August 15, 2002

How to Respond to a Centipede Infestation

1) Know the Enemy

Observe your foe as it scuttles toward you out of a darkened corner, wriggles forth from under the bathmat, or propels itself along the ceiling. This is a good time to note some facts about the centipede: a) it can run faster than anything that small should; b) it clearly knows your weaknesses, preferring to attack when you are barefoot and/or sleepy; c) it demonstrates its greedy and perverse nature by possessing far more, longer, and spindlier legs than is proper or necessary; and d) it exerts strange powers over cats, as in the case of Mr. M, an experienced hunter of New York City roaches, who, upon being introduced into the centipede-ridden environment, proceeded to sit stone still and look quizzically at his new roommates when exhorted to ""Get the bug! Get it before it - oh, now it's under the heater..." etc.

The above studies can easily be conducted while standing on a chair or other raised surface, shrieking incoherently and gesticulating wildly, or while running down the hallway flapping one's arms and shouting, "Help! Help! Centipede! Centipede sighted in the bathroom! Request backup!"

Research your foe on the Internet. Cause great amusement to anyone else on the premises by cringing and moaning in terror every time a picture of one of the little fiends appears on your screen. Read sentences like: ""House centipedes feed on small insects, insect larvae, and on spiders. Thus they are beneficial..." Mutter "'BeneFICIAL??' Bah! 'Beneficial' indeed, you freak. I'd like to see how 'beneficial' you find them once they start waging a campaign of psychological terror on YOU, Mister" under your breath.

Take copious notes on dining preferences, habitat, and methods of disposal. Mutter things like "Thirty legs? THIRTY?? Gack," and "'Likes dampness and dark spaces, hunts by night.' I might have known you were creatures of darkness, you little bastards" under your breath.

2) Prevention

Buy Boric acid, the economy-size container. Buy products for killing every other insect known to man, because ‘these are predators and must have an abundant supply of food for them to multiply to any extent.’ Put ant bait traps everywhere you can think of. Realize that cat reacts to ant bait traps the same way he does to his fur mousie. Pick up ant bait traps and secrete them in places where cat cannot reach.

Don protective dust mask. Sprinkle Boric acid in cracks and deep dark corners, muttering "Eat THAT, you thirty-legged crimes against nature" under your breath. Spend the next four days obsessively watching cat for weird twitches, dilated pupils, changes in nose temperature, or other signs that you may have inadvertently poisoned him, despite knowing perfectly well that there is not a single mote of feline-or-human accessible Boric acid dust anywhere in the house. Realize that you have one weird, twitchy cat, but that he probably wouldn't go rooting around in the space between the bathtub and the sink cabinet even if he could, as he much prefers eating, sleeping, stalking your feet, and playing "Look at the Girl Funny When She Screams 'Get the Bug, Get It!'"

Search the house for cracks and crevices. Gaze at the ceiling, which is composed of rectangular ceiling tiles and rife with small gaps, until you hear yourself muttering "a world of centipedes just over our heads" under your breath.

Go for a long walk. On the way, block out all knowledge of the composition of the ceiling. Decide that you will work on the cracks and crevices thing when you are psychologically ready.

Use avoidance tactics. Refuse to enter a room after the sun sets without first saying aloud, "Okay, I'm going into the [bathroom, kitchen, etc] now! Look out, here I come!" Then switch on the light, leap backwards, and scan the ceilings, walls and floor for signs of occupation before entering. Develop a habit of poking and shaking clothing or towels before use. If a sighting is made, wait for the beast to find a crevice to slink into before proceeding with your activities, or call for help if it refuses to disappear. Persist in this behavior in the face of gentle derision and even out-and-out mockery from cats or shackups*.

3) Hand-to-Hand Combat

Practice on the babies first. They're slower and far less terrifying. Talk smack to them, loudly, while you squish them with your shoe or a paper towel (direct contact should be avoided, as centipedes are known to carry at least 3 deadly strains of cooties). Gloat about how "that's another one that won't be breeding!! Bwahahahaha!" This will generate the false sense of bravado necessary when undertaking any large-scale offensive.

Once you have worked your way up to smashing and trash-talking the adolescent centipede, it is time to take on your first adult. For an easy first kill, find a centipede that has misstepped and fallen off the ceiling into the bathtub. It will probably lie there for a few moments, stunned, thus giving you the opportunity to leap into the living room screaming "My shoe! My shoe! Give me my shoe!" to your startled partner in crime, and hotstep back into the bathroom, weapon in hand.

At this moment, as you face your weakened enemy, it is essential not to hesitate. You must aim carefully, but do not allow yourself enough time to lose your nerve. Do not consider the potential ookiness of the post-squish centipede. Do not ponder what might happen if the kill is not clean. Focus solely on your task, take aim, and squish with all your might. Squish again even if the enemy seems to be dead already; squish once more, even if the fearsome creature seems to have been separated into its component parts. Only after the third squish is it recommended that you stop and survey the situation.

At this point, twitching is to be expected; it will die down shortly if you have succeeded. Do not let it alarm you. Carefully examine your weapon for remnants. Observe that centipedes bleed purple. Assure your foe that "Your family will pay for this, filthy creature!" This will strike fear into the hearts of any nearby centipedes, and will hopefully make them think twice about revenge.

Clean up the remains. Use several layers of toilet paper to avoid any contact with the above-mentioned cooties. DO NOT flush the offender. True, there are no known cases of a dismembered centipede encountering raw sewage, reanimating, mutating into a toxic superbug, and climbing back up into the toilet bowl to lie in wait for the one who brought it down, but there's no need to take foolish risks. Better to dispose of the corpse in the trash, which can be taken off the premises altogether.

These simple steps should help you to combat the infernal centipede in the home. I wish you the best of luck with your own pest-related struggles.

The Fearless Centipede Killers

*Shackup: noun. Orig.: "Shacking up," slang term of the previous century, which denotes a romantic relationship which has proceeded to the level of co-habitation without formal engagement or marriage. The 'shackup' is the person with whom one shacks up. Despite the negative early usage of this phrase, the noun has lost its derogatory connotations. It is often preferred over terms such as "domestic partner" and "significant other" due to its more conversational style, and is used in favor of "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" to denote seriousness of commitment and because of its lack of gender-specificity. Back

Posted by hilatron at August 15, 2002 04:57 PM

blah blah blah test.

Posted by: hilatron at August 15, 2002 06:09 PM

It looks like Murray has developed a taste for centipedes - finally! The other night, while I was sitting in one of the patio chairs that're serving as temporary living room furniture, Murray came wandering out of the bathroom with a dead centipede in his mouth, dropped it on the flood, promptly picked it back up and chowed it right down. Apparently he needed better light before he could sit down for a snack. Well, it might have been that he couldn't stand being in the bathroom either, 'cause whatever he'd done had grossed me out from three rooms away. We need to stop feeding him Juicy Meat (wet food) every morning. ;]

It's good that he's eating those things, since it'll thin out the population, however, it seems they're migrating from the bathroom to the bedroom now. Won't that be exciting?! When I get my ass in gear and put up my blog I'll give a full report on all of the hilarity which will surely ensue.

I shall now go look for something padded, to protect me from the upcoming beating I'm going to receive. =;-D

Posted by: Josh at August 21, 2002 02:53 PM

In Maui, you cut centipedes into at least four - immediately.

Since they travel in pairs and you kill only one, you must wonder if its mate is in its next life or lurking nearby.

No one said Hawaii is perfect. But, when its mate appears...chop, chop, chop.

The bite is nasty!!

Posted by: David at October 2, 2002 04:40 AM

See, now I must confess to being extra-super wimpy, because, if I'm not mistaken, Hawaii is host to real-deal centipedes, the kind that are hard and shiny on the outside and grow to 4 or 5 inches long. Yeah. Gack. My centipedes are the little Northeastern kind, which are much smaller, although they are (shudder) hairier than their tropical cousins.

So those little guys freak me out completely. I can only imagine that if confronted with a big old shiny-exoskeleton type 'pede unexpectedly, I would pee in my pants and keel over dead. I do hope you wear some sort of protective gear when facing these evil creatures, David. Don't let your guard down!

I suppose I'd better start rethinking my dream vacation...sigh.

Posted by: Hilatron at October 2, 2002 02:05 PM

Oh my goodness. I found this on Google, searching for info on a topic you can probably guess for a reason you can probably guess.

I don't own a cat, but the rest of your story is exactly what I've been going through.

So the boric acid didn't help?

Posted by: tps12 at October 23, 2002 08:33 AM

Well, it's difficult to say whether the boric acid helped or not. Activity seems to have died down somewhat (although we still see the occasional beastie), but that might just be due to the fact that the little fiends have realized that the place is inhabited and are avoiding us. However, boric acid helps kill other bugs, which will make your place less appealing to centipedes, so it's probably worth a try. Good luck, fellow sufferer!

Posted by: Hilatron at October 23, 2002 05:51 PM

We have our yearly battles with them, too, and man, they freak me out. I nailed a big one the other day on the back of the kitchen counter, and it just wouldn't stop twitching.


Posted by: Scott at November 13, 2002 10:10 AM

Aloha from Maui!...
Living Upcountry has its good and its (6+ inch centipede) bad. Two days ago we killed a bomber...tonight, his "partner" was picked off in my 14 yr olds bedroom. Which, I might add...he refuses to sleep in. We just moved into this house...and the high grasses around have just been clipped. PLEASE .......send ALL info for ANY ideas to keep these big'Uns down.I'm even ready to turn my head, and use PESTICIDES.... lol......any help ASAP. Mahalos... Ann

Posted by: Ann at November 16, 2002 02:59 AM

That was the funniest thing I've read today!!! I found your site searching for "centipede traps." My apartment is not infested, but my matress is on the floor and sometimes I GET SCARED FOR MY LIFE!! Boric acid and some ant traps? Don't mind if I do!!

Posted by: kim at December 12, 2002 09:00 PM

I feel like I am no longer alone in the world!! Ha ha! I just moved to Hawaii and came face to face with my 1st centipede 2 nights ago. I have not had a good night's rest since! I just got 2 little kittens cos my husband is off at war someplace. Aren't they dangerous to cats??? This ghastly creature was 6 inches long! My cats are like 2 lbs apiece! I got them out of harm's way and chased the thing around the house with a useless bottle of ant spray. Then I got the grand notion to suffocate it to death. How do I guarantee to never see another? I miss the mainland.

