetrate your skin wouldn’t be enough to cause any more pain than you would feel from a bee sting (unless you live in the desert or tropics).
This means that if you’re allergic to bee stings, then it’s likely you would have the same reaction if you were to be bitten by a centipede.
But again, this is very unlikely to happen.
And although you don’t necessarily need to be scared, if you see more than one centipede in your home, then this should give you some cause for concern.
That’s because centipedes only feed off of other insects that we mentioned, like cockroaches and bed bugs. So, if you see a handful of centipedes in your home, then it’s more than likely that you have an infestation of a more troubling pest that you will definitely want to get rid of!
If you see a handful of centipedes in your home, then it’s more than likely that you have an infestation of a more troubling pest that you will definitely want to get rid of.
In addition, centipedes will generally be found in places like your basement, where there is more moisture in the air. Cockroaches also love to hang out in high-humidity environments, so you will definitely want to investigate for potential leaks or other evidence of where these pests congregate.
Of course, if you do find a few centipedes in a Virginian home, then you might need to call in a pest exterminator, especially if the true source of your fast-legged arthropod nightmare is a previously-unknown cockroach or bed bug infestation.
However, if you only spot a centipede or two every now and then, you’ll be doing yourself and your home a favor by not grabbing a shoe and trying to squash them. Let them follow their purpose of feeding on the kinds of insects you would rather stay away from your house.