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Your Friendly Neighborhood House Centipede Just Needs A Place To Stay


YouTube musician Pink Torpedo has put together a much-needed catchy ditty for the house centipede, possibly the most misunderstood of uninvited household critters. They’re just looking for somewhere damp to stay alive, but you try to kill them, just because they look different. The time has come for us to stop overreacting to excess leg, and understand why we want them in the house.

How would you feel if your housemates yell and try to stomp you to death every time they see you, even though you do all the dishes and take out the trash? House centipedes are like your personal friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, keeping your house free from all the other actually harmful bugs, and how do you treat them? You try to kill them. For shame!

Having house centipedes in your house is like having a small pest control squad work quietly all day for free, taking out all the silverfish, cockroaches, ants, and flies. Unlike the house centipede, these actually do us some harm: Silverfish and ants destroy property, and cockroaches and flies are just plain dirty. House centipedes, on the other hand, are harmlessly fascinating.

They reproduce very politely, the male and female circling each other and touching antennae before the male deposits his sperm on the ground that the female picks up to fertilize her eggs. It’s like an arthropodal pon farr.

The young centipedes hatch with 4 pairs of legs and level up as they molt, gaining a pair after their first molting, and two pairs for their next five moltings, maxing out at 15 pairs. I imagine house centipede moltdays are way more exciting than human birthdays. At least they have something to show for all the time spent living.

They catch their prey by half-jumping and half-lassoing them with their legs, like a feral Indiana Jones. Sometimes, when cornered, they get a little silly and dart toward human feet, making said humans fear for their lives, because not many people know that these poor critters are half-blind and really can’t tell the difference between a comforting rock and a murderous coward.

It might still take some convincing, but the house centipede really is harmless. Their stings aren’t strong enough to go through human skin, and the only time they try to do that is when you squeeze them in your hand, which is something you should never do to any living creature in the first place. Try doing that to a hamster and see if they bite.

So yeah, house centipedes look creepy, but they’re really sweet, and infinitely more useful than, say, tropical fish. Just let them stay.

(via Boing Boing)

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