Posted by: Kate at February 25, 2003 04:00 AM

Centipedes...all I had to worry about in California were snakes and scorpions. Here in Kauai, these varmits bite and run away. Whoever heard of that! Yes, they do like the bedroom too. A suggestion is to check out the bed thoroughly before sleeping in it. Check pillows and pillow cases. I know of people who have been bit and found the bug hiding in the pillow. There might also be a relationship between the type of women's perfume and pine-sol. They seem to be attracted to both. I am still searching for that super spray that will kill them and keep them out of the house. They hate gasoline but you can't be spraying that all over. Buy a good pair of cooking thongs, preferrably the long 11" kind. Don't forget when killing them, cut the head off. Then you can flush them and not worry about it mutating (which they don't).

Posted by: dakine at March 13, 2003 09:22 PM

Aloha, yeah these up country centipedes are big mesured on last night, 7 1/2 inch. after it chased me off my patio... got to pay to live in paradise.........

Posted by: annie at March 14, 2003 05:56 PM

I've had two bad incounters with centipedes in my basement. I live with my parents and that's where I sleep. What helped with my problem was bombing the basement. This can be really inconveinent and impossible for some people to do, but if you can, it's wonderful! Some bombs only take an hour, so you don't have to leave the house all day and they don't leave a mess. Others do, so watch the labels. Anyway, it will kill everything, so the problem will be completely solved for a while at least.

Posted by: Terri at March 17, 2003 06:03 PM

Here on Oahu it's the same thing, big buggers. We found they were actually walking in the front door, literally. Now when we go out the door, we have to check the door jamb. Found a baby yesterday curled up where the screen door is screwed into the jamb. Yuck. I hate to use poison but I may have to resort to it. Heard there are pellets you can sprinkle outside. It takes a TON of Blackflag to kill them and it's mighty smelly.
Don't cancel the dream vacation. In 30 years of living in Kaneohe, never saw one. Now in Mililani, we have them every few months. Doubt there's very many in Waikiki, so come on over!!

Posted by: Susie at March 31, 2003 01:44 AM

Ha, ha, ha! Great stuff!! Was doing a Google on centipedes because I was woken by a bite to the thigh at 5 this morning. Split seconds after waking my wife with "I think I've just been bitten by a centipede", we were both standing either side of the bed with shoes and slippers in hand. It turned out that there were TWO in the bed. The biggest was about 4 inches. I'm pleased to report that we pulverised the bastards. Unfortunately, I hadn't yet read your words of advice, and flushed them. So now we'll have nightmares about the mutant centipedes from the crapper...

Thanks for the info, now we know how to become obsessed by the beasts properly.


Survivor in Barbados

Posted by: David at April 4, 2003 05:21 AM

I have to agree with the thought of terrified to death by these mother f@#$ers! To anyone out there who fears snakes, think of it like this. You're in the room with a snake, you know it's in there because you've sighted it, however now it's managed to find the perfect hiding spot to keep you from destroying or ridding of it. Or imagine any other inhabitant of nature that brings chills to your spine, and place it in that same scenario. And there you go, now that we're on the same page I'll continue. It amazes me that god would put such perverse creatures in the world! They must indeed be reincarnations of mass murderers and the like. I don't live in Hawaii with the multilegged goliath beasts most of you are referring to, however, now I have no intention of ever going there. I would most likely soil my pants and manipulate the nearest feline into it's path. Nope, I'd rather spend life on the mainland knowing that even though I still face my nightmarish nemesis "pedes" that there are places where it's worse. I do have two cats who haven't done jack shit to any invader except for those damn orange japanese beetles now overtaking our region. As mush as I hate to see species go extinct, somehow I wouldn't lose any sleep if some prodigal ivy league mind found a way to kick house centipedes off the earth for good. I would be happy to contribute to any taxes or funding needed to carry out with such an operation as well. Over and out.

Posted by: EBOT at April 6, 2003 05:03 AM

Thanks--now I'm afraid of centipedes, and I haven't seen one in an inappropriate environment since I had to take a shower in a campground wearing my mother's wooden sandals so that I could actually step into the shower stall. Crunch crunch crunch.


Posted by: Lynn at April 17, 2003 01:12 AM

It is rainy season here on the big island and we are seeing the huge ones (6-8 inches) in our living room; one Monday and probably it's mate last night. The things just don't want to die. You cut them up in pieces and sprinkle borax on them and several hours later they still are wiggling around. They do tend to freak you out. We have been in this house only about 6 weeks and have seen half a dozen of them both in and out of the house. We plan to get rid of any piles of leaves and palm branches in hopes of minimizing the beasts. Also plan to spray or sprinkle borax around the place. Hope it helps.

Posted by: Linda at April 18, 2003 05:18 PM

This is the funniest thing I've ever read. I ran into my first mega house centipede last night. I'm actually from Hawaii, but living on the East Coast now. I thought was free from those beasts here but no. All year me and my roomie and bug eating cat have been killing the babies, thinking they can't get any bigger, this is easy, until we met the mother of them all last night. Both me and my roomie pride ourselves on not being weak women types, but we screamed in classic B-movie style last night. After repeated sandal bashing it died and the lazy cat only came in after the dead was done to snack on a leg or two.

Now that we met the mommy, I don't wanna see daddy.

Posted by: Sarah at April 21, 2003 12:51 PM


Posted by: at April 26, 2003 08:32 AM

Damn things!!! One never seems to be able to break free from the constant fear of where the next one is hinding! Like everyone else I find myself shaking all my towels, bedding and clothes for fear of those creepy crawlies that never seem to go away. I found one last night in a "Drunken" haze sitting next to a half eaten pile of borax. Just as I was about to pulverize him, he looked up with a sly grin and said, "Yo Brah this is some good S#@t!

Posted by: Joseph at April 26, 2003 09:36 PM

We have creepy crawlers here in Pennsylvania too. I just bought a home in Pittsburgh and got more than I bargained for...dozens of house centipedes. The grossest thing happened to me the other night. I got out of bed and stepped on one of the critters. When I turned on this light, there it was, twitching between my toes. This was followed by a loud scream and a shower. I want them dead.....every last one of them! YUCK! I have used shoes to whack them, but have found that a long handled broom works best. I'll try Boric Acid...or anything else that will work!

Posted by: Dawn at April 27, 2003 11:32 PM

My wife got bitten by one last night, sucka crawled into our bed and got her. After I killed the SOB i measured it. Thing was 7 and a half inches long. Not talkin story here. Hope i don't see no mo'


Posted by: Leon at May 2, 2003 11:38 PM

Just moved to Waipahu from Mililani and in the past week my roomates and I have found three 6"plus and one baby. We have found that once you chop 'em in two, be ready to chop again because the two halves move alot faster when separated. We also recommend burning the head with an oxyacetalene torch. The first one we killed, we left in 5 pieces on the lanai. When we returned an hour later, four of the pieces were moving independent from each other but the head was nowhere to be found. Perhaps this was the baby we saw. Probably explains why it just laughed at us while we were burning it.

Posted by: chris at May 4, 2003 04:41 PM

I thought I had a bad problem with centipedes! Mine aren't even in the house YET. I'm a Michigander so our 'pedes aren't like the ones I've been reading about here, but I did encounter one that was about 4" long. I never heard that centipedes bite. Is it just the HI ones or do the ones on the mainland bite too?

Posted by: Lynne at May 5, 2003 11:28 AM

Google search led me here. I just moved into an old house in PA last fall. We saw a few centipedes then, and now they're back! It freaks me out when they crawl on the ceiling. I see them up there, and I can't keep my eyes off of them--I'm worried they'll sneak up on me. Do house centipedes in the eastern U.S. travel in pairs, too? That is really creepy...

Posted by: Bec at May 6, 2003 08:58 PM

I live in my mom's basement in NY and we've been having major problems with them. The basement was just completely refinished and I've hardly been able to sleep down there or even spend time down there. I see them constantly. I've sprayed for them, but they still show up, some dead some alive. But I've been getting at least one a night. We have an appointment for an exeterminator to come tomorrow morning and we're signing up for monthly service. Hopefully that will work.

As for my cats, they don't help at all. In fact, they're terrified of them. Every other bug they will kill but they see centipedes and run under the bed.

Posted by: Melissa at May 9, 2003 10:56 AM

I live on Maui and have been plagued with centipedes for the last week or so. A week ago I fell asleep on the couch and woke when my right shoulder was tickling me. It was an 8 inch centipede. The largest I have ever seen on Maui(been here 20 years). Kauai does have bigger though on the North Shore.
Since that night I have killed two more as they scurry across the floor after entering through the sliding lanai door.
BIGGGGG tongs are the answer for catching, the toilet is the answer for getting rid of the pest. One time I was woken by my cat dropping his catch of the night onto my chest with his face beaming with pride... That was my first encounter. I smacked it with a hammer(I was remodeling at the time), didn't do a thing... grabbed a machette and cut it into pieces and flushed it. Those buggers are tough!

Posted by: Larry at May 11, 2003 01:06 PM

We saw our first one about 3 weeks ago. Having no bug spray, we captured it and tried to starve it to death. 2 weeks later, the damn thing was still alive. We finally used raid (ant spray kind) to kill it. There is only one small problem with that: they run faster when you spray them, so you have to catch them in a 5 gallon bucket and douse them. Spraypaint worked well too. Umm, I have had them lunge at me and chase me down when I sprayed them on the porch. We found 3 today, 5-6 inches long. Disgusting little monsters. Oh, talking to somebody who knew a bit about them, we learned that if you squash them, they give off a scent that attracts others. They also are attracted to shady areas so they come inside usually right after you mow your lawn. We just sprayed a grass killer everywhere. WE aren't afraid to use pesticides, or a .45 if necessesary. Ugh. Disgusting little monsters.

Posted by: Jeremy and Frances at May 12, 2003 01:22 AM

Oh Shit!!! I just moved to Hawaii a couple of months ago. I have heard of the little bastards but never had the pleasure of meeting one of the devil's advocates themselves. That is until tonight. That freakin' thing was red and orange and scary as hell!!! I'm am totally freaked out now and afraid to walk into my yard. In fact, it has gone beyond that, I can't even sit down comfortably on my couch or any where in my house with out doing a complete investigation and analization of whether or not the bastard could find enough 'warmth' in that area. Can these huge things creep into small crevices or possibly crawl under neath my garage door?? If you see one, does that mean another one just as big is always around the corner???
If only I could stop shaking.....

I want my mommy!!!!!!

