The other day when I went into my closet to get dressed, I was greeted by one of these hanging out on the wall. A nice, big ‘un. Now, as a rule, I’m pretty sturdy when it comes to bugs. I don’t love them, and they are not welcome in my house, but these things totally creep me out.
As a child, when my (older) brother wanted to examine a critter, he would get me to pick it up so he could have a closer look. (This, according to my mother.) I kind of enjoy watching a caterpillar crawl around on my hand. Snakes are OK too. There are only two kinds of poisonous snakes around here, and I know what those look like, so I was the one Mom would call when she’d find a garter snake in the garden. I’d pick it up and move it to neutral territory.
In high school, while hanging out with other geeks in the biology room, I used to take the snakes out of their cages and play with them. Once, while in a joint lecture with another biology class, one of those snakes managed to somehow escape its tank and make its way all the way down the hall to the lecture room. The teacher picked it up and put it in a trash can to keep it out of trouble until class was over. So many of the girls were freaking out over it that he picked the snake up and handed it to me so I could take it back to its tank. I think half the girls fainted, and maybe a couple of the boys.
All that to say I’m pretty sure these particular bugs, known as house centipedes, are evil. They like dark, dank places, and they skitter away when the light shines on them. (Except for the brave one in my closet, who nicely stayed put while I ran for a Kleenex to squish him with.) I am absolutely certain that one ran across my neck once when I was sleeping. What does this say about the state of my closet? Small as it is, there’s a big ol’ window in there and I’m going to go with the theory that it came in through there to get out of the rain.
Now that I’ve read up a little on them, however, I guess I’ll need to dial back my vitriol a little. It seems they eat things like roaches and spiders. But I’m still going to squish them if I see them in my house. The roaches and spiders too.