We heard from a reader who found quite an interesting creature in his hotel room in Pennsylvania. He wondered if the sudden appearance of this critter indoors is due to warming temperatures, or if it something to be concerned about.
The photo shows an organism with a ton of legs, as well as some extremely long antenna. It is a couple inches long and appears to be green, but we think that might be due to the purple carpet and the lighting.
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This is a quite an alarming specimen, and we are confident that it is a Scutigera coleoptrate, also known as a house centipede. House centipedes are usually found indoors, which gives them their name. These arthropods have 15 segments, each featuring a pair of legs. On female house centipedes, the last pair of legs is extremely long. We believe that our reader has found a female, and what we initially believed to be antenna are just very long legs.
These centipedes eat other household pests such as cockroaches, flies, and moths. Centipedes occasionally bite humans, but usually prefer to escape when being threatened instead. Although centipedes are venomous, their bites usually only cause some localized pain. So, unless our reader threatens this centipede, he should be okay.
Since our reader discovered this in a hotel room, there isn’t much he can do besides requesting to switch rooms and letting the cleaning staff know. If he thinks he got bit and is worried, he can consult a medical professional.
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To sum up, a reader sent us an interesting photo that we have determined to be a house centipede.