Posted by: mindy at May 13, 2003 03:29 AM

ACK!! I just had my first encounter with one of these nasty creatures today!! I felt like a big woos until I came here. Glad to hear everyone else freaks out as much as I do. I will be trying the boric acid and possibly the bug bomb. Especially after hearing that they can creep into bed with you!! How disgusting!! Also hairspray does NOTHING to those terrifying little bastards.. just made him run faster! These are the days I definitely think I need my bf in the house at all times!!!

Posted by: Melissa at May 19, 2003 09:31 PM

I have been seeing them lately in my house here in Tennessee. I did not know that they bite until I researched them on the net. It was bad enough that they were ugly now I have to worry about getting bitten or even worse that my 18 month old will get bitten while playing on the floor. Yikes!

Posted by: Tiffney at May 23, 2003 12:14 AM

Aaaak! I just saw one in my kitchen sink last night. Trembling and too afraid to move I wimpishly called out to my wife as she slept away in our upstairs bedroom " Oh $#!% Help...Help!", I shouted but to no avail. After about ten minutes of jumping up and down in one place I ventured over to the sink and found the courage to grab the spray gun and flush it down the drain. I turned the garbage disposal on for good measure. Diiiieeeee you little ghastly 30 legged monster!!!

Posted by: kevin at May 30, 2003 12:41 AM

Did a Google search found you guys... I didn't know for sure if the small 'pedes we get in our house bite or not... Wasn't even sure if they were really centipedes... that is until tonight.! My hubby just got bit by one... So what do I do?.. I go online and search only to find they love humid warm environs... wtf??... That is the entire state I live in. GAAHH!!!!... Someone please help!...

Posted by: karen at June 2, 2003 02:12 AM

I have a nasty bite on my shoulder - and I don't even remember being bitten. Doctor says it looks like a centipede bite. It started out tiny - now (5 days later) it has spread to the size of an orange. It doesn't itch or ache - just grows and spreads, bright red and extremely hot to the touch. Apparently, it is seriously infected (I'm taking antibiotics now). There are no snakes and no poisonous spiders on Kauai, so everyone says it must be a centipede bite. Is it possible to be bitten by a baby centipede at night (while sound asleep) and not know it until the next morning? Should I be searching my bedroom for the critter? Anything else out here in Kauai that could produce a poisonous bite that small?

Posted by: Lenora at June 2, 2003 08:57 PM

Your post speaks to me in a way I cannot describe. I feel so...understood.

I'm currently at war with one living under my sink. I saw him this morning, but I can't get him to come out for the life of me. Damn these abominations!

Posted by: Hawke at June 3, 2003 10:58 PM

I found this site thru google search. I was looking for info on what they eat because I want to keep a 9 3/4 inch pede i found in SE New Mexico alive for a while. This thing is the devil. I freaked, but figured I could get alot of people who would have the same effect. ITS BEEN GREAT. I have it in a jar at work, Everyone who comes to my office is greeted by it. This thing is dark green, nasty and looks like it could eat someone. ewwwwwe. I think it could eat a cat or something. maybe a dog

Posted by: David at June 4, 2003 10:54 AM

Well now I know they travel in pairs...where is the other one! We found one in the house about 2 weeks ago and one this morning. Do you think they were partners?

Oh, and be sure to check your shoes...that is where mine was this morning.

Posted by: Tracee at June 4, 2003 04:32 PM

I can't believe there are sites like this one..I thought I was the only one TERRIFIED of the things. I used to keep a yardstick next to my bed, labeled "centipede smacker" in case I ever saw one. I used it so hard it broke, so now I must invest in another one. One night I didn't have my contacts in, and saw a grayish blur scurry across my floor as soon as I turned on the light...I went on a rampage, throwing objects in my room aside to try to get the centipede with my yardstick, completely blind the whole time. I must inform you, there are several races/nationalities of the buggers. There is the Reddish-Brown, the Gray, the Dull Brown, and the Scottish (yes! we once killed a gray one that looked plaid-patterened)!

Posted by: Kel at June 9, 2003 12:44 AM

This is awful, saw my first indoor 'pedes today. Your posts are feeding my hysteria. I am Buddhist and a natural health doctor... so killing and pesticides are not my areas of expertise!! I feel like I need to change my religion! Do you think the Dalai Lama feels compassion for centipedes??

And so far there is nothing natural about these creatures, thus no natural substance is able to deter them. No Centipede Away available on late night TV. I just don't know why they aren't at least as afraid of us as we are of would make things so much easier.

They know no fear. One just crawled onto my foot as I was sitting at my desk. We have seen several today, so I was already on alert. I felt the tiniest tickle and I shook my foot and was up dancing like I was on a hot griddle. The thing fell off and is hiding out under the subwoofer, waiting for me to become complacent. My home is no longer my own and I fear for my sanity. I cannot sleep and have begun to twitch at the every itch and scan the room every thirty seconds like a paranoid speed freak.

Posted by: Jess at June 10, 2003 06:08 AM

Ooooh, I am so sorry for you Hawaiians... I just saw a measly little Canadian centipede in my basement and decided to find out how to get rid of them. Now I'm not quite as concerned. Here in Canada they are about 1 inch long and confined to damp basements. I don't think I've ever seen one on the main floor. Next time I see one while doing laundry I'll just thank my lucky stars it's so small. Your stories are making me itch all over!

Posted by: Jen at June 12, 2003 07:32 PM

Ha! You have not bared witness to the centipedes of Okinawa Japan! I have been there myself and have heard many a horror story from the other U.S. Marines that get stationed there. They are easily 10 inches or longer, and are eerily clever. They're quicker than hell, and to the dismay of many a brave man easily survive the crush of a shoe. Before I went over there I had happen to catch one of those animal documenteries on T.V. and they showed one of those bastards taking down a bird! And then it took on a full grown Tarantula and won! Why would a bug need to be so powerful? I'm glad to be back in Cali now.

Posted by: Mindy at June 18, 2003 03:52 AM

I just had a run in with one of the buggers and had to come on line to learn more. I'm in Maryland and had to go to the bathroom at 3:30am. Usually if my 12 mth old is being extra fussy I take her with me and sit her in the bathtub. Tonight she actually stayed in her crib without screeming and that was when I found our visitor in the bathtub, yuck... I sprayed it with scubbing bubbles until it stopped moving and then washed it down the drain. I'm not sure that killed it but it is no longer in my tub.

Posted by: Kelly at June 18, 2003 04:15 AM

This is the funniest site. After reading I WILL NEVER MOVE TO HI!!!!! I have those F---ers in NY. I keep finding legs around the house. My cat is feasting on the bastards. BUT, I think she is being poisoned by them. She's having seizures. Vet said there is nothing wrong with her. Then tell me why she is standing like a statue and her eyes are rolling up in her head and she is twitching?? HUH? F

Posted by: Joann at June 20, 2003 12:24 PM

Kill them all! After yesterday's encounter I decided to try to find out why God would create a centipede? Live on Kauai on the dry Westside...have seen them and almost been bit by one on my pillow before! My boyfriend took his two machetes and chopped the seven inch fast mean one into many pieces...get the head first so they can't bite you. They are so ugly. My son is three now and I had all the neighborhood kids playing on my back porch.It's very clean and the grass is super short. I went to move a plant and there was a huge seven inch red-orange one. Thank God the bugga was too dumb to try to run. I ran and got the knives and my honey got him!! Yeah..another one down. Does he have a revengeful mate?I am ready for battle!My local friend told me it's old folklore someone is jealous of you if you have a centipede encounter.The price of happiness!!

Posted by: Alicia at June 21, 2003 04:12 PM

We've seen the big ones and have managed to put them outside using a broom, large cup and platform shoes. We don't believe in killing creatures, but are about to change our beliefs! Last night while trying to catch a cockroach in the bathroom with windex (just stuns them or drowns them), there on the shower curtain - you guessed it - a huge 7 inch brown centapede! I was so scared I just closed the door and put a towel under it. I waited for my husband to come home from work. We went in the bathroom armed to the teeth (broom, windex, large cup & my platform shoes), but it was gone. I couldn't sleep all night. We even have those sonic plug in thingys, the centapedes just dance to them! What to do?

Posted by: Annie at June 21, 2003 04:56 PM

I think I've found a clue to help in eradicating the things from the house. I was cleaning up some bricks on the grounds surrounding my house and out crawled a couple of centipedes. I think that's where they come from. So I'm going to remove the blocks, dry up the area and landscape the grounds to drain away from the house, put some diatomaceous earth, and then cover with limestone gravel. Then of course, I'll have to kill the ones that flee INTO my house ... but after that, they should be gone.

I Hope!

Posted by: Pentatone at June 24, 2003 01:28 AM

I tried the Jess the Buddhist approach about 20 years ago with the mosquito kingdom...I made an agreement that I would never again kill one if they would please leave me worked..pretty much...I spend time in the jungle and have only been bitten a couple of times in two decade's...rogue's no doubt...I tried the same approach with the centipede kingdom in Hawaii...went to a heiau and made an offering to assuage my mortal fear of centipedes...there was a tree growing through a giant rock and after prayers climbed the tree...about 1/2 way up, resting on a branch was a perfect walking stick just pearched, like it was waiting for me...I took it down and was sitting cross legged on the ground with the stick in my lap and as my wife walked around the rock I lifted it up and said 'look'...just as I lifted it, an amber, almost transparent, foot long centipde walked out of the stick and went under the rock...I figured this was a good sign and my prayers were answered...the next week we were on our island, Molokai, and went back side Wailau to camp. You float your gear into shore and I left my shoes on the boat. The few 'campsites' were in use so Annie decided we should camp in the hala grove along the beach. Talk about 'stupid haole'...we pitched our tent on a bed of lauhala fronds and walked around barefoot for the next 10 days...this area is the 'centipede hilton'...yet we never saw even one...another good sign...thank you, we are living in a rural area 20 miles from town and are trespassing in an indigenous eco-system that is terrifying to say the the moment I have a scorpion under a glass right outside the door - another moral deliema - where to take him...but back to the 'pede's'...our's are mostly the 6 to 8 inch variety..many of them are red..we all know what it means when mother nature paints something red...and many are brown with delightful orange markings...we have a few blue one in the foot long range...we are surrounded, outnumbered and at wit's end...the locals kill them...chopping them up into at least 4 pieces making extra sure to smash the heads into have decided to use the natural predator...we are surprised no one has mentioned this: chickens kill centipedes. Soon we will arm ourselves with these feathered far as the ones in the house are concerned I don't have much luck with the catch and release program...much too fast and cunning and way too many places to scoot...the locals also say that you can pick them up by grabbing them right behind the head...haven't worked up the nerve for that, yet...we also armed ourselves with the latest experiment of 'sonic' effect on these bad boys...keep us in your we are now older and not quite so courageous..

