House Centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata)

Order: Scutigeromorpha
Family: Scutigeridae
Genus: Scutigera
Species: coleoptrata


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Charter Oak, California
Fremont, California
Los Angeles, California (2 reports)
Monrovia, California
Redding, California (2 reports)
Denver, Colorado
Trinidad, Colorado
Bristol, Connecticut
Meriden, Connecticut
Naugatuck, Connecticut
Stamford, Connecticut
Washington, District Of Columbia
Austell, Georgia
Lake Forest, Illinois
Niles, Illinois
Indianapolis, Indiana
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Thorntown, Indiana
Melbourne, Kentucky
Brunswick, Maine
Portland, Maine
Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Marlborough, Massachusetts
North Adams, Massachusetts
Somerville, Massachusetts
Algonac, Michigan
Battle Creek, Michigan
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Chesterfield, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Reno, Nevada
Eatontown, New Jersey
Highlands, New Jersey
Lincroft, New Jersey
Newton, New Jersey
Rumson, New Jersey
Kingston, New York
Larchmont, New York
Syracuse, New York
Concord, North Carolina
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Bucyrus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
West Chester, Ohio
Zanesville, Ohio
, Ontario
Cornwall, Pennsylvania
Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Reading, Pennsylvania
Yankton, South Dakota
Knoxville, Tennessee
Kodak, Tennessee
Frisco, Texas
Salt Lake City, Utah
Burlington, Vermont
East Ryegate, Vermont
Arlington, Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia
Fairfax, Virginia
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Rhinelander, Wisconsin
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Mar 10, 2021, Polaris08 from Saint Paul, MN wrote:

While living in Saint Paul, Minnesota I have seen these guys a few times throughout the years. Terrified me, so I never attempted to kill them or anything. Itís cool to know they have the benefits described here. Almost always in warmer months, but I have seen these centipedes at least a dozen times here.


On Aug 12, 2020, Johnny6751 from Chicago, IL wrote:

I thought these centipedes were dangerous, but after researching they actually kill bugs and roaches and spiders in your home. I saw one crawling under my bed. I just wonder if they hop on me at night, gross! I\'ll just let them live and have them chase bugs. I am in Chicago, I was surprised they\'d survive this cold weather.


On Apr 30, 2020, MelanieLynne from Naugatuck, CT wrote:

OH.....MY......LORD! I live in Connecticut and have come in contact with these creepy crawlers many times in my life and each time have been thoroughly and utterly freaked out but I just moved into a new duplex in Naugatuck, Ct and 4 times now I've seen these bugs here but they are humongous! At least 7 or 8 inches and they run so fast and come out of nowhere and I swear that I have a panic attack and run and scream for my husband and jump up and down and actually lose my breath and can't breath and have to try so hard to calm.myself down! I am really grossed out by bugs but I'm a mom and a strong woman and we gotta do what we gotta do for our kids which includes saving them from every bug that happens to come into their vision but these house centipedes.....I just can't, like physically ... read more


On Jun 11, 2018, jonwaugh from Brunswick, ME (Zone 5b) wrote:

Lived with them for 18 years in a ground-floor, semi-basement (sloped lot) apartment. Was fascinated by them...and creeped out too. Weird huh? Mostly I tried to capture them and evict them, but sometimes I would just crush them. Their speed, and of course the way they look, are very alien and disturbing. But what I want to know is HOW can they catch/hold/eat the insects reported? Hard shell roaches? These Skooter things have no grabbing and holding parts, just fast runners. So I'd love to see a film of one of them in action, because though I accept the oft repeated statement that they prey on other insects, I just can't imagine how they can successfully EAT another insect. Any pointers to a film on the life habits of a Skooter?


On Dec 9, 2017, aashemichbeth from Fayetteville, NC wrote:

I found one on the ceiling of my bedroom. Didn't look it up until after we had killed it, but now I wish we hadn't. Honestly, I hope to see them again. I've heard they eat cockroaches and my house has had a history with those, so I'd love to keep having them around.


On May 23, 2017, WayneJohnson from Bristol, CT wrote:

I encountered one of these in my bathtub last night and it scared the hell out of me! I got him out and threw him down the sink drain but, he managed to come back up but, was unable to get out of the sink. I finally got him out of the sink and placed him outside. I am hoping it won't re-enter my home.

