Last week we heard from a reader who discovered a “worm” on her carpet. She sent us a few photographs and asked us to identify the specimen. Usually when a reader discovers a worm on their carpet it is a carpet beetle larva. However, we don’t believe the creature this reader found is a carpet beetle larva. See for yourself:
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Carpet beetle larvae are very small. They have segmented bodies that are covered in tiny bristle-like hairs. The specimen our reader found is way too big to be a carpet beetle larvae. It has a long brown body with several appendages coming off of it. We believe this is an insect, not a worm. To be specific, we are confident that this is a Scutigera coleoptrata, more commonly known as a house centipede.
A house centipede has about 15 pairs of legs, one jointed pair per body segment. It also has two long antenna on its head, as well as two long appendages on its rear. With so many legs and appendages, these creatures look alarming. However, they are nothing to be afraid of. House centipedes prefer warm, tropical, humid climates, but have adapted to live in almost any environment. Homeowners often find centipedes in warm and wet areas of their house, such as the bathroom. A house centipede might sneak inside through a very small crack or opening, because its narrow body allows it to maneuver adequately in the small space. Since our reader only noticed one of these arthropods, she can put it outside and move on. If she continues to find house centipedes camped out in her home, she might want to reach out to a professional to handle the situation.
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To end, one of our readers discovered a worm-like organism on her carpet that we believe is a house centipede. House centipedes are arthropods and technically insects, not worms.