Super Gross Thing Bug

Last night, my wife, Miranda Kopfschmertzen and I were bringing in our dog, The Nudge, from his nightly business. Just as my wife crossed the threshold of the door, something caught her eye and she yelped in surprise. I was already inside, so she called me back out, “Ew! Lordleiter, come back out here. EWWWW! Glah glah glah glah…It’s giving me the willies. SO GROSS!”

I went outside and saw this.

Check out that tiny spider in the upper right trying so hard to pretend that he is just some random debris and avoid the attentions of giant bug monster. This is the same evasion tactic Han Solo employed in “The Empire Strikes Back” when being chased by star destroyers and tie fighters after narrowly escaping from a space worm in an asteroid field. Standard practice, really.

Naturally I went right to my field guides to try and identify this beast, but the books did not have any answers. Next I went online. Thanks to, I was able to narrow it down to what I think is something called a “House Centipede.” House Centipede is surely a deceivingly banal name for such a fearsome devil.

Once I had the name, I went straight to the Wikipedia entry for House Centipede. Wikipedia – The first source for internet truth! Here’s what it had to say:

The house centipede, Scutigera coleoptrata, is a yellowish grey centipede with 15 pairs of legs. Originally endemic to the Mediterranean region, the species has spread to other parts of the world, where it usually lives in human homes. It is an insectivore; it kills and eats insects.

Click on the link above to learn more about House Centipedes.


  1. Max von Fischgeist on 3 November 2007 at 11:24 am

    Aw, Miranda Kopfschmertzen made a new friend. How cute! Maybe if you keep it around it will eat those TRULY TERRIFYING moths! I like Wikipedia’s suggestions for killing new friend house centipede – with a vacuum or (to take your Han Solo analogy to its logical conclusion) freezing it in carbonite, er, with canned air.

  2. Max von Fischgeist on 5 November 2007 at 9:17 am

    Careful now – I’m 1/8th moth (on my mother’s side, naturally). We are fragile, delicate beings and our feelings are easily hurt. And then we must go into your closet…

  3. Anastasia Beaverhausen on 5 November 2007 at 6:00 am

    I would have to move out of my house if one of those were near it. I am going to have the squirmies for hours.

  4. Miranda on 5 November 2007 at 8:15 am

    Perhaps you have never seen Mothra, Herr von Fischgeist? Huge, hairy, shrieking, and with those creepy singing twins, Mothra really is “truly terrifying.” ALL moths are the spawn of the devil. Period.

  5. Miranda on 6 November 2007 at 11:55 am

    No! Not the closet! Anything but the closet!

  6. m. on 15 May 2008 at 11:51 am

    how do you kill these things? ive had problems with them and am about to lose my mind over them. i think they are the most disgusting insects of all insects. ide rather have 5 spiders for every one of these horrifying looking creatures. make that 10 spiders. i need to know how to rid them for good, obviously i know what to do when i see one, i track the little quick bastard and make it suffer slowly. i hate em, i HATE EM!

  7. kat don on 9 June 2008 at 1:53 pm

    We call those gross things “Scooties” after the latin name scutigera. I had them all over in a basement apartment I used to live in. They love moisture. To me they seem to be 99% water and squish very easily (if you can make yourself get that close to one!). (I lived in Central New York). Good luck!

  8. Lordleiter on 9 June 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Gross! Is it like squishing a snail? Does it get everywhere? Because after you squish it you have to clean it up too. I keep imaging a basement apartment full of them. Yeesh! It’s like a horror movie. I’m glad you don’t live in that apartment anymore.

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