What is the creepy crawler in my presence?

Home Inspector with NCW Home Inspections, LLC

What is the creepy crawler in my presence?

Wenatchee Home Inspection


What is this little bugger that is covered in legs, with a black to greyish-white colored body (they can also be yellow)? Their legs with a flurry of movement surround their body and propel these little creatures in quick, darting motions. Though Centi means a hundred these guys only have 30 legs consisting of 15 pairs of banded legs.


So what is it? The answer is the House Centipede. I run into these guys fairly frequently when and performing the crawlspace part of my home inspection. Typically I get the “what the heck” jolt from them as they make their darting movement to try to get out of my way and hide. I am always messing with their habitat it seems

As creepy as these guys are they are actually beneficial. The House Centipede will feed on cockroaches, spiders, silverfish, carpet beetle larvae, firebrats and other small arthropods. Like many predatory house insects they are there because their food is there. So one way to control them is to reduce their food sources.  You can use sticky traps as a way to monitor what other insects are present that they are feeding on. Additional measures is to clean and dry up those areas in the living spaces to reduce their presence. If they are a concern to you, you can use insecticides designed for indoor use.

Technically, the house centipede could bite, all centipedes have poison glands and the means to inject their venom, but they are considered harmless to people.


So if you see one of these creepy little guys scurrying around think of them as bug wolves cleaning up some other more unsavory insects.




“Creepy is better than just plain scary because you can't look away from creepy - you want to know the truth!”

Ransom Riggs






NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  


Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service


Instructor- Fundamentals of Home Inspection-  Bellingham Technical College


WA Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board


www.ncwhomeinspections.com                                                   509-670-9572

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Comments (16)

Jim Cheney
Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA - Santa Rosa, CA
Rincon Valley Realtor 707.494.1055

Never seen one in California.  Wonder if they are regional to your area.

Mar 09, 2017 06:16 AM
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jim Cheney They actually are throughout the US and Souther Canada. They are originally from Europe but have spread throughout the US. 

Mar 09, 2017 06:26 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Donald- I'm not a fan of creepy crawly things but if they eat other bugs then I'm ok with that!

Mar 09, 2017 12:17 PM
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Kathy Streib They are pretty creepy when they are running around.


Mar 09, 2017 05:46 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for this interesting House Centipede lesson. 

Mar 11, 2017 04:00 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

                         Thank you Donald Hester 

Mar 11, 2017 06:37 PM
Donald Hester

Kathy Streib thank you so much for the shout out.


Mar 12, 2017 08:30 AM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

I treat these guys like I treat a mad lady.... stay away and do not approach! 

Mar 12, 2017 04:05 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Donald Hester ,

I'm glad Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Light-bulb moments" for the week! I'm not a lover of creepy crawling things but can see where they can be beneficial..we don't see these around here.

Mar 12, 2017 06:37 AM
Donald Hester

Yeah, Hanging with the creepy crawlies comes with the job.

I have learned to try to learn from them. They often are an indication of what else is going on.

Mar 12, 2017 08:34 AM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I can see why Kathy chose your post to high light this week!

Mar 12, 2017 07:05 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I can say that I have seen them here in SoCal but we certainly saw plenty of them back in New England. I'm not a fan but glad to know they provide a benefit. I just don't want to see them!


Mar 12, 2017 08:34 AM
Donald Hester

Jeff, Maybe outside in your area and you don't see em much.

Mar 12, 2017 02:27 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

Even though they help control the other creepy crawlers....I still would prefer not to run into one!

Mar 12, 2017 01:41 PM
Donald Hester

Sharon, Most people do not like these creatures around. I have just got used to seeing them.

Mar 12, 2017 02:27 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Any kind of centipedes or millipedes always get an "ICK" reaction from me. 

Mar 13, 2017 03:27 AM
Donald Hester

Kat, Many have that reaction.

Mar 15, 2017 06:57 AM
Chris Lima
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

Good Morning Donald Hester.  Thanks to Kathy Streib I was able to learn a bit this morning.  I remember seeing these insects as a kid, but I have to say that I have not seen one in decades.  They are certainly creepy and crawly. 

Mar 13, 2017 06:46 AM
Donald Hester

Chris Lima Insects are part of the job for me. I always have found them a bit interesting, yet sometimes creepy.

Mar 15, 2017 06:59 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Like spiders they are beneficial. Now at least I know what they are, obviously the bigger they are the more food for them there is present.

Mar 13, 2017 12:49 PM
Donald Hester

Nick & Trudy Vandekar Yes, they are all typically linked, you have thing because of another.

Mar 15, 2017 06:59 AM
Mick Michaud
Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107 - Granbury, TX
Your Texas Lifestyle is Here!

Know your food chain.  An indicator species of possibly more serious infestations. 

Mar 15, 2017 06:53 AM
Donald Hester

Mick Michaud So True.

Mar 15, 2017 07:00 AM
Gene Allen
Fathom Realty - Cary, NC
Realty Consultant for Cary Real Estate

I probably never see them as I leave the crawl space to the experts.

Apr 17, 2017 06:41 AM
Donald Hester

Gene Allen I am one lucky guy to traverse so many

Apr 17, 2017 07:38 AM