Posted by: Annie at June 24, 2003 06:29 AM

I crafted this comment especially for Jess the Buddhist and for Annie. But hopefully there's something for everyone here.

Ahimsa (nonviolence) I've practice since 1970; but as a Vedantist who visits India a bit more than the average American, I've picked up some cultural insight into how ahimsa works in a semi-tropical country where deadly fauna lurk underfoot.

Nobody in this life can be perfectly nonviolent. When you walk across your rug you're doing violence to untold numbers of microscopic creatures. In practice ahimsa really means "with the least violence possible." Ted Nugent's dictum of "kill it and grill it" is off the wall and out the window. But ahimsa doesn't therefore mean you have to share your bed with Scolopendra subspinipes. That's the scientific name for the Vietnamese Giant Centipede, or leach, which is what Jess and Annie and others are up against in Hawaii.

I don't know how this 'pede got a name fixing its habitat to Vietnam. It lives in Africa, India, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Japan, Hawaii and other hot places; in these different regions it has taken on different colorings (different even in the same locale). But whether it is orange-red, blue, yellow, white, or Chinese-dragon red and green, the leach (let me call it that, never mind Vietnam) is uniformly bad news.

Do an Internet search for its scientific name. You'll come up with horror stories of bites so poisonously painful that morphine was ineffective! The leach is the only 'pede known to have caused the death of a human being. On the Net you'll find a report of a Filipino girl of seven, dead because of a leach bite to her head. The leach kills children in India too.

Getting back to ahimsa: for theological reasons too arcane to get into, the many Hindus that I know in India who subscribe to ahimsa will not hesitate to kill a centipede, a scorpion, a poisonous spider or a poisonous snake. Let's just sum it up as plain common sense. Jess and Annie, you don't have to sacrifice common sense in order to respect all life. Remember, the leach is a potential killer, especially if there are kids around. I mean, is this really a moral conundrum: whether our duty to see that no harm comes to children extends to taking the life of a nearly foot-long lightning-fast wriggly 35-or- whatever-legged sneak with killer poison fangs?

Best way I know to deal with one of these your-worst-nightmares is to bring the back end of a flashlight (or something similar) down on the bugger's head with steady force--the idea being not so much to crush the head as to hold it fast to the floor. The little terror will stretch and strain itself on its legs in an attempt to back out from under the flashlight. This affords you an ideal opportunity for the next step. Take a penknife and as nonviolently as possible (so as to not make a mess) stab the leach repeatedly along its "spine." Then, still holding it fast with the flashlight, cut the head off. The leach won't die immediately (it never does) but it won't be able to move either. It certainly won't be able to bite with its head gone. Actually the fangs are just behind the head, so make sure you whack off a good portion of its neck.

But *only* cutting off the head will *not* stop a leach. Maybe it dies a month later from starvation, I don't know. But it will continue to run around even without a head. Its eyes are almost non-existent anyway, so what's the diff if the whole head is gone? These things possess some sort of diabolical sixth sense. They don't need eyes or a brain. You've got to stick the leach with a blade along the length of its spine. That discombobulates its motor nerves. By the way, the bleeding is negligent. No muss, no fuss. Yeah, true: you need a strong stomach to take out a leach this way. But steel thyself with thoughts of, "This little creep is a baby-killer." And that is no exaggeration.

Posted by: coram at June 25, 2003 02:04 AM

This post is for Coram! Thank you for the words of wisdom. Open season has just been declared on all scorpions and centapedes! I shall do the buggars in with as little violence as possible! I was starting to feel like a prisoner in our own home. This will help. Everyone here in Hawaii kills them and I shall be no different anymore.

Posted by: Annie at June 25, 2003 07:16 AM

Wow, this is turning into a downright support group here...I'd just like to reaffirm at this point that I am a cowering wimp, because the centipedes here are the house centipede kind, measuring one to two inches in length. Had I ever faced a foot-long centipede in my home, I would surely be dead of fright.

I'm glad it's okay to kill them, though coram's description of the act made me woozy with horror. And, to be honest, even if it weren't I would surely risk burning in the fires of hell just to have a little peace of mind.

Posted by: Hilatron at June 25, 2003 10:35 PM

A fun way to read about centipides, but believe me it is not fun when they bite you, I have been biten twice in my life both time while I was sleeping, one on the stomach and one in the arm...The most painful thing I had felt in my life, a burning sensation like hot frying oil. The centipide that bite me on the stomach measured 9 inches, I was 5 yr old, so imagine the traumatic experience for a 5 yr old!! The best way to kill a centipide, my own way, : Cut them in half, spray them with liquid fluid...and burn them alive!!!!

Posted by: jaime at June 27, 2003 11:27 AM

I live in India and I am searching for a non-violent (Ahimsic) way of getting rid of centipedes. I live in a house with a bautiful screened-in porch upstairs, which I like to sleep on. But much to my dismay, I have found many baby centipedes on the porch recently and this morning I saw the mamma. This cendtipede was only about four inches long, and brown, but I am not a big fan of these multi-legged creatures. I do like other arthropods, they eat the other bugs, but centipedes creep me out. I chased the centipede, trying to get it out the door but to no avail, he just disappeared. The (little red) babies were no problem, I just slipped a piece of paper under them and tossed them into the garden below but this big one was sneakier. I may boric acid but a friend suggested neem oil mixed with dish soap and water (1 tsp. neem oil, 1/4 tsp liquid dish soap and 1 liter of water). Apparently that works for other bugs and it is harmless to mammals. I know that neem is harmless because people in India, myself included, take it for digestive problems. I hope this method works to get rid of these little buggers because I am sick of looking at the floor and wall every 30 seconds. I do have one interesting 'pede' story though; a friend of mine was having problems with his bubblejet printer and he took it to a technician and when my firend, the technician and I openned the printer, we looked at the circuit board and there was a 10 inch centipede literally fried to it. I guess the 'pede' had wandered in because it was warm and when the printer was turned on, he fried the circuits and himself.

Posted by: Jarrett at June 29, 2003 09:19 AM

Interesting Stuff here. I didn't read all the comments, but I believe I have a unique way to kill common house centipedes. I get them in the bathtub overnight. Hot tap water from the spigot cooks them dead in just a few seconds - then down the drain they go. I'd complain more, but I think they just took care of a ladybug infestation for me - and an ant infiltration - and the beginnings of a little cockroach colony. Hey, if they can do that, they can stay awhile.

Posted by: Jim Pemberton at June 30, 2003 11:08 PM

Like many others, I found this site through Google, and I'm so glad I'm not alone on being freaked out by these damn things. I usually don't get scared by any sort of bugs, even spiders and such, but when it comes to these pedes' I have a cow. I'll do almost anything & everything to rid of them. Thanks so much for all the tips everyone. Good luck to all!

Posted by: at July 1, 2003 02:27 AM

Like many others, I found this site through Google, and I'm so glad I'm not alone on being freaked out by these damn things. I usually don't get scared by any sort of bugs, even spiders and such, but when it comes to these pedes' I have a cow. I'll do almost anything & everything to rid of them. Thanks so much for all the tips everyone. Good luck to all!

Posted by: Jordyn at July 1, 2003 02:27 AM

hello, centipede haters! I am sorta comforted by this site. I just had my first run-in. Been living in HI for a year now and haven't seen one yet, well that ended tonight. I am used to the stupid roaches, waterbugs, beetles, whatever you call them. I used to live in SC and those things were like pets, you could practically put a leash on the water bug and walk it down the street. Okay enough about that. I just wanted ya'll to know that I am no wimp. I kill bugs with the best of them.

Anyway I came home tonight and opened my garage door that leads into my house. Imagine my surprise when I see this "thing" run and I mean hall some arse across my floor. It then circled my entire room and tried to sneak out. That wasn't good enough for me bc I didn't want him to come back for more. So I RAIDED him. That stuff stinks to high hell but it killed him. He had a seizure for about 5 minutes but I keep checking and he is still dead!

Now that I have read this site I am a little concerned with the entire partner thing, is that really true? I didn't realize Ewa had such terrible bugs. It never even rains here. Ugh, oh well the search is on for his partner since I am sure not to sleep tonight.

Posted by: laura at July 1, 2003 05:53 AM

I live in Minnesota, so we usually don't have many bugs because the winters are too cold. I have seen about 10 house centipedes in my apartment in the year that I have lived there. I have tried dusting with pyrethum powder once a month, but I think they like it. I saw one that was so big, I knocked it over opening the door to the bathroom. I thought it was dead so I went to pick it up and it ran. My cat was scared of it and he weights about 17 lbs.

After reading this website, I am more terrified than ever, I don't even want to go home. How do you use the boric acid, just dust it or mix it and wash the walls and everything else with it?

Posted by: Christina at July 1, 2003 02:14 PM

And to think good ole' google spit me this page when looking for info on a northeastern type of centipede (small, hairy, and frail).

These types of centipedes I really have no problem with. They prefer dark, dry areas and they don't bite. They eat dust mites.

Pretty harmless, and non-intrusive (as the living area of the home is not their ideal habitat; they live in basements, the wall, or under the house).

oh well, back to my search.

Posted by: Ken at July 5, 2003 07:55 PM

Holy shit. First of all....What is with all the crap i've read about these things only being "up to 1 inch long" or "sometimes up to 2 inches long". In my house, they frequently are between 3 and 5 inches long. What happened last night tho....I thought was a dream. I was getting ready to go to bed, and plopped myself onto my bed. Up on the wall, remaining still, was a MASSIVE, and i mean MASSIVE house centipede (or I believe it to be one). Before I made my attempts at killing it, I just had to stand on a chair and put a ruler near it. It measured between 7 and 8 inches long not including that long lasso thing that sticks out. With that included, it was easily over 10. I didnt feel like I was killing a bug, but more like a big rat. First attempt was made by tossing a shoe at it, which hit it but dropped it to the floor still running quickly across the floor. It was the most unpleasant sight ever watching an 8 inch long bug running QUICKLY across the floor behind my dresser drawers. It came an hour later back onto the wall and I tossed a large book at it and it stuck to the book. I just put the book in the garbage, as legs of it were still stuck to the wall. It was incredible, and I sure never hope it happens again. *sigh* just thought i would share.

