Curiosity

Why You Maybe Should Not Kill House Centipedes

Yes, even the big, hairy ones that jump out at you when you least expect it.

Let me set the scene: I am nine months pregnant with my first child, waiting for the “bomb” to drop any day, nervously packing my hospital bag and watching “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” to calm my nerves.

It’s late, my husband is out to dinner with out-of-town friends, and I am alone.

Oh, wait, no I am not.

There, mere inches from my painstakingly packed hospital bag, is the RUDEST, GROSSEST, HAIRIEST, most NIGHTMARE-looking centipede I have ever seen.

This thing had longer legs than a Rockette, and it was wider than a dollar bill. (Words can’t describe the vindictive look in his eye, so I won’t attempt the description.)

So what did I do? Well, after screaming like a banshee, calling my husband in hysterics (and blaming him for it, nonsensically), I finally summoned what bravery I had and I squashed the beastly thing with a pink pump.

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It was hard to get much sleep that night, as I feared the centipede’s colleagues would be seeking vengeance for their fallen friend.

In case it’s not clear, I am horribly childish about bugs, centipedes included. But, it turns out, if you hate bugs like me, there’s a good reason NOT to kill centipedes. Yes, according to entomologists, centipedes are Mother Earth’s exterminators.

Related video: Want to know which insects are dangerous? Here’s the 10 most harmful ones:

Centipedes have very high metabolisms, meaning that they need to eat frequently, and what they want to eat is other insects (but not humans, as it turns out… hmm).

Centipedes eat everything from silverfish to bed bugs to cockroaches (doing the Lord’s work, my man!). So, if you see a centipede, some experts say, don’t kill them.

However, considering an adult can live up an average of 3-7 years, I don’t know. I’m gonna need some receipts from every centipede to prove how many kills they have each week before I let them live rent-free in my house.

RELATED: 10 Ways To Keep Cockroaches Out Of Your Home

And here’s something else that might blow your mind: Some people in Japan even keep centipedes as pets. Called “geji” in Japanese, they are sold in some pet stores in Japan… and get this, geji can JUMP.

So, yeah, I am going to go pass out now. Centipedes might be our friends, but in my case, I want to be the kind of friends who only send funny gifs to each other a few times a year.

And if you happen to be fascinated by insects, here are the 10 insects that are incredibly strong.

h/t: Rodale’s Organic Life