What has 30 legs and looks like an alien?

One morning shortly after moving into our new apartment, I was about to step into the shower when I spotted something so bizarre and creepy-looking, I would have jumped out of my pants if I were wearing any.

It was an insect, but not one I had ever seen before. Reddish-yellow body, beady eyes, a pair of long antennae, and at least 30 legs. Not that I leaned in to count them; I was too busy freaking the hell out.

After showering, I ushered Tara into the bathroom to show her. Like me, she proceeded to freak the hell out. And implored me to get rid of the damn thing. Wifespeak for flush it down the toilet.

Normally, I’m a peaceable guy. Live and let live and all that jazz. I protested for a second, but Tara cut me off mid-sentence by saying, “I don’t want that thing crawling on me in the middle of the night!” That sealed the deal. I wasn’t about to take chances with a creature that looked like it stepped (and stepped and stepped and stepped) off the set of an alien movie, so I happily obliged, sending it to a watery grave. I mean, it could have been poisonous, right? Or at least delivered a nasty bite.

I snapped a pic before committing insecticide, and one reverse image search later, learned the Bug From Hell was actually a house centipede. They’re very common, as a matter of fact (but apparently not in the Pacific Northwest or South Dakota).

Not long after, coincidentally, I was scrolling through Facebook and came across this post from a friend.

Granted, “rarely bite” isn’t the same as “never bite,” but this was still enough to make me feel bad for killing our 30-legged visitor. I vowed to leave them alone going forward.

Good thing, too. We’ve spotted two more since. They still kinda freak me out, but I’m a-gonna let them be. After all, they eat spiders and ants, too.

I have a serious ant phobia, so house centipedes are definitely the lesser of two evils.

Don’t judge me.

You may notice a slight rebranding on Ye Olde Blogge. In my last post, I wrote, Next year, though. We’re going to OWN IT. Mark my words.

Was that a play on words? Oh, you betcha. Once upon a time, this blog was named Mark My Words. I even had a close friend design me a logo that served as the header for several years.

Thanks, Heidi!

Then I moved to South Dakota and it morphed into Swinged Cat. And then I decided to turn professional and just use my first name dot last name, opening me up to stalking but also potentially landing me a new job (it did).

God, I’m fickle.

I even own the domain markmywords.blog, though it currently points nowhere. It actually expires in a few weeks and I was going to let it go, but then The Travel Architect commented, “Mark my words” takes on a whole new (double) meaning when uttered by someone named Mark.

Girl, you know it’s true.

Well, THAT got me to thinking about how much I missed having “Mark My Words” as my blog name. So I asked myself, “Self, why can’t you still have Mark My Words as your blog name?” Seeing no good reason why I couldn’t – and slightly disturbed that I was both talking to and answering myself – I decided to go ahead and resurrect it. There’s no need to change the URL (though I did cave in and renew markmywords.blog just in case). If my name were Mike or Matt or Sebastian I wouldn’t bother, but really, as a writer named Mark, it’s pretty much my duty to call my blog Mark My Words.

As for Madtown Migrant, he’s alive and well on Instagram. Go check him out if you’d like. In the meantime, enlighten me:

Have you ever seen a house centipede before? Do you kill bugs or let them do their thing? Do you have any phobias you’d like to admit to?

52 thoughts on “What has 30 legs and looks like an alien?

  1. Haven’t spotted any centipedes here. We currently have quite a few sprickets (spotted brown crickets with legs so long they look like spiders) and plenty of spiders–big orb weavers and black and brown widows. Ants, cockroaches, and silverfish are the only bugs against whom I wage war, although I have rehomed any number of spiders. I’m generally a fan of spiders, even though they are freaky-looking, as they eat disease-carrying mosquitos and other insects I loathe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the “new” title. I am a Pac NW person, so no experience with those critters– but my older daughter encountered many centipedes in her six years in New York. She hated them more than the cockroaches (or the mouse that would run through her apartment) because they were/are creepy and faster moving than the roaches.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know these guys were fast! They just kinda froze when I spotted them. Yikes…

      I still say cockroaches are worse. I had to deal with them all the time in Hawaii, and even California. They’re so gross and disgusting.


