“I found this in my shower”, writes Anita about the yellow, long and thin worm-like creature pictured below. “I’ve never seen anything like this. Your insight is greatly appreciated!” Well, without wasting a minute, we will just right ahead and say that what Anita found is a centipede! That’s not maybe the best news Anita has received all year – centipedes are a common phobia among many, and are feared because of their many legs which they are known for. And it’s true, centipedes can be sort of creepy. There are not that many other creatures on this planet with that many legs: centipedes have a pair of legs sprouting from each of its segments, and on top of that they also have long antennae and pincer-like appendages near their head called forcipules.
With all of that said, it is our opinion that centipedes are largely misunderstood. It is true that there exist giant centipedes in the tropical areas of the world that can be quite dangerous to small animals and even humans, but small centipedes like this one are generally quite harmless. The most they can do is sting you with their forcipules, which might cause some pain and/or irritation, but otherwise they are far more focused on catching other insectile prey in the home. In fact, some people like having centipedes in their homes, as they serve the same purpose as spiders, except centipedes don’t leave webs behind!
Of course, that is not to say that we encourage people to let centipedes run amok in their homes – we still completely understand that they are, by and large, unwanted guests. The thing is, catching a centipede to then release it outside (which is what we recommend doing) can be tricky. Their many legs make them fast, and thereby hard to trap. Then again, Anita seems to have done a fine job of catching this one (assuming it is alive), so she can easily release it outside. Plus, centipedes do not tend to travel in groups or pairs: they are solitary creatures. So it is unlikely that she will find more in her home. That said, it is possible she will find some other insect in her home, if the case is that this centipede was chasing prey. She might want to check her home for more creepy crawlies and release those outside as well.
In conclusion, the long, yellow, worm-like critter Anita found in her shower is a centipede. Despite its scary appearance, they are really nothing to be feared, so long as you do not provoke them – and even then, they cannot do any real harm. We hope this proves helpful to Anita and we wish her the very best!
All About Worms is always free, always reader-supported. Your tips via CashApp, Venmo, or Paypal are appreciated! Receipts will come from ISIPP Publishing.