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Centipedes can be identified by their long and slender bodies, which typically range from 1 -4 inches and are commonly found in Madison Wisconsin. They have a pair of antennae on their heads and a pair of forcipules or venom claws near their mouths. They also have a varying number of compound eyes or ocelli, although some species are blind.

The number of legs on a centipede can vary from 15 all the way to 191 pairs depending on the species, but it is always an odd number of pairs. The legs are usually longer on the rear segments and shorter on the front segments. The last pair of legs on a female centipede can be more than twice as long as the ones on its body. The color of the centipede can vary from yellowish to dark brown, sometimes with stripes or markings.


Centipedes have a simple metamorphosis, which means they do not undergo drastic changes in their body shape as they grow. They hatch from eggs and look like miniature versions of their parents, except with fewer legs. They molt or shed their exoskeleton several times as they grow and add more segments and legs.

The lifecycle of a centipede depends on the species and the environment. Some species lay eggs in the soil or under rocks and logs, while others give birth to live young. Some species care for their eggs and young by curling around them or guarding them in burrows, while others leave them to fend for themselves.

The lifespan of a centipede can range from one to six years, depending on the species and the conditions. Centipedes are cold-blooded animals, which means they depend on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature. In cold climates, some centipedes enter a state of dormancy or diapause, where they slow down their metabolism and activity and seek shelter in underground burrows or crevices.

Fun Facts

  • Centipedes are fast runners. They can reach speeds of up to 16 inches per second (40 centimeters per second), which is equivalent to about 0.9 miles per hour (1.4 kilometers per hour). They use their long legs to propel themselves forward and maneuver around obstacles.
  • Centipedes are carnivorous hunters. They use their venom claws to inject venom into their prey and paralyze them. They also use their mandibles or jaws to tear apart their prey.
  • Centipedes can regenerate lost legs. If a centipede is attacked by a predator or injured by accident, it can detach some of its legs to escape or heal. The lost legs can be regrown during subsequent molts. However, the regenerated legs may be shorter or deformed than the original ones.

Although centipedes don’t cause property damage and don’t typically harm humans, their presence in a home is a sign that there are many insects in the area. At Kwik Kill Pest Control, we have experienced technicians who are exceptional at dealing with many different insects and are a great resource for eliminating and preventing future insect problems.

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House Centipede Control

There are many types of common pests that routinely invade homes in the Madison area. At Kwik Kill, we are experts in solving each one of these unique pest control problems.

As the season’s change, so do the types of pests that can invade your home. We have pest control solutions for any time of year, whether it’s raining, snowing or sunny outside.

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