I don't see why they don't just build a home out of trigs in the woods someplace. With all of those legs, they could have it completed in no time. Also, they could have a nice swimming pool too with all of those legs digging and all they would have to do would be to wait for it to rain!

At least they don't come into people's beds. I once woke up with a Yellow Sac Spider in my bed. I threw a VCR tape at it and it burst open on my pillow so, I had t... read more


On May 20, 2017, quibro from Charter Oak, CA wrote:

I have live here 18 yrs and had never seen one before. It surprised me how fast it moved.


On Feb 19, 2014, countrykid from Beaconsfield Upper,
Australia wrote:

Note that the specimen found at Upper Beaconsfield, Australia has 26 legs


On Jun 18, 2013, Bryce_Michigan from Brownlee Park, MI wrote:

Scared the life out of me, posted a picture I said was about an inch but was approximately 2.5 inches ran so fast after I tried killing it I let it live i wasn't chasing it wont be going near my downstairs for about a month.


On Aug 23, 2012, jndonelove from Burlington, VT wrote:

This site was wonderful for identifying this bug. After being awakened from sleep by my brave husband's yelling for me to "come quick", I discovered one of the freakiest bugs I had ever seen, and my husband standing over it with a serving spoon. He killed it but I had to 'remove' it. I probably would not have killed it if I had known the benefits, but the thought of living with something that looks like that, no matter how beneficial, takes some getting used to. They give me the willies....!


On Dec 13, 2011, medlarman from Fairfax, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I nearly always refrained from hurting them because I'd heard they were great pest control. Didn't realize how great until they disappeared from my townhouse for no discernable reason, and were followed by a massive plague of silverfish chewing through my books. Please come back, house centipedes! I miss you.


On Oct 26, 2011, insectreaper from Los Angeles, CA wrote:

I live in a house of an urban residential area of Los Angeles and occasionally find these guys in the living room, bathroom and bedroom. Just this past week I have already killed three of them. Two of them were quite large, one was at least 3 inches and the other around 4-5 inches long. I don't have any of those Raid type of bug sprays around but Windex does just fine.

I'm grateful that these little buggers aren't harmful to humans and eat other insects in your house or garden but if these things want to live, they better stay out of my house! The only times I've caught them was at night as they are nocturnal hunters and come out mostly during Spring and Fall.


On Oct 20, 2011, gigafunk from Carlisle, OH wrote:

Not Cool Ohio!!! I was working on some software in the basement of the company I work for...Yes, I.T. is in the basement...Shocker!!! I kicked back to think for a second and bam! there's this thing I had never seen before on the ceiling as if he was looking backwards and down at me. I don't scare to easily, Being from Florida, I've seen and killed my share of roaches, spiders and other various bugs scampering about, but this thing scared me. So much that I actually got someone else to kill it for me. My co-worker said "Its just a centipede", oh yeah, no big deal...A bug the size of my hand 3 feet from my head bending back to brush my hair. Great!!! This thing had a dozen or so legs on each side. I thought maybe it was two spiders mating or something so if an insect has 6 legs, arachnids h... read more


On Feb 25, 2011, themikeman from Concord, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Their is nothing beautiful about these nasty hairy looking long legged house centipedes. They are very nasty bugs. i dont care if they do eat silverfish bugs, id have silverfish bugs anyday over just one of these nasty centipedes.


On Sep 26, 2010, Rockweed from Eatontown, NJ wrote:

I'm an invert fan in general. I DON'T like them in the house, but they are beautiful so I set them free if I can. I have had them in two houses now, as well as my community college. Hopefully I will not get bitten by one as I have read it can be quite painful and allergic reactions can occur.


On Apr 14, 2010, MissMcLaren from Reno, NV wrote:

Seeing as I had no idea what this little nasty was, I had no qualms about drenching it in bleach to be sure it was dead. I'm sure it was, considering I found it floating belly up in my cats water dish.

I'm not entirely sure how it got in but I'm certainly not interested in meeting any of his little friends.

Knowing now what it is and does, I'll certainly do my best not to crush any I see scurrying around anywhere.


On Apr 8, 2010, Ryozo from North Adams, MA wrote:

Five stars! Love this guy.