Posted by: Tom at July 14, 2003 11:30 AM

well, I look on to see what this nasty creature is and come to find out on maui there common and that just freaks me out. The neighbor told me to put clorox bleach on them and don,t plant anything next to your house. Well so much for planting stuff next to the house.

Posted by: at July 15, 2003 03:05 AM

well, I look on to see what this nasty creature is and come to find out on maui there common and that just freaks me out. The neighbor told me to put clorox bleach on them and don,t plant anything next to your house. Well so much for planting stuff next to the house.

Posted by: at July 15, 2003 03:05 AM

Listen people, first off I just want to say that I'm so glad not to be in Hawaii. Second of all, after moving to Georgia from upstate New York, I am having my first experiences with these crimes against nature.

These things are literally driving me to a state of insanity. I don't sleep at night anymore. I tend to sleep during the day and sporadically roam the entire perimeter of the apt. (floor and ceiling) at night. They're affecting my entire lifestyle. I get in bed at night and I can't even watch an entire movie without searching the surrounding walls, and ceiling. When I do get enough nerve to turn the lights off in the bedroom, I don't get out of the bed to go to the bathroom without my hand dandy flashlight which I use to survey the area around me. Entry into every room is prefaced with a strong push of the door and a very fast scan of the room. I tell ya' I got it bad. I'm petrified of the, as I call them, "F...... Bastards."

What I want to know is how can I get rid of them. Are they like roaches (indestructable), or is there some cure with FINALITY? I've tried all your suggestions to no avail. Help!! I can't continue staying up all night running around the apartment soaking the seams of my apt. with hundreds of pesticides and cleansing cocktails (basically whatever liquid product is most handy). I'll mix anything. One night, I killed one with a Scrubbing Bubbles appetizer, and a Mold and Mildew Remover entree. And then just to be sure, about a half hour later gave it a Lysol Spray dessert. As you can see, either they're going to be permanently eradicated from my living spacel or I'll probably toxify myself. HELP!

Posted by: Vivian at July 15, 2003 07:02 AM

Ok, It is 11:45PM and I should be asleep. But after reading all the posts I am totally creeped.
I saw a centipede in my kitchen an hour ago. It was big and brown and moved fast. I have not seen one in my house for a few years. I had to put shoes on just in case it decides to visit the computer room. Last time I poured bleach down my drains every week for a month till I did not see them again. It was suggestion by a coworker. Another coworker said they did not bother her at all and would see them on her ceiling... I wish I had her courage. I will stock up on bleach and boric acid tomorrow. I have Dobermans and one likes to catch nightcrawlers outside. I hope he does not like to catch centipedes like the cat I read about in this site.
Thanks for the humor about these horrid things. I better go check the pillows and sheets. I can't imagine much worse than one crawling on me in my sleep.

Posted by: Shirley at July 17, 2003 11:56 PM

I bought a product called Poison-Free today. The active ingredients are Mint Oil and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. I grilled the hareware store owner about what is safe to use. He told me he has centipedes in his home also which worries me if he can't get rid of them. I also took a look at a website called I may look for some glue board to stick the devils in one spot. I bought some boric acid also but the idea of crawling under sinks and such right now ... I am not in a hurry to do. I will also start pouring a cup of bleach down all drains weekly till I do not see another one. I also bought a plug in pest repeller for the computer room. I honestly think they work great for fleas since I have not seen a flea for years and I have several plugged in around the house. I have 3 big dogs and do not use chemicals on them or in them.
I wonder if there is a name for centipede phobia?
I did not make dinner tonight. I was not about to spend time in the kitchen in the evening. Maybe I will cook while it is still light out tomorrow and do the bleach in the drains right after. They must die or leave. Sigh.

Posted by: at July 18, 2003 11:11 PM

Hi, came across your site with a google search--just had them come spray again for the 'pedes. We live in Honolulu and I swear I had never seen anything like this until we moved here! FYI, if you need something that will kill them almost instantly, brake cleaner or carb cleaner, bout the same thing, but it will stop them in their track better than any bug spray we have tried. Good luck to all with the centipedes! UGH!

Posted by: Kim at July 21, 2003 07:32 PM

Google search as well. I had 3 sightings in 1 hour tonight! Ok, so I've seen a couple walking around the walls at night...maybe 5 over the course of a couple of months. Didn't really think much, and Tabby doesn't attack these things!
But tonight, I was up late (until about 2am) and was getting sleepy...getting ready to go to bed and I saw the biggest, fattest pede I've ever seen. I was scared for my life...the thing was walking on my wall, so I went to get some toilet paper, came back, and squashed the thing...didn't die! Squashed it again, and again, and again. It was HUGE! Flushed the devil corpse down the drain, and went back to the computer room. Of course, now I'm wide awake, looking around the room with paranoia, and 20 mins later, TWO more scuttled up the wall and onto the ceiling! It looked like they were talking and scheming something. Squashed them both, but can't get all the juice of the ceiling! I didn't know they bit until I went to the Orkin website tonight.
I will NOT sleep tonight, and plan on going to the store to get a bomb...maybe call a professional in the morning...wait, it IS morning! Die, devil bug, won't you just die?!

Posted by: div at July 23, 2003 04:38 AM

Woke up at 2:15am, looked in the computer room, and saw 2 devil beasts on the ceiling. I went to sqash them, but they both jumped off and onto the floor before they met Allah and his 72 virgins in paradise. This shows me they learn, as they must have seen me squish their brotherin last night. It's like the Terminator...they learn by watching, and there's not stopping them.
What kills these spawn of Satan? Please let me know...

Posted by: div at July 24, 2003 02:34 AM

Hahaha! These posts are hilarious!!! Especially since I am also being tormented by these nasty things, so I can totally relate to these stories. I stay up late every night, and sure enough I kill AT LEAST FIVE every night. Most have been babies and teenagers, but I have killed 3 that were MONSTERS. I think they are living under my dishwasher and stove, because I always see them darting back and forth. I feel like if I kill 5 a night, then there surely must be MILLIONS under there. Earlier this morning I had one crawling on me, but I freaked out and it went flying somewhere. EEK! Now I am too grossed out to eat. Too terrified to really do anything but scan the room around me. I am going to buy EVERY centipede killer out there and unload on them. I feel like they are taking over!!! HEEELLLPPP!

(I used to be terrified of spiders, but these critters have proven to be WAY worse, especially since they are so damn fast...and are ickier looking...!!!)

Posted by: pnkgrl99 at July 25, 2003 04:43 PM

Does anyone out there know if centipedes in Chicago can crawl vertically up furniture (i.e. chairs, clothes hampers, or my bed)? My mom assures me that they can't, but she may just be lying to get me to calm down!
It's a huge problem in my house because I honestly can not do the wash. I haven't done my wash for about 7 months, since "the incident"... I was in my basement putting wash into the machine and I saw a 2-inch long hairy centipede, with white, brown and green markings, on one of my sweaters. However, it was the day before Halloween, and my little sis had put fake rats and bugs all over the house for decoration, so I figured she had put it there to scare me... you can guess what occurred next. I went to grab it and go yell at my sister, and right as i touched it, it moved and scuttled away! AAAAHHH! Honestly, it was the scariest and worst moment of my short life. I am not a drama queen AT ALL, actually I'm a tomboy and play just about every sport you can name, but this incident honestly made me throw up and not sleep for 2 days. Now, seven months later,I am running out of clothes...

But the truly pressing matter is that yesterday I saw a smaller centipede UPSTAIRS in the bathroom next to my room!! If they ever came into my room I would die!!! My parents keep saying they can't move vertically, but this site has possibly convinced me oterwise! HELP!
1) can centipedes in chi town really crawl up my bed and chairs????
2) what can we do to get rid of them?

PS - we live in a foresty part of chicago, right next to one of the mayor's infamous "forest preserves..." we have like 30 trees on our property and a lot of greenery and bushes... could this be why we have centipedes? none of my friends have them.

Posted by: michelle at July 31, 2003 03:09 AM

wow...i no longer feel so alone! fear of centipedes goes far beyond the real thing. just reading ur description has had me in tears (swear to god) i have never liked centipedes (too many legs) but ever since fear factor i have been even more afraid. thank goodness i hardly ever see them, here in NY they are a lot less common, but let's just say i have scratched all future plans of a vacation in hawaii.

a few days before my birthday my brother told me he had a gift for me...i held out my hand and closed my eyes and in it my beloved brother placed two fake centipedes. not cool. they were fake...but very real looking. needless to say, after many screams and tears i told my brother i was disowning him. my friends all know how much i fear these SOBs...and now after this i'm even more afraid!!!!

Posted by: hillary at July 31, 2003 07:34 PM

like christina, i live in minnesota. we just moved into a huge house that would be great except for one thing: the centipedes. we dont see 10 a year. we see 10 a week. in my little "wing" of the house, im up till about 2 o clock and i see them nonstop. once we had 3 in our sink!!! i carry raid with me everywhere and it kills them, but the centipedes wont go away. i get house centipedes, and most of them i get are about 1 or 2 inches long. but i saw one in my basement that was at least 3 1/2 inches, and it's still down there. i havent had any in my bed, but they come from under it, and im so scared of them i cant pick them up after they're sprayed. i have dead ones all over my room. my mom thinks its because of leaves that are 50 feet away from our house in our backyard, but my dad and me think its just the area. luckily my cat kills them too.

Posted by: kevin at July 31, 2003 07:55 PM

Um...I was planning on moving to Hawaii...before tonite that is...wanna read something flipping hilarious & scary especially to us males?

Posted by: Tom at August 1, 2003 01:17 AM

Wow...i thought iwas alone in this. We refinished the basement and are spending more time down there, and wouldn't ya know i see them all the time. My husband doesn't think much of it, but i am severely freaked out...they MUST go. I am off to the store in the morning to buy everything under the sun that i think may help....after an encounter with the biggest one yet, i don't even want to go downstairs! I'm in western NY and the house 'pedes we have seem to be about 3 inches long, and just send a chill up my spine!! wish me luck!

Posted by: sarah at August 1, 2003 01:18 AM

Last Tuesday 03:00am.
It was a nice dream...warm massage by the brunette on my back.
Then I turned over and felt the sand turn into gravel...and then the gravel started to prickle...then the gravel started to bite.
The dreaming stopped as I leapt out of bed...switched on the light to see a brown streak of lightening shoot under the pillow of my lady.

