Pest Guide - Centipedes
Centipedes are elongated, flattened arthropods with numerous legs - one pair per body segment. They are predaceous on many different arthropods including insects. Although all centipedes have poison glands and the means to inject their venom, bites are infrequent and normally do not cause more than temporary, localized pain.
Most centipedes can be found under boards, logs, rocks and other protected, damp locations outside. These centipedes are of little concern to homeowners.
Because of their secretive nature, scary appearance and darting motions, homeowners typically fear the house centipede. "It may often be seen darting across floors with very great speed, occasionally stopping suddenly and remaining absolutely motionless, presently to resume its rapid movements, often darting directly at inmates of the house, and thus creating much consternation."