The Huge And Venomous Biting Centipede Species That You Do Not Want To Find Within Your Home

Just about everyone has had the displeasure of encountering a common house centipede indoors, as these arthropods are a common sight within households located in every US state, including Alaska. These centipedes are spotted far more often indoors than they are outdoors, and they seem to gravitate to the moistest areas of a home, particularly bathtubs and sinks. In fact, these super fast and exceptionally creepy-crawlies have even been found emerging from indoor drains. There likely exists a sizable amount of people in the US who consider the common house centipede to be the most disturbing creature that they have ever found indoors, but as it happens, another centipede species is sometimes found inside and around homes in the eastern US. This centipede species, S. sexpinosus, is larger and far more venomous than the common house centipede, and their appearance is undoubtedly far more startling than their house-dwelling relatives. Although S. sexpinosus centipedes are not found indoors as often as house centipedes, their seemingly thick, yet flat bodies make it easy for these arthropods to enter homes through tiny cracks in structural foundations. In just the past month and a half, these centipedes have been spotted by citizen scientists four times within the state of Massachusetts alone.

sexpinosus centipedes are more commonly known as “bark centipedes” or “eastern fire centipedes”. The latter nickname may be due to the extremely painful bites that they have been known to inflict onto human skin. While bites will not kill a person, their venom can potentially cause serious allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. These centipedes are not shy about using their large fangs to inject venom into the human bloodstream if they should feel threatened, become injured or even if they are so much as handled by humans. The latest bark centipede sighting occurred at Brook Water School in Framingham, and not long ago another specimen was found outside of a home in Mansfield. Generally, bark centipedes are found in forested regions or beneath rocks and plant-litter around homes and buildings. When these centipedes are found indoors, they are most often inhabiting cellars, basements and crawl spaces. Bark centipede adults reach lengths of 1 to 2 inches, and their reddish-yellow exterior and prominent legs make them easily recognizable. This species’ lifespan typically lasts five years.

Have you ever found a centipede within your home that was not a common house centipede?