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ezraglenn's avatar

What is this insect?

Asked by ezraglenn (3454 points ) August 3rd, 2008

An approximately 30-legged, 3-inch long, reddish, extremely fast moving insect has invaded my home. I have seen several of these in the past few days, and I don’t know what to do about it. Do you know what this is and how I can get rid of it? I live in a townhouse in Manhattan built in 1882.

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19 Answers

LKidKyle1985's avatar

hmm, looks like some sort of centipede (sp?) My parents place always had a bunch of those runnin around. I think they eat other bugs though, so not too much of a pest. I could be wrong though

MacBean's avatar

Ugly. Name it Gregor and keep it as a pet!

I tried to search around to figure it out, but I got very creeped out very quickly, so I’ll pass along a couple of sites I found that might be helpful:
http://whatsthatbug.com
http://bugguide.net

Edit: I tried skimming What’s That Bug? one more time (because I kind of like being creeped out) and I think your bug is a house centipede.

aisyna's avatar

looks creppy….....call an exterminater (sp?)

melonsforeal's avatar

ewww those things are so gross, they are just ackkk

ckinyc's avatar

I had them twice in my bath tub in NYC as well. Kill it and ask questions later. I think they crawl up from the pipes.

sebrowns's avatar

this is a house centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata)! there is a fairly good description here:

http://flickr.com/photos/49503201029@N01/71661795

cheebdragon's avatar

probably a house centipede, do you have roaches? I’m pretty sure they eat roaches….
Centipedes have poison in their legs so I don’t recomend touching them (I’m sure you don’t want to, but if you have kids or curious pets…).

syz's avatar

It’s a house centipede. They’re oddly creepy because of their speed, but they prey on household pests, so they’re kinda good to have around.

rowenaz's avatar

We get HUGE ones in our finished basement – my daughter runs upstairs and thinks they are SNAKES!

There are poisons, if you are into that, but put in a DEHUMIDIFIER, since they really want the damp and dark. Also, if you have any place NEAR the exterior of your home, like a pile of leaves, branches, wood, debris, etc. you will want to get rid of it, because they could infest there, and then move into the house through various cracks.

One of the insecticides can be spread around the outside perimeter of your home, and it lasts for months. If they are already in your house, use sticky traps where you think they are to find out how they are getting in. Then seal those cracks or spaces.

You can then use Boric Acid which isn’t too bad if you have pets.

The centipedes are looking for live things to eat – do you have lots of spiders or other things? Because if you get rid of the food source, the centipedes will be gone, too.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Yup like everyone said about it being a house centipede. They thrive in damp areas so like rowenaz said, dehumidifier. I see those damn bugs all the time at the aquarium store i work it. Not much we can do about them there though.

ezraglenn's avatar

Thanks so much everyone, this certainly demystifies things a bit.

pathfinder's avatar

this could be some hair leg insect or many legs kind of bug.It should belongs in to the group of Archispirostreptus.

SeventhSense's avatar

That is called a silverfish. They like moisture and are attracted to damp places, papers, glues and household products generally found in bathrooms. They are basically harmless.

syz's avatar

@SeventhSense The photo you posted is of a house centipede.

SeventhSense's avatar

I think it’s the same thing.

Kayak8's avatar

@SeventhSense Through the entire discussion after seeing the picture, I said to myself, that’s a silverfish. I think they are the same thing and there are local names for them (just like with some plants). Where I live, if you said “house centipede” people would look at you funny. If you said “silverfish,” then you would see the light bulb go on immediately.

rowenaz's avatar

Centipedes and Silverfish are not the same things.

Kayak8's avatar

Sure enough, I google imaged both and while some folks have posted house centipede pics, the silverfish looks decidedly different. I will say that in Ohio, most folks call the house centipede a silverfish (but we also call green peppers mangoes, so there you have it).

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Silverfish is a completely different thing. They have a silver/clear body and are much smaller. They don’t have rows of legs like a centipede. They are kind of torpedo-shaped and when they slither across the floor they look like they are swimming. Yuck!

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