On Oct 16, 2009, redcolumbine from Somerville, MA wrote:

I live in a basement apartment, and I consider these guys employees. Their job is to find and collect their pay - ant eggs. I think ants are a huge nuisance, and I hate having to use poisons to get rid of them, so being startled out of my socks by the occasional scooter is a small price to pay for an ant-free apartment. Sure, they move fast, and all those legs make them look enormous - but they're totally harmless, and given that I managed to scare one to death once (turned on the shower without looking - it basically tied itself in a knot and disintegrated) I can't really be afraid of them any more.


On Jun 22, 2009, Petal33 from Kingston, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

My house is very old ,I have alot of these bugs in the basement but my cat likes to bring them up stairs and play with them -then eat them> Yes I know they give me the creeps too but they are a good, I guess.


On Nov 27, 2008, rwielgosz from Washington, DC (Zone 6b) wrote:

My grandfather used to call these "snalagasters". He was from southern Illinois.

I've heard they're good to have in your house, as they're predators of other arthropods. Also, they don't leave webs or make noise, unlike other bug predators.

They make a great cat toy because they run fast, but they're not cautious. The cats like to eat them, too.


On Aug 25, 2008, Andyquasar from Montreal, Quebec,
Canada wrote:

My cat was chassing that bug in my house and i saw it, really fast bugger, i was able to catch it.

Weird thing since its not usually in Canada


On Jul 4, 2008, jakeman from Newton, NJ wrote:

This bug is about 7 inches long a bunch of legs and very fast unlike most centipedes. And it is very scary. i have never seen a bug like this.


On May 19, 2008, JenT from Columbus, OH wrote:

I don't frankly care if these horrid suckers have the cure for cancer and world peace all in one. I do not want them in my house! They make me want to wig out. Yuk.


On Aug 11, 2007, Jonny_Test from Monrovia, CA wrote:

I love these guys! They can take a Black Widow, hold it at arm's length (really long for them), turn it around, and then bite it! My family call's them "cootie bugs". Usually only 2" long, biggest one was in the garage, 3-4" with legs, and could run so fast it almost blurred.


On Jun 23, 2007, centistalker from W Hartford, CT wrote:

I collect em all, from chilopoda's to Tachypodoiulus nigers....well I'm just starting sort of b/c i just caught one under my couch and it sits in a jar waitin for my chilluns for when they arrive tomorrow after sunrise. I don't know what to feed it, jest home they aren't partial to folks... One saved my life one day back in Nam, but i don't wanna talk about it... gave up one of his 14 pair of legs for me and now it's him that's got the handicap pass and not me... guess i owe somethin to that little feller...


On Jun 11, 2007, ilovemyplants from Meriden, CT wrote:

These centipedes are very good to have around & since they are around our human dwellings that means we have some pesky unwanted bugs around that they want to eat & are harmless to humans aswell...


On Jun 5, 2007, jones101 from Syracuse, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:

I live in Central N.Y. and I have seen 3 of these creepy squiggly things in the past 2 yrs.... They do move real fast and I don't like them at all. I picked up a spong to find one almost creeping up my hand...


On May 29, 2007, cvirtue from Chelmsford, MA (Zone 5b) wrote:

These guys eat silverfish, so I do my best to not stomp them to death, which I would otherwise do.


On Apr 24, 2007, RockabillyKitty from Centennial, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:

We live in a three story home with a basement. I have seen this creature in our basement and on the first floor. I hope that's as high as they venture, as our bedroom is on the second floor. *shudder*

I have also seen these things in the yard, but they're usually much smaller than the specimens I've seen indoors.

They are beneficial in that they hunt spiders and other pests - but they can inflict a bite, from what I understand, that is similar to a bee sting. I don't plan on finding out if this is true. In my life I've been stung by a scorpion and a velvet ant - and that's enough, thank you.

I grew up in eastern Oklahoma - so I'm just thankful that they're much, much smaller than their orange-legged cousins. Now THOSE are scary.


On Oct 8, 2006, fishhead01 from Highlands, NJ wrote:

We live in an old house with the kitchen in the basement. These centipedes breed behind the sink and are very fast moving. They are not pleasant to live with.


On Sep 25, 2006, claypa from West Pottsgrove, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

The order Scutigeromorpha are the only centipedes with compound eyes. They eat other insects and live above ground (except basements). They have 15 pairs of legs. Their vision and long legs allow them to escape predators more easily than other centipedes.