Thursday, October 28, 2010

30 legs of TERRIFYING

Count 'em15 Pairs of legs.
Now imagine spotting this creature climbing all over your solid white walls at the speed of light.

I spot one at least twice per week during the late Spring, Summer, and early Fall months; if the temperature is above 70 degrees and the humidity is high outside, my home is fair game for these buggers...

I'll never forget the first time I spotted a house centipede, just a couple of weeks after my husband and I moved into our Southeastern Ohio home in Summer 2006.  It was on the ceiling.  I screamed, I cried, I laid in bed and writhed in fear and had a serious case of "the shakes". I had no idea What the EFF the creature was, what it was doing in my home, and wondered if there were more.  The S.O.B. was a total pain to kill - my husband, standing on a chair and equipped with a Nike Air Jordan in his hand, was no match for Mr. Centipede - the bug scurried away, laughing at my husband's numerous attempts to kill it. Eventually, the hubs succeeded.  "It" was dead. And both of us had the heeby jeebies all night long. 

I couldn't resist googling the ugly effer, and much to my surprise, I found that it was actually beneficial for homes because it ate other possibly dangerous insects.  How in the Hizz-ELL could something so scary looking be beneficial?  I also learned that they thrive in humid climates, especially in wooded areas.  I thought critically for a moment: I lived on top of a hill, in the woods, in Southeastern Ohio where the humidity is like 14700% in the summer.  I knew I hadn't seen my last house centipede.

If I've ever come close to having a heart attack, it would have been on a warm, humid summer morning during the week that our central air was being repaired, just a couple of weeks after "the first encounter". At 6 a.m., I sleepily stumbled into the bathroom with towel and washcloth in hand, pulled back the shower curtain, and there were THREE.  Hot Mama, Big Papa, and Teenager Centipede.  I was frozen, as were my centipede friends. 

Enter my then 5 month old super spunky, sharp-clawed tom house-cat.

In total desperation, I tossed my orange tabby into the bathtub, and he annihilated the centipede family one by one. He clawed and squished each bug so quickly, so easily... then proceeded to bat around the piles of legs and goo that remained. I cleaned up the mess while my cat pranced around proudly.  I. was. traumatized. 

Over the years, we've encountered these 30-legged freaks pretty regularly.  An exterminator comes twice per year, but there are always a few bugs that manage to survive, and stumble out of their hiding places, confused and bewildered.  Up until around a year ago, my cat enjoyed preying on them... now he just sits and stares, lazily. A part of my regular cleaning regimen is inspecting our white walls for splotches of bug remains.  Every single morning i hesitantly pull back the shower curtain.  And there have been a couple of instances where one was hiding in my damp towel basket, and i "found" it when doing laundry.  On a positive note, we never have ants or spiders, so HOT DAMN - they really must feed on other insects! To my knowledge, a centipede has never touched my bare skin (although it's possible that i've swallowed one or two while sleeping.)  House centipedes keep to themselves and stay on the walls, near the ceiling -  so if you happen to encounter these scary creatures, don't worry - they're not hunting for you.

As part of the blog gang hosted by Susie, I thought I would share my creepy, ongoing battle with house centipedes.  If you are craving a little bit of hair-raising entertainment this Halloween, go ahead and google centipede images - you're sure to be in for a scare!


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21 comments:

Bloggin in PA said...

ewwwww. I saw one the other day in my kitchen! I asked my husband to kill it and he replyed "no, you saw it first!" hahaha. ewwww. I love the picture at the end of your post with the mask on the little guy!

Sunny & Star said...

That would seriously scare me to death. I do not handle things that are creepy and crawly very well.

Steph said...

THEY ARE SO CREEPY!!!

And FAST!

I tend to only see them at night and when I googled to find out what they were, I had a hard time looking at the sites!!

I don't do fast moving critters.

Kerri said...

That last picture is hilarious Stephanie! I too HATE them. So disgusting. I'd rather come in contact with an alligator than one of these hairy leggy things!

Ashley said...

Oh my goodness, Steph, I think I will have nightmares about these creatures! Creepy creepy!

Rebekah said...

OH. MY. GOODNESS. I've never seen one of those things and now I feel like it's on me. Ha, I am that person. Those look disgusting.

Kelley said...

I am going to go hug my sugar ants now & tell them how much I love them. I will tell them I'm sorry I ever yelled at them or called them any ugly words. Thanks to your centipede story, those ants and I are going to get along better in the future! Thanks!

P.S. I'm stopping by from Susie's Blog Gang shin-dig.

Amy said...

I cannot deal with that many legs. I would have died.

Grimmgirl said...

Oh, so THAT is what that thing was. I just caught one of these last night in the living room. I was not amused. How are the ladybugs in Athens this year? When we lived there out on 690, my husband's study was literally crawling with them! They don't seem too bad here in KY.

Carolyn said...

Yuk! I don't think I've ever seen one but now I'm sure I will be seeing them in every corner of my house.

traci @www.herdingsquirrels.com said...

Okay I hate bugs. Mostly, I hate spiders. I mean, truly and so scared of the way they scuttle and skitter and... now seeing a bug that had THAT many legs, that is up there with the spiders. GAH!!

A Sideways Girl said...

I too HATE those little buggers. The first time I saw one, my cat came to the rescue as well. Those little suckers are super fast - but no match for my cat, Danger Kitty. I also Googled them because I was worried they may be poisonous for the kitty or that they were some type of alien life form. They freak me out. *shiver* - Thanks for sharing your creepy story. - lea

Susie Kline said...

Ohmigod, I totally am freaked out! I saw one of these in an office where I worked and screamed. And got into trouble. I saw one in the house one time.

I don't think it makes me feel any better than it has a name!

xo Susie

Christina said...

Oh I HATE THOSE!!! Thank you for putting a skull face on one...made me laugh! And now I will forever think of that whenever I get totally creeped out about one!!

Brittany said...

DIS-GUST-ING!!!

GROSS!

I hate bugs period, and those little buggers are the WORST!

HulaBuns said...

Eeeeeek! This freaks me out! Creepy crawly bugs and I don't get along, by that I mean they seem to like to be on me a lot and I dislike them a lot. :)

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

These things completely freak me out. GROSS!

Margaret Almon said...

I'm sure your kitty thought you were doing him a favor and providing captive treats!

Kernut the Blond said...

OMG! That's creepy! I'm never going to Ohio now. We have some spiders and stuff in California, but nothing like that ever comes into the house!

That really creeped me out. Hang in there! :)

God bless kitties!!

Faith said...

i wish i never read this post ... now i have the crawlies.

seriously, Fella kills any insect he sees ... the shedding of his fur all over my black clothes is so worth it, haha.

Heather said...

These boogers are sooooooo creepy/disgusting!!!