House centipedes are common arthropods with long, flattened, segmented bodies with one pair of legs per segment. The house centipede is up to 1 1/2 inches long and has 15 pairs of very long, almost thread-like, slender legs. Each leg is encircled by dark and white bands. The body is brown to grayish-yellow and has three dark stripes on top. Though house centipedes are found both indoors and outdoors it is the occasional one on the bathroom or bedroom wall, or the one accidentally trapped in the bathtub, sink, or lavatory that causes the most concern.
However, these locations are not where they normally originate. Centipedes prefer to live in damp portions of basements, closets, bathrooms, under the house in crawl spaces and beneath the bark of firewood stored indoors. They do not come up through the drain pipes.
House centipedes feed on small insects, insect larvae, and on spiders. Thus they are beneficial, though most homeowners take a different point-of-view and consider them a nuisance. Technically, the house centipede could bite, but it is considered harmless to people.