There's no SWAT team in spain so I searched for the mozzzy swatter...ran round the other side of the bed and startled her dreams, me looking wild and shouting "get out of the way..." and proceeded to not quite kill the b*@@*r... all across the bed, wall and floor (the centipede, not the wife).
It went into hiding.
I'm not awkward with bugs and it was clearly not close to the Hawaii standard at only 4 inches, but it was fast, orange, ugly and keen on staying around.
Thurday 02.00am
New dream.
Trickling water down my spine...
It's BACK, on MY BACK. Faster, I was, this time.
Bed clothes (and nearly the wife) all in a big bundle...into the bath...and there it was...shaking its head at me.
Got it.
Into a jar, added a shot of Larios Gin: yes, straight, no ice. And watched it sink into oblivion.
Took a shot myself, straight, sank into bed a slept a little more calmly.
Sad to note... No more dreams!

Posted by: duncan at August 4, 2003 04:02 AM

Just found a good image...for those who haven't met one yet.

scroll down one screen.
shows a smallish one - multicoloured...psesumably a texas version.

Posted by: duncan at August 4, 2003 04:13 AM

Hi, my name is andrea and i have a fear of centipedes. It takes over my life. i have trouble sleeping because i feel they are everywhere. My fear prevents me from living a normal life. I was just wondering if anyone feels the same way, and is there a name for a phobia of centipedes? please email me at

Posted by: Andrea at August 4, 2003 02:12 PM

This is too funny! But all too true. I live in Maryland and just moved into the basement in my sisters house. She warned me about them before I moved in, but having never seen one before was unfazed. That was until last night. I saw one of those sneaky, creepy, creatures on the wall near my bed. I grabbed the fly swatter and Raid, surveyed the situation and attempted to hit the damn thing. A scream later that sent my two chihuahuas running to hide under the bed and it was gone. Oh where did it go, I searched and searched and couldn't find the creature. I know he is waiting for revenge tonight for the attempted hit on his life. I too couldn't sleep, put both my dogs on each side of me for "protection". I will be dusting with boric acid this weekend and sleeping with the Raid, shoes, fly swatter and flashlight near my bed. I wonder if I can get my old apartmetn back??

Posted by: Veronica at August 8, 2003 04:22 PM

Found this site the usual google way.... So at least we know we are not the only ones in centipede hell.......

Over the past two months we've been dealing with multiple centipede migrations. I'm not talking about one or to centipedes here... I'm talking centipede's numbering in the thousands on to of the exterior walls, and hundreds of them inside the house......

At first I thought I was hallucinating but then the crunch of the little beasties under my shoes brought me around. Have had the pest control people out three times... but the pede's are still here.... thought of trying a small thermo-nuclear device but that might p-off the neighbors.

Having to use a shop-vac to get their carcases from the floors, patio and carport....

Guess I can be thankful their not the 5" ones we see in the woods near the house.... If it were those I'd pack up and move out...

Posted by: Mad Max at August 8, 2003 07:35 PM

It's nice to know I am not the only one with centipede-phobia! Now, here's my question: I just moved a bunch of furniture from my mom's house in MN (stored in the basement, which I won't even go into because of the centipedes), to where we live in Northern Colorado. So... what should I do to rid the furniture of any possible hitch-hiking beasties? I have never seen a centipede in Colorado. does anyone know if they survive here? I worry they will take over my house if any survived the journey out here. We have no basement, thankfully, but I am still leaving the furniture in the driveway until I hear that it's safe to bring it inside. Help!

Posted by: nanr at August 11, 2003 04:37 PM

Just tonight I had a centipede bite my foot while
sleeping. wrong thing to do when i want my sleep. Got a insect spray can and looked for him high and low. Found him under the bed. He crawled out near the playstation. wrong move for him for I blasted him with spray. He crawled into the bathroom where I sprayed him again. He kind of stopped moving. So I took the can by the other end and smashed him in two and hit him a few more times until he stopped moving. Gave him his last surf ride down the toilet. If he becomes toxic centipede, I say bring it on. Lets see what you got. put some vinegar on the bite which seems to ease the pain. going back to bed now. nite.

Posted by: karl at August 21, 2003 09:02 AM

Just tonight I had a centipede bite my foot while
sleeping. wrong thing to do when i want my sleep. Got a insect spray can and looked for him high and low. Found him under the bed. He crawled out near the playstation. wrong move for him for I blasted him with spray. He crawled into the bathroom where I sprayed him again. He kind of stopped moving. So I took the can by the other end and smashed him in two and hit him a few more times until he stopped moving. Gave him his last surf ride down the toilet. If he becomes toxic centipede, I say bring it on. Lets see what you got. put some vinegar on the bite which seems to ease the pain. going back to bed now. nite.

Posted by: karl at August 21, 2003 09:05 AM

Why mess around. I get my sister to spray this super poison around my house and for the next year i'm vaccuuming up the soul-less Deviant's of nature. Trust me even though i may live a shorter life it's worth it!

Posted by: chang at August 26, 2003 02:41 PM


The sheer feer invoked by these creatures, who have survived so long, is just phenomenal. I can only guess that perhaps at one time, they were either deadly poisonous, or perhaps 30x their size, and we have the imagery burned into us.

As many posts above, I too find these creatures most tormenting and apt to have me break my neck panicking over them rather than calmly ignore, or slowly find the most solid object near me, the fastest, in the direction of the centipede.

How many first editions I've seen unbound post mid air travel to take a centipede out on the wall. How many holes/dents in the drywall have there been trying to take one of these out.

One of the better blogs this is.

Posted by: at August 31, 2003 08:14 AM

Does any one know about the lingering effects of centipede toxions?

I was bitten in Kauai at the end of June. Bite turned into a 50 cent size blister. I have a very vigilant immune system. So it shot into action and with in a week I had 20 plus blisters on both thighs and starting in my clevage and corner of my mouth. Predinisolone finally stopped that spread (after two weeks of treatment.

The doctor had to do a biosophy in order to determine what bit me. Results = centepide.

Now it seems the toxin has come to rest in my upper body muscels. The doctor has me back on predinisolone and it is helping reduce the pain.

I want to find out more information and how I can detoxify my body. Any ideas??

Posted by: Megan at September 1, 2003 01:22 PM

Is there something different in the air this year? After living in Hawaii for a little over 2 years and only have 2 centipedes in that time I have now had 9 centipedes just since May 2003.

Am I doing something to attract them? Locals tell me no. I do spray monthly outside around my house I thought that was helping but am now wondering.

Do they really travel in pairs?? If so I guess I have one more to find huh?? I've had 3 this week. The last two have been very sluggish when I found them so maybe the spraying is helping but they are finding their way inside now.

Luckly we've never been bitten or found them in our beds but we've also never had so many.

My cats won't catch them or anything. They actually go a little wacko when they find on in the house.

Posted by: Shari at September 1, 2003 04:19 PM

Got hit twice last night on the neck while laying down. In my anger, I grabbed the 6" centipede with my left hand and crushed it. Before it died, it gave me multiple hits on my hand which is swelled up to the elbow today (bad choice).
Being a Diesel Mechanic, I've found that Brakleen worked wonders in dispatching these critters and leaves no residue or smell. I've used CRC Brakleen on everything from centipedes to roaches with outstanding results. (Live on the Big Island).

Posted by: kelvin at September 2, 2003 04:10 PM

Glad to know I am not the only one!
Been in Honolulu for 8 months now and found our first centipede in the house on Saturday night. Relatively small around 3".
He must have been stunned by the cats cause he wasn't moving very much. I picked it up with tongs and put in a baggie full of Raid. I went upstairs crying and woke my poor husband (who had duty at 0400). I was so afraid that one of my cats had been bitten. I made him get up and help me check the cats who all turned out to be fine.
My husband was bitten a couple of times when he was in Hawaii last time. He said it was extremely painful. The price of living in paradise.

Posted by: Lisa at September 2, 2003 07:29 PM

It's so horrible! I am addicted to sleeping pills because these bastards are in my house! I go to my friend like a goddamn junkie and ask for his prescriptions, because I can't sleep in that house. I woke up next to one the other day!

Posted by: Beckie at September 3, 2003 08:19 PM

I actually went to the poison site first-my story is still so fresh for me--I want to tell you all I live in Hawaii--most of my loved ones/friends have been bitten--just today my 13 yr old son captured & released a 4"er--he said "Mom--they
're 1'000 times more afraid of us than we are of them--but I wonder......
I think of the story of my friend readihg in bed-seeing the thing rear up like a Cobra--
anyway my storyt is about the bite & it's aftereffects
I was bitten 2 weeks ago--my pain on that hight is
indescribable--after the burn was bone crunching agony followed by a week of icing/elevating--my foot
& 2 weeks after it got worse--my foot & ankle now look as tho they WERE broken--yes--I'm slightly
freaked out for my children mostly--I'm sure my reaction was allergic--but I'm curious about the venom--antibodies--etc.

Posted by: sherry at September 5, 2003 03:24 PM

I actually went to the poison site first-my story is still so fresh for me--I want to tell you all I live in Hawaii--most of my loved ones/friends have been bitten--just today my 13 yr old son captured & released a 4"er--he said "Mom--they
're 1'000 times more afraid of us than we are of them--but I wonder......
I think of the story of my friend readihg in bed-seeing the thing rear up like a Cobra--
anyway my storyt is about the bite & it's aftereffects
I was bitten 2 weeks ago--my pain on that hight is
indescribable--after the burn was bone crunching agony followed by a week of icing/elevating--my foot
& 2 weeks after it got worse--my foot & ankle now look as tho they WERE broken--yes--I'm slightly
freaked out for my children mostly--I'm sure my reaction was allergic--but I'm curious about the venom--antibodies--etc.

Posted by: sherry at September 5, 2003 03:25 PM

I have been travelling to Barbados West Indies for over 15 years and never encountered a centipede until this August when I was bitten twice in a 7 week span. I was bitten the first week and ran to the internet to search pain relief remedies and to see if I would live! Ice was recommended and baby rash ointment which I must say I don't take with me on vacation trips!! My Rastafarian friend suggested to put raw onion immediately on the bite. Although this thigh bite swelled a little like a bee bite and hurt it didn't last very long.

The second bite by a 6" long one on the last morning at our apartment in Barbados had me in dire pain and agony. We were on the way out the door to head to the airport at 6am when I was half asleep when the evil creature ambushed me. I frantically grabbed ice and raw onion and tried to practice yogic breathing on the way to the airport. Nothing helped.

