House Centipedes and Earwigs: Snack Time!

House CentipedeLots of people freak at the sight of a house centipede, an understandable reaction when they scurry about the home at night, quick and leggy, so perfectly embodying the creepy-crawliness of, say, an entryway to The Temple of Doom.

I’ve learned to love them. They’re harmless, they run in fear the moment you tickle their legs, and they eat pesty insects. Colloquially called “ghetto bugs”, they’re really quite adorable on close inspection. We had lots of baby centipedes running around a few weeks ago and truly, it was charming to see the little buggers scampering up and down the doorframes.

We’ve had some earwigs around this season, too, and while earwigs aren’t harmful to people, either (those pincers aren’t actually pincers, and they don’t go in your ears), I have a bias against earwigs because they devoured a bunch of my marigolds a year ago.

House Centipede Eating Earwig
House Centipede Eating Earwig

Last night I spotted a large house centipede on the baseboard near the downstairs bathroom. She* had a tasty dead earwig in her mouth. In my efforts to photograph her with her prize, she fled into the bathroom and I had to guide her back to the hall where I didn’t have to contend with the scale, the toilet, and the hard-to-reach corners.

I’m afraid I distressed her along the way, but once I left her alone and she realized that I wasn’t trying to steal her precious earwig, she joined me in the TV room, ran behind the couch, and–I can only assume–enjoyed her snack while watching a really terrific episode of Breaking Bad.

* I can’t say for certain it was female but am exercising gender fairness, as female centipedes have suffered far too long beneath the oppressive male-centipede hegemony.

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