Thursday, April 1, 2010
I could barely bring myself to post a picture here. This creature truly terrifies me like no other. I'd like to think I'm pretty immune to being scared by household pests. The occasional spider or pill bug doesn't freak me out. But something about the look of the house centipede catches me off guard every time. It's like it crawled out of some portal to another world that's hidden somewhere in my house. I'd like to say that learning about these creatures has taken the edge off, but it hasn't. Each one can lay around 100 eggs. Which means if you don't kill one when you see it, you could have a hundred little larva somewhere in your home (and you probably already do). They like cool dark places like basements and bathrooms but they can live anywhere as long as they get enough moisture. As they grow, the centipede molts and gains a new set of legs each time. They start off with 2 pairs then somewhere along the way grow another pair but it's stuck inside their skin until they molt and the legs become free. How disgusting is that? And they grow to be pretty large as far has Northeastern American pests go, 15 sets of legs and around 1 to 2 inches. I killed one when I was a kid and it's legs became detached but they were still twitching. Seriously, this thing is horrifying. They're insectivores and eat other insects (even some nasty ones like cockroaches and bedbugs). Although I appreciate spiders for taking care of my pest problem, the image of this monster grasping another bug and devouring it with all it's legs just creeps me out even more. The only thing I could find to like about it is that it has the nickname the "mustache bug" which is kind of cute and appropriate. But then I think about it crawling on my face and I'm back to disgusted. I think it tops my list of most horrifying creatures.