If you've never seen one of these critters before, you might at first mistakenly identify it as a hairy caterpillar out for a jog. But, upon attempting to squash the caterpillar, you will notice that it will run away at breakneck speed. Now, I don't mean breakneck speed for a bug. I mean this badass moves fucking fast.

You see, the house centipede, or Scutigera coleoptrata, is the king of the household bug kingdom. I was raised to believe that spiders were the king, but no. You see, centipedes hunt and eat spiders.

Since my first encounter with a house centipede in 1998, I have acquired a certain respect for the little badasses. They demand respect, just like skunks do.

Let me state my reasons:
  1. A house centipede has poison claws behind its head. It uses these to paralyze its prey or sting you as badly as a bee, but only if you provoke it.
  2. The house centipede is fast. And when it's scared, it's damn fast.
  3. The house centipede takes at least 2 hard hits with a shoe before it dies. That's more than many beetles.
  4. If the house centipede is cut in 2, both pieces are still active.
  5. House centipedes do not get into your food like cockroaches and maggots do.
  6. House centipedes basically ignore you until you provoke them. Flies land on you and your food; spiders bite you in your sleep and build annoying webs.
Other interesting tidbits:
House Centipede Encounter & Eliminate Counter (since May 1, 2000):  5 & 4

House centipedes originated in Mexico, but are prevalent across most of North America.