A reader from Louisiana recently sent us some fantastic photos of a creature she discovered on a sofa ottoman inside her home. She would like to know if she should be worried about this specimen’s presence in her home. She said the creature is small (3/4-1 inch long) and skinny. She said it scurries around using its many legs and occasionally curls a bit into itself forming a “U”:
you can get tested for parasites at a fully-qualified lab near you,
no doctor's visit required! Check it out at HealthLabs.com!
In addition to several great photographs, our reader provided a list of distinguishing characteristics: antennae extended from its anterior end, a forked tail extended from its posterior end, and a brown or green colored body. We know this specimen is either a centipede or a millipede, which are both arthropods. Centipedes have one pair of jointed legs per body segment and typically have flatter bodies. Millipedes have two pairs of jointed legs per body segment and have rounder bodies. We believe this creature is a centipede. We think it might be a garden centipede, but we don’t feel 100% confident about that specific of an identification.
Centipedes aren’t typical house pests. This means that while they do end up in homes from time to time, they don’t typically cause destruction or lead to an infestation. Centipedes might even eat spiders and other worms that are in our reader’s house! So she doesn’t need to stress out about this specimen in her house. The best thing she can do is release it into the outdoor environment and seal up any cracks in her home that creatures might be sneaking in through. She should check windows, doors, and ventilation systems for any potential gaps and seal them up. She can also clear away any debris around her home that might be attracting these arthropods.
|No Paywall Here!
All About Worms is and always has been a free resource. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or make you give us your email address, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to pay our research authors, and to run and maintain the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep All About Worms free?
To sum up, one of our readers discovered a specimen in her home with antennae and a split tail. We are confident that she found a centipede.