A Good Question

I was reading “What’s That Bug,” a Q/A format website dedicated to the identification and appreciation of arthropods and helminths.  A reader wrote in to ask, “Why do the good bugs all look evil?”

Good Question.

House Centipede

House Centipede

House Centipedes are perfect examples.  I can’t imagine a creepier bug.  They just aren’t pleasant to deal with – the way the move in an undulating wave and the speed with which they dash out of sight is just plain unnerving.  That said, they’re great to have around the house.  Beyond the creepiness, there’s absoutely no downside to these artropods:  S. coleoptrata don’t usually cause any direct problems for humans – many times their tiny pincers (actually modified legs – not jaws) can’t pierce human skin.  In the event they do, the venom is no worse than that of a honey bee.  Most of the time, they prefer to run away from humans and other large creatures.

They are wonderful to have in the house as they eat cockroaches, wasps, aphids, silverfish, ants, and other household pests that do cause harm to humans.  They’re nocturnal and don’t like bright light.

Even though I’m well aware of how great they are, I still don’t like finding them in my power supplies – granted, they eat the spiders that would otherwise cause damage to the electronics.

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