The understanding airline staff in Barbados were sympathetic and brought me a wheelchair as my foot had swollen up like a balloon. It was swollen enough to cause a stewardess to recommend calling the paramedics to check it out when we landed in Miami, which we did. I could not put my shoe on or walk on the foot. The bite was on my big toe but my whole foot felt like it was bitten thousands of times. 2 weeks later I still have the bite marks. I was in so much pain that I cried for nearly the whole 4 hour flight to Miami from Barbados.

To add insult to injury our connecting flight in Dallas was cancelled due to bad weather conditions. It took us 24 hours to get home to San Diego, CA when it usually take about 12 hours.

There were many centipedes that we did kill inside of our apartment. They were all long at least 4-6" and when they were sliced in half by our handiest weapon a pineapple juice can, they still continued to wriggle around for a long time. We heard that bites from pregnant centipedes are even more painful which I cannot imagine. The pain of the last bite had me wanting to cut my toe off!!

Don't centipedes have any natural predators? I will never let my guard down again in regards to centipedes but I will not stop going to Barbados. By the way I saw Barbados Giant Centipedes for sale on the internet. Who the hell wants to buy centipedes to infest the rest of the world??

Posted by: Karen Brown at September 8, 2003 06:48 PM

Yes to nanr, there are definetily Centipedes in Colorado. My landlords forgot to mention that before I moved in to my house about two months ago. Now I am in the basement and don't think I will sleep again until I move. Although this is my first run in with them in 25 years of life. I thought they were some evolved creature that ALREADY mutated. I always thought cockroaches were supposed to be the fastest damn bug, but I guess something has to move faster to catch and eat them. The Centipedes in my house are only 3-4", but they still scare the hell out of me, and as far as Colorado standards I don't think we have a bigger bug. After speaking with the Lord of the Manor she said Lysol works great and melts the legs off the bastards fast. The fact they run in pairs tells my they believe in family values, and that sucks because I only got one and it was probably the male! So now I am going to have the widow and all the children out for vengence. At least now I have more insight on how to battle these F----rs. I will not stop until all have been destroyed!! There aint going to be any Shock and Awe for these terrorists. Only cold blooded murder, and heartless persistence! To hell with all you peace loving hippies, and your personal dilemmas about killing one of gods creatures. Right now it is kill or be killed. It is bad enough everytime I go outside I am itchy and twitchy from fear of a mosquito bite and getting West Nile. Now I got to be that way inside too! The one good thing is, now I don't look at Hawaii as this perfect place on earth. I heard the cost of living is too damn high anyway! Well I am glad I found this site (through Yahoo), because no one ever seems to feel my pain and grief on the subject. Now at least I don't feel like I am all alone. Thank you everyone for being as or more neurotic than me!!!

PS How the hell do you take moisture out of the basement?

Note to self, get bug bomb, starving cat, balsamic vinegar, Boric acid, .45, and fix leak in basement.

Posted by: Ben at September 10, 2003 07:32 PM

I like many of you live in Hawaii. I am a military wife and previously lived in the deserts of Arizona. When my husband told me we were stationed in HI I thought it would be such a wonderful opprotunity for my family. We have always wanted to visit and now we get to live there.
I have been faced with black widows, rattle snakes, scorpions, and many other poisionus creatues - Arizona homes a lot of dangerous bitting things. When I saw my first 10 inch almost black shiny coated monster in my yard I almost couldn't move. My neighbor killed it and told me I need thicker skin to live amongst these pedes.
I love being a military wife but I can't wait to move back to the main land.... only two years and seven months left on this tour.

Posted by: Lisa at September 11, 2003 04:56 PM

In fascination/horror I read all these posts. I have been extremely afraid (terrorized?) by centipedes (even their name is awful to me) since childhood. I grew up in NJ in a house that seemed filled with them. All types and sizes. But I see now that had I grown up in Hawaii, I'd been in worse shape, psychologically speaking. As it is, I'm still traumatized by the ones I've seen. Frankly, I just can't imagine being able to live in a place where they grow to be 10 inches long, can shimmy up bedposts and crawl into your bed and deliver horribly painful bites. I think I would never get any sleep! I found these posts while doing a search on centipedes to see if knowledge of them would somehow lessen my fear. Instead, my fear/distaste/horror is now even greater!!! (Though I thought Hilatron's story at the beginning of these posts was hilarious...boy could I relate). Sometimes I housesit, and this house I stay in has alot of centipedes. Smallish ones (though still scary) but one time I saw a horribly huge one downstairs in the finished basement. It was moving and writhing on the wall and looked dark brown, extremely huge and more like an outside centipede. I told my brother about it, and he would not believe that I saw one that huge. Now, everytime I have to housesit there, I feel afraid. It used to be I couldn't even get close enough to them to kill them, because then I'd have to see them up close! I'd see one, then stay on a chair with my legs drawn up for a long time, shaking in fear. It would take awhile for me to get over it! Now, if I see one, I can manage to throw something heavy at it, like a book. One time I burned one to death in the sink with hot, scalding water. Killing them is upsetting to me. I do want them to die, because they upset me so much, but in killing one I feel like I'm somehow turning nasty and perverse and bringing on the "revenge" of other centipedes! Which is crazy, I know. And I certainly think deadly poisonous, tropical ones should die If they inflitrate someone's house. But I do think my fear of them is as worse, if not more so then the actual creatures themselves (excepting the monsters found in the tropics...those I could never learn to live with)! Well, I don't know if I'll ever get over my fear. The thought on one crawling on me sickens me and strikes terror in my soul. Just seeing one, tiny one is enough to throw me into a tizzy. I probably have gone on too long, but I never had the chance before to put into words my terror of these creatures. They truly are the stuff of nightmares (which I had plenty of when I was a kid).

Posted by: Anonymous at September 12, 2003 09:59 AM

I live in MI and am just calming down after a fearful night of terror in which I tried to kill a 5'' pede after builing up courage by staring at if for a full hour only to have in fly off the wall straight towards me and then dissapear. I searched high and low but the monster had vanished. The very next day (through dazed sleep deprived eyes) I saw it slither across my living room floor. Again I chased the bastard, this time determined to pulverize him, only to have him dissapear once again under my stove. The war continues.

Posted by: at September 12, 2003 01:23 PM

Thought you all might be interested in/horrified at this. While trying to figure out what exactly I was dealing with, I found this picture of a centipede. This looks EXACTLY like the ones I have in my apartment in Minnesota. Most of the 'pede pictures you see online are of the huge red ones in Hawaii or wherever, but if you live somewhere northern, here's a picture for you:

Posted by: stephUMN at September 23, 2003 01:37 PM

Aloha Everyone...

When I was eight years old, I saw a Centipede crawl into my bathroom as I brushed my teeth... I freaked out big time! Screamed like a girl, parents came running. BAM. Traumatized for life.

I'm 29 years old now and still terrified of them! Born and raised on Maui, I have seen many many many of them! =( When a centipede appears, I am the first one running out of the room!!!

I have seen a Centipede bite my father's foot, and I remember how sore it looked. People who are unlucky enough to have been bitten by one have huge black-and-blue sores that last for days.

Everywhere I walk, I am always on the lookout for those buggers. I can handle spiders, scorpions, and those gigantic cock-a-roaches we have... But once I spot a multi-legged worm-looking thing crawling around, I am eight years old again, screaming like a girl... I think I may need therapy or something. =(

Posted by: Travis at October 2, 2003 12:39 AM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! These are the funniest Blog entries I've read in months.. maybe of all time... which is good, because I need a bit of comic relief as I sIt in my mom's basement, with all the lights on at midnight, with my sandals still on and checking the floor every 90 seconds. This sucks! I just moved back from Chicago to go to grad school and find myself staying in my mom's newly renovated basement. I was delighted to the apartment-like envrionment of my new bachelor's pad (this place used to be one of those dungeon basements I was convinced where Freddy Krueger lived as a child)... unfortunately the neighborhood centipedes were impressed,too! HELLLP!! I'm a 6'1" tall Afro American athelete and can take my share of pain on the field and in the gym, but centipedes make my skin crawl. YELCH!! I feel like Ripley and Newt in that movie ALIENS, for crying out loud! (...and by the way in that movie, I have more in common with Hudson, the dependable, yet more fragile and frantic Marine). ..and get this! I set off a bomb only a week ago. Today I picked up my box of pizza to eat the last slice and something rolls across the box! YIKES!! I threw the box down on the table asap. As I regained my composure, I reasoned with myself, that the apparition was only a loose piece of sausage. Thing is... I did not order any sausage on my pizza! I opened up the box (with a fork).. nothing.. A sigh of relief.. for good measure a jolt to the box... ARRRGHHHH!!! That little bastard was hiding!! Just like in ALIENS! I thought, "Quick! What would Hudson do?" I ran for the RAID shrieking like a little girl the whole way. Upon returning, my little visitor was mysteriously no where to be found. One more jolt to the table. A-ha!! Got ya now my little fiend!! After a short 20 second burst of RAID, I stopped to observe damage inflicted on the enemy. That little resilient little bugger! He got another foot or so before my hit set in. He squirmed for another five minutes before he curled up and bit it. Such tenacious creatures. Thing is.. I don't know if he died from drowning or the actual effect of the RAID., I think I took approximently 90 days off of my life with that wild, indiscriminate M-16-like burst of fire. I can't keep doing this, or I'll be dead by 40. I almost admire their toughness... moreso when they're all dead and not in my apartment. I do find solace in the comfort that I am not alone, people. ARGGHH!! YOU SNEAKY.. NOO! NOOO!!! ASLKDFJASODPFASDIF GJ G'0Q3JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ

Posted by: Terry at October 10, 2003 12:38 AM

(cont.) ...seriously, though. This isn't funny in the end. At least in the movie ALIENS, Ripley and the marines had some kick*ss weapons. After several cameos by these things I looked up MILLIPEDE in my childhood ENCYCLEOPIA set. Picture.. uhhh nope! My imposters look a lot more intimidating. I should be so lucky... CENTIPEDE.. hmmm... DAAHH!! I swear the centipede in the photo was laughing at me. One scurried outta my bookbag the other day as I opened it, too! YELCH!! I have a surmountable fear of these monsters, but I'm more pissed off than anything. My nightly bedtime routine now includes a 10 minute ritual of removing and shaking all of my bedsheets, covers and pillow cases. I'm calling the professionals this week. This can't go on. ...and yes... on my table lies a 18-pack of gelcap maximum strength Unisom sleeping pills. ...sometimes it's wine or beer. I'm going crazy.