  3. Oh, I actually found one inside a mug I was preparing to pick up on the kitchen counter a couple of months ago. In. The. Mug. That was quite unfortunate for the centipede, which was killed instantly. I have an agreement with all insects who venture onto our property. If you stay outside, you live. If you come inside, notify your next of kin.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. LOL! I like your policy. I once found a spider inside a mug. Literally floating in my tea. I either didn’t see it when I filled the cup, or he was stupid enough to crawl in when the tea was steeping. Either way, I did NOT drink it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Never seen a centipede here, thankfully. I’ve got spiders and the occasional ladybug in the house, and that’s good enough for me. I’ve seen earwigs but only outside thankfully. We have silverfish in some of the basements at work and they’re about as creepy as your friend with the added benefit of moving really, really fast. I always say that I can handle spiders, and snakes (never saw that inside but I had one on my porch last week), and mice (no poison, I use traps exclusively), and perhaps the occasional stinging insect, but if a cockroach crawls out of my bathtub drain I am burning my damn house down. I think that might apply to centipedes, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have had centipedes and millipedes wander through every house I’ve ever lived in here in WA. I must be doing something unknown to attract them. I will also admit that all of mine have never had legs that long. That picture you posted looks like some spider DNA got involved. I must also admit I crush the crap out of them and that the centipedes are much easier to kill. Millipedes have body armor and they curl up. You have to REALLY stomp them. I think they creep me out way more than spiders. I highly approve of the name change. Most appropriate!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did not know that about millipedes. It’s the same with ticks — you practically have to drop a brick on them if you want to crush ’em. Even then, there’s a 50% chance they’ll crawl away unscathed.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Centipedes are quite common in low places in Ohio, where I live. I see them in my basement every week or two, and always let them live — not only for the reasons you mentioned, but because I hate to kill living creatures — except mosquitos, flys, and Trump worshipers (just kidding about the latter, though they seem intent on killing democracy).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A house centipede? Don’t know of them, don’t want one. Wouldn’t go so far as saying I’m phobic about them though. So is this the new official name for your blog now? I can be happy with whatever name you use, after all ’tis your blog, Mark.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I’m keeping Mark My Words. I feel like it’s rightfully mine anyway! I once tried to buy the domain markmywords.com, by the way, but the guy who owned it was a real ass. I should share that story sometime.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great name! For any reasons 😉

    I’m way too familiar with house centipedes and they are my phobia. I could barely handle your photos. We get them quite often and their speed freaks me out. We kill the bastards!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. There’s similar bugs like this that crawl out of sinks. Apparently they live in the pipe and after you don’t use it for a while (bathtub, they come up and out and stay in your tub when you want to step in there to have a shower and omg it’s so gross. Ick.

    Mark My Words is perfect. I like.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. That is one creepy ass bug. Beedy eyes, though, Mark? Really? Like you could see its eyes? Come now. We know you didn’t get that close.
    Loved this: stepped (and stepped and stepped and stepped) Ha!
    I hold no quarter with bugs in my house. They. Must. Die.
    I don’t have a phobia, per se, I just don’t like them. They don’t belong in my territory. Outdoors, I leave them be, as that’s their domain and I’m in the intruder.
    Yes, going back to Mark My Words works well for you, and that banner image your friend made is perfect. To quote the newer Starsky and Hutch: “Do it. Do it.”
    I have to log in to post my comment, which is annoying. Suddenly it occurred to me, what if I filled in bogus info? Would you be able to tell who wrote this comment? Hmm. Let’s find out, shall we?


  11. I’ve seen house centipedes before; I had no idea what they were called, and they are CREEPY AF. Most insects make me quite anxious. This summer, I discovered earwigs after sitting on one on the patio. God, I love the outdoors . At the very least, we don’t live in places where spiders are the size of our heads. Right? RIGHT??

    Mark My Words is super clever! I’m happy I found your blog through my lovely blog friends. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. To cut a long story short, my zinnias seem to attract earwigs. I was sitting on my patio daybed one day when I felt movement beneath me. I turn around and see several earwigs scurrying. That’s all I remember… I think I blocked out the rest.😂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I vote for hearing the story about the guy who currently owns *your* domain.

    As for the centipede, growing up in the tropics, you kinda get used to stuff. I would freak out here in the UK if I saw one and would probably sweep it up and deposit it outside, regardless of how good it is with bugs. We don’t have a vast need for that service here, so I expect that’s why we don’t see them.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve never seen a centipede like yours, we have our own variety down here. I’m pretty good about letting the critters do their thing with the exception of roaches. They occasionally get inside, usually when we’re having lots of rain. We get lizards inside and I’m so used to them; they don’t bother me at all.

    I was thinking: Why doesn’t Mark call his blog: MARK MY WORDS. You could also go with: Mark, My words.
    I love it, though especially since my brother was named Mark. I recall him letting my mom know that she shouldn’t have named him after a scuff or blemish. He was 15 at the time, so everything was dramatic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My name could also mean the victim of a con or scam. That’s not exactly flattering! I’d also considered adding that comma in there, but I guess I don’t need to be quite THAT literal!


  14. Wow, I really AM an influencer. 😉
    House centipedes (for lack of knowledge about their name, I always just called them millipedes) are the only insect I kill. They absolutely, positively give me the heebee-jeebees! However, I didn’t know that information about them, so now you’ve influenced ME! I will try to not kill them. Damn they’re gross, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. No to house centipedes. Oddly, in nyc, the only house bugs we get are roaches, and if I see one I totally kill it. I always toss a roach bait under my stove. Hate them

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I can’t say I’m familiar with that critter. He definitely puts the crawly in creepy crawly. It’s good that you did your legwork on him.

    I’ve been following since Mark My Words, so it’s got that comfortable old shoes feel to it. Although, since it’s the second time around, maybe it should be Remark My Words.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oddly enough, I had never seen (or heard of) a house centipede until a couple of weeks ago. I was in the basement, minding my own business and playing Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey when the cats pointed out that there was something on the ceiling. The “something” turned out to be a house centipede – a fact we learned after my hubby searched on the picture I sent him. While I, too, generally have a live and let live attitude toward insects (except spiders and ticks) I had no desire for this multi-legged creature to fall on me. Hubs came downstairs armed with a broom and the centipede did not survive his attempts to get it off the ceiling.

    Liked by 1 person

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