Centipedes usually live outside, but the house centipede can be found inside as well. Centipedes are usually brownish, flattened, and elongated insects having many body segments. They have one pair of legs attached to most of these body segments. Centipedes differ from millipedes in that millipedes have two pairs of legs on most segments and bodies which are not flattened. Centipedes are between one and six inches in length and the house centipede is between one and two inches long.
Centipedes usually live outdoors in damp areas such as under leaves, stones, boards, tree bark, or in mulch around outdoor plantings. If they are around the foundation of the house, they may wander inside. Larger centipedes can bite that may cause light swelling. Most centipedes are active at night. In the summer, they will lay 35 eggs or more in or on the soil. Newly hatched centipedes have four pairs of legs. During subsequent molts, the centipede progressively increases the number of legs until becoming an adult. Adults of many species live a year and some as long as five to six years.