The most common type of centipede that is encountered here in Wisconsin is that of the house centipede, or “hundred-legger”. These centipedes range from an inch to an inch and a half in length. However, their legs and antennae can give these insects the appearance of being 3 to 4 inches long! They have exactly 15 pairs of legs when fully grown, despite what their hundred-legger nickname suggests. They are typically yellowish-brown in color and may appear to have stripes.
House centipedes are insectivores, with their prey being a combination of spiders, cockroaches, termites, ants, silverfish and more. They technically sting their prey and can use their long legs to handle multiple insects at once. These legs also allow house centipedes to move at incredible speeds. In spring, house centipedes will lay anywhere from 50 to 200 eggs, which will hatch into miniature versions of the full-grown centipedes, but with only four sets of legs.