Stop! Don’t Kill This Centipede! He’s Your Friend
If you ever see a small centipede like this scampering across your floor, don't stomp on him, he's a mini-exterminator.
According to the Michigan State University Plant and Pet Diagnostic team, the common household centipede, or as their known by scientists, Scutigera coleoptrata, is a bug eating machine that may be controlling other bugs around your house. He likes to eat spiders and bed bugs, among other things:
The house centipede is the most common centipede found in Michigan homes. Although this very agile and fast moving, longlegged critter has an unnerving appearance as it darts over walls and floors, it should be considered harmless and no cause for alarm.
It is the only centipede found in Michigan that is capable of reproducing indoors. It prefers homes with damp basements or crawlspaces. The house centipede should be considered a beneficial organism as it feeds on spiders, insects and other small arthropods.
There are only a few reports of this animal biting people, usually when handled or stepped on with bare feet. The bite can be as painful as a bee sting in some cases.
If bitten, the wound should be cleaned and antiseptic applied to prevent secondary infection and ice applied to reduce swelling.
The Western Exterminators site adds:
They are also very smart hunters. House centipedes are more than willing to go after prey that could actually be dangerous to them, such as wasps. However, they have been seen in the wild and in laboratories sneaking up on those types of insects, stinging them, using their legs to get away and then waiting for the venom to take effect before moving in to feed.
It is ... entirely possible for your average house centipede to live its entire life on the bottom floor of a building, eating insects and living its life undisturbed.
This video says that centipedes are clean, harmless and efficient. So leave them alone. Unless you see too many of them, because that means there's too many of what they're hunting.