Learning to Like House Centipedes…Or How the Universe is Teaching Me a Lesson Today

OMG. House centipedes. Is there anything worse? They’re the million-legged creatures that come out at night in old houses when you’re too groggy to smash them and dangit, they’re fast. I’ll spare you all a photo to accompany this entry. You’re welcome.

Having seen cockroaches many times in my city-living, foodservice-working life, I will concede that those things are worse. Sidenote: I’m not even sure how I’m going to get through typing this entry without barfing. Seriously.

Apparently it must be house centipede season as we near the autumn. I’ve seen one or two every evening for the last week or so in the house. They dart across the floor and I commence the shrieking and flailing but always have to kill them myself since Jim never makes it over fast enough to get them in time. The horror. Predictably, Jim, who loves to play devil’s advocate with me, keeps asking questions. “Why are these things so bad? Why are you so scared? Why are they so gross? It’s just a bug, Christiana. We live in an old house now.”

For the record, I would like to say that those are NOT the right questions to ask your traumatized wife who just ruined a perfectly good shoe with twitching bug legs and guts. I can never wear that shoe again, it must be burned. No amount of cleaning will cleanse it from touching the creepiest bug in the world. Jim is lucky that I’m not throwing the shoe at him, truly.

Last night, after a particularly late evening at work, I got home at almost 1 a.m. only to see one of those cursed jerks running across the floor. I started whacking at it in vain and Jim sleepily emerged from bed. “What are you doing out here, bowling with rocks??” He chastised me for making so much noise over something so silly and returned to bed. I figured it was high time to Google these things and find out what they are, what they want, and how I can make them go away.

Mike Dooley said at the weekend conference I just attended that he believes that the Universe has a sense of humor. He asked if anyone else thought the same way. I raised my hand. I’ve experienced enough to know that sometimes my answers appear in humorous ways and other times my butt has been kicked with a benevolent smirk from above. Yep. The Universe is a prankster for sure.

I read a couple of articles. To my chagrin, I have found no good reason to continue whacking and smashing these creeptastic bugs. Would you believe that they are almost entirely benevolent?! I’m freaked out by a bug who is actually keeping my house cleaner, because it preys on everything from spiders to ants, termites, and bedbugs. It even cleans its own legs like a cat. Its venom is rarely harmful to humans because it is too weak to pierce human skin more often than not. If you happen to find one strong enough, it will produce nothing worse than a bee sting-sort of bite. The only way to get rid of these things is to seal up cracks in your house, reduce clutter, reduce humidity, and get rid of the smaller bugs that it preys on. Jim is right that we live in an old house so cracks and smaller bugs are likely here to stay. We don’t have a lot of clutter or humidity.

GREAT. THANKS A LOT. Apparently, I’m supposed to learn to appreciate these things and not smash them while shrieking. I told you the Divine has a sense of humor. In my reading, I came across a tidbit that says that some people actually keep these things as pets.

I think it’s safe to say I’ll draw the line there.

Spill It!!