Posted by: Terry at October 10, 2003 02:38 AM

I have been around biting, stinging, and even whipping, snakes and scorpions and iquanas centipedes about all my life and they don't usually bother me much, but picture this one. I and my wife are in bed late one night and we hear a sound of something climbing up the curtain, after a few moments of wondering what it could be, I turned the low watt night stand lamp on and got up thinking it was a yellow snake that I had seen in the yard and was using some pipes stored there as it's condominum. I didn't bother putting on my glasses and there I was in my underwear nearly blind and in very low light shaking the curtain to dislodge the snake to take it back outside. What I dislodged was a very large and agitated centipede, and it wanted to get under something and that would be me! I looked for a weapon to stop its attack and what I picked up was one of my wife's high heels. That shoe sounded like a jackhammer, but without my glasses and in the dark not many hit and those that did just made that thing go faster. I finally got in a mortal blow and disposed of the evidence and went back to bed wishing it had been the snake. No doubt that thing had backed me down, but my wife still raises the landing gear and yells for me when they get in the house. The only other bug to do that to me was the harmless solifugid.

Posted by: Frank at October 21, 2003 11:38 PM

I may never sleep again, my god.....i feel like im stuck in a horror son found 2 last night in the front bathroom.....and another in the hall they bathe??...we used a flashlight and searched the whole house...didnt see anymore.....then tonight...i find one in the entryway...waiting to be stepped on by my barefeet,he now resides in the vacume cleaner bag..we just moved into this house a few weeks ago......the day we moved in we found a huge dead one in the kitchen...we had the house sprayed 2 times...the ones we have been finding are fat little buggers about 1 to 2 inches long and one tiny one...I and dad must be lurking about somewhere ready to pounce on me as soon as a sleep or step a barefoot on the these things nest?.....lay eggs?..give birth??..are they poisenous? diabetic.....enough of a strain.....with out dying from a "pede" bite on the even afraid to use the jacuzzi for fear one will be hiding out in one of the water/air jets and come flinging out at me even faster than they usualy sure id break my neck trying to scramble out of a wet bathtub and escape the dreaded creepy crawly...i heard something a few years back.....about diotomacious earth...not sure if thats spelled's the stuff thats used in pool filters...anyhow...i heard if you put some in one of those little plastic ketchup bottles you can buy at the dime store.....the kind you fill yourself for put this earth in it...and ...crawl around......and fill all the cracks and crevices,nooks and crannies with it.....all the while keeping a watchful eye out so the pedes dont zoom out at you and give you cardiac arrest....ive heard this stops roaces...wonder if it would work for these nightmares on 30 legs?..something about it sticking to insects and doing something to them? willing to try...maybe these guys got lost on there way to Hawaii??.....cuz this is sunny California...we have snakes and spiders and earthquakes..serial killers...isnt that enough???

Posted by: Rose at October 22, 2003 02:32 AM

I am looking for the largest centapede on earth

Posted by: at October 30, 2003 08:07 PM

While in Maui on my recent Honeymoon (10-25-03) I was bitten by one of these evil bastards. One book I read had a very accurate description of the pain I endured from the bite- like a moderate gunshot blast. It was unreal. Two days later (following icing, benedryl and countless doses of tyelenol) me and my big swollen (red and turning a disturbing shade of purple) toe and foot were in the emergency room. The doctors said my foot was now infected and I received IV and oral antobiotics. The lesson I learned was NEVER to walk barefoot at night in Hawaii- NEVER.

Posted by: CaraLynn at November 8, 2003 02:28 PM

I am SO glad to have found this very supportive site, and I am SO glad that I live in the N.E. US, and our centipedes don't get that big! But I still can't STAND them! We have a lot of them here at work, for some reason. There was one in my office today(shiver). Couldn't work with the d--n thing there, and I was too chicken to kill it, so it finally ran into the radiator and now I've been twitching all day thinking that it is crawling on me! Can't wait to go home! I have handled tarantulas, all kinds of snakes and lizards. The only things that TOTALLY freak me out are centepedes and scorpions!!!!! Needless to say, I will NEVER go to Hawaii!

Posted by: Diane at November 11, 2003 02:35 PM

Talk about kindred spirits!!! I'm one of the Michigan people, about to have a seizure or pop a gourd out of my head from these centipedes. Hawaii is definitely NOT in my future plan to visit (sorry guys!), but I'm not much happier here. Can someone please tell me HOW to use the boric acid and where do you get it? Is it the same as Borax???? My story will be coming along soon........since 1997....a can, a plan, and some land......Thanks, June

Posted by: June at November 16, 2003 03:46 PM

I have really bad news for all of you wonderful centipede haters- There is no escape!!
Its the middle of November, its 8 degrees outside, and I'm in ALASKA. Sitting on my sofa, eating Cheetos, and watching football I was a little suprised to see my golden retriever stareing at something on the floor. I get up to see what his problem is and guess what I find walking across my carpet? Thats right I was looking at all my fears in the form of a 1" worm with legs. It went into the kitchen, and luckily having grown up around bugs, I jumped into action with a little plastic cup. There he sat, trapped, with his two little antennae poking out from under his plastic prison. I tried for 45 minutes to gather the nerve to lift up the cup and smash the life out of my new found mortal enemy. I considered waiting for my girlfriend to come home from work but quickly decided that i didn't want to spend the next 8 hours thinking about the monster in my kitchen(and she would have a good laugh at me). I went into my closet and returned with a knife and a can of WD40. I stabbed a tiny hole in the top of the cup, inserted the red straw the comes with the can, and I let him have it for about 30 seconds. Overkill to say the least. He is dead and still sitting on my floor, a testament to me being better than him and a signal to all of his little friends. Thats when the horrible irony comes in. I go to Google, I research centipedes, I come to this website, and suddenly my big plans of escaping the colds of Alaska and relocating in Hawaii this summer may have been ruined.
Thanks for giving me a place to vent and tell my story.

Posted by: buck at November 17, 2003 01:00 AM

So Alaska has centipedes too? I'll bet they wear little jackets. OK, so HOW do you use the boric acid??? As a powder? As a paste? Right now I have sprayed outside the house in my black boots, black rubber gloves, and winter jacket with some pyrethrin derivative. It did cut the # down but will probably kill me. So we can get a man on the moon but we can't get centipedes out of a basement??????

Posted by: June at November 18, 2003 04:06 PM

I have just made my new year's resolution...I will see the end of this centipede problem. I live in Indiana and the weather has stayed around freezing. Still the cendipedes are everywhere. For those of us that live in the northern United States I have some information that may be helpful. The centipede that lives in all of our homes is referred to as Scutigera Coleoptrata, the scientific name. It is the only centipede that spends its entire life indoors. Gross! Searching for these beasts under the scientific name will hopefully be as helpful to you as it was to me. I have placed dehumidifiers throughout my house and have killed all the other insects in my house with chemicals. Sorry to all of you who are nonviolent. Also, I have two german shepards who I have trained to kill bugs on sight. After a few tastes of these centipedes my dogs have refused to even chase the criters. I have read that besides biting, they also taste terrible. Good luck to all who haven't been sleeping due to torment of these bastards. Remember... you are not alone.

Posted by: Evelyn at January 6, 2004 05:44 AM

GARBAGE DISPOSAL THEM! A chinese person said they use a white chalk. I asked another chinese person about it while in Hilo, but the person said, if you get that, you can be fined 15,000.00.Damn!! It's some real bad stuff. Let's quit with the talk story,,how do we exterminate!??

Posted by: Linda at January 21, 2004 01:18 AM

This was interesting. I caught a 3" baby in one of the bedrooms at 6AM. I live on Kauai, the Garden (Centipede) Isle. It was a redish-brown color. I was able to shuffle it into a glass Mason bottle with hurting it. These damn things are incredible. It survived 3 weeks with no food or water, sometimes no air as I sometimes forgot to open the jar cover. Every night at 1AM, it starts trying to climb up the glass. So I left the bottle at a 45 degree angle. It crawled, slid down, crawled, slid down for the next 30 minutes. Imagine a 3" one hiding in your house for 3 weeks. I can even imagine a 8" or 11" one. They probably last 3-6 months. Maybe someone knows?

Posted by: dakine at January 30, 2004 12:00 AM

The St.Croix VI variety of centipede is a long lost cousin of the Hi. species. We've been to both places and the cotton pickin critters are bilingual as well as fast. Living here in STX we capture the big ones and store them in pepsi bottles filled with Johnny Walker Black label scotch. Keeps them pretty docile but I'm sure this pair want to share the same storage container. By the way if your bitten by them here then you soak the wound in Ammonia. Believe me it works. Else the bite area from the VI species will, in the case of a bare toe, feel like every bone is pulverized within 2 minutes of said inflicted bite. Welcome to the Caribbean, mates.

Posted by: Jim and Leeandra at January 31, 2004 02:52 PM

Except for one or two people, most of these "solutions" miss the point - running around with a can of brake fluid or the like trying to 86 one of those uglies is way too complex and a little more than a tad dangerous.

As noted here and there, on Kauai we got da big kine bra , and get a lot of quality practice time offing the ones that show up where they clearly don't belong - like bedrooms and other human occupied zones.

Anyway, the thing is,when you see one scuttling around in one of those human zones, just throw something like a magazine or towel on it - this will make it stop, thinking it is safe for awhile -allowing you the time to get your hot dog/hot bottle tongs.

Once in hand scurry back,carefully move the covering object, grasp the bug firmly and with great attention and care and toss into eternal flame. If you don't have an eternal flame yet, don't despair, head for the garbage disposal and carefully yet forcefully, hurl bug into rotating jaws of death - both are permanent and satisfying conclusions to Bugs Gone Wild and something every one can do.

Posted by: mike key at February 10, 2004 01:05 AM

I love centipedes, in all the 3/4 of a billion years they have been here, they havn't changed much. Only one species of pede has a death linked to it, the little girl who was bitten on the head. Like scorpions, they glow under a black-light, making them easy to find. A species of pede can reach 13". I might buy the "big" one.

Posted by: Mike at February 22, 2004 11:50 PM

What do centipeds look like, good write up on them
thank you.CLB

Posted by: Curtis L. Browning at June 1, 2004 11:36 AM

I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!! I have killed several of these bastards before, but now it's on. Tonight my curious (and apparently fearless) 2 year old daughter decided to pick one up. Her hand has swollen tremendously. Fortunately there was no allergic reaction. Tomorrow the house gets bombed followed by the yard and carport. After the clean up of dead bug and hopefully centipede carcasses, I'll be recaulking the entire house and laying boric acid. If anybody knows the natural predator for these things let me know.

Posted by: martin at June 5, 2004 06:57 AM