How Fast Are House Centipedes?

Yes, house centipedes are extremely fast. If you miss when trying to squish it, you might get startled by house fast they run away. Compared to humans, they are about 5 times faster pound for pound. So be quick if you are trying to remove that centipede, because that little insect will be aware and ready to jolt.

Living in the southwestern US, I was surprised to find out while doing research for this article that house centipedes are abundant throughout North America. This means they might be found where you live! House centipedes (scientific name: Scutigera coleoptrata , order: Scutigerimorpha, family: Scutigeridae) come from a group of arthropods called proturans. Proturans look like insects, but actually ancestrally were not; instead they are close relatives of crustaceans and spiders (in the same class). Centipedes share many similarities with their cousin groups like insects and millipedes (class Diplopoda including having three body segments, and paired jointed appendages). However, some of the important differences are centipedes are carnivores and have two pairs of legs per body segment while millipedes are herbivores which are mostly legless.

House centipede hunting in my house. Did you know they are voracious predators?

These are carnivores that are known to feed on spiders! Millipedes are not meat eaters however but are terrestrial decomposers that eat decaying organic matter. One last difference is centipedes have one pair of legs per body segment, while millipedes have two pairs of legs per segment. Another reason I wanted to research these amazing creatures was because they were found in my bedroom crawling around at night when I turned off the light. I wanted to know are they dangerous to humans, are they venomous, are they aggressive, are they fast?

After watching this YouTube video about house centipedes, I got a better understanding of their behavior and life-style. There are three main reasons why people are either scared or fascinated by house centipedes. 1) They are able to run very fast very quietly 2) They are sometimes seen in dark places scurrying around without warning 3) When captured or cornered