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What Do Centipedes Eat?

What Do Centipedes Eat?

Centipedes hide in every nook and corner of the earth, and feed on anything that they can get their fangs on. Unaware of a centipede's diet? Here is some information from AnimalSake about what they eat, which will be useful to you, if you intend to keep them in your house.
Ashmeet Bagga
Last Updated: Feb 20, 2018
Did You Know?
There are 8,000 species of centipedes, but only 3,000 species have been intensely researched and studied scientifically.

One fine day, you decide to go on a cleaning spree, and in the process, turn the whole house topsy-turvy. While you were busy cleaning, suddenly, you see a swift movement, so fast that your heart starts beating rapidly. You drop the broom and climb into your bed shrieking your guts out, which I am sure your neighbors hate you for! Well, you must have wondered what in the hell was that? Tiny insects with zillion legs! My friend, you just saw a centipede, probably, because you invaded its privacy.

Centipedes are famous for their creepy and crawly look, which will scare anybody (trust me). I get goosebumps, even as I am writing about it. They are arthropods belonging to Chilopoda class. They look like worms with flat bodies and are known to be real fast when they crawl on their bellies. The word Centipede means hundred legs; however, they don't have those many. It starts from fifteen, and some have over 300 legs. The number of legs are always in odd numbers. They can regrow legs again as well.

Centipedes are found almost in every region of the world, except Antarctica. They require moist condition to survive on, therefore, you will most likely find them in bathrooms, under the kitchen sink, etc. Though they look like insects, they are actually animals. They can be up to 30 centimeters long. Colors can be brown, gray, greenish-blue, and red.

Most centipedes don't have eyes, that's why, they rely on their organs while hunting for a prey. A centipede's bite is not fatal, but can cause allergic reactions in many individuals. They have become popular pets in Japan. This calls for checking into their eating habits. Here is a brief account of what centipedes eat in the wild and gardens.

What Do Centipedes Eat in the Wild?
Centipedes are nocturnal, meaning they hunt during the night. During the day, they hide under the cracks in your bathroom or in any area which is moist and humid for them. Research claims that these little crawlies eat anything that is soft-bodied and fits in their moth. The two front legs of a centipede act like fangs. These legs contain venom which they use on their prey, so they hunt and eat with the help of their two front legs. Centipedes, generally, wrap themselves around their prey, and patiently wait for the venom to take effect.

Based on their habitat and living conditions, most Centipedes in the wild will feed on:
  • Spiders
  • Snakes
  • Lizards
  • Frogs
  • Mice
  • Birds
  • Bats
  • Earthworms
  • Reptiles
  • Rodents
Centipedes are known to dry out easily, that's the reason they prefer staying in moist and humid places. But, they get much of their water content from their preys.

What Do Centipedes Eat in Gardens?
Many people make house centipedes as pets because these tiny animals help to eradicate various pests which infest your house. They thrive on insects which are menace to your garden. Some of the food items that you can include in a centipede's diet are:
  • Spiders
  • Cockroaches
  • Crickets
  • Moths
  • Flies
  • Pill bugs
  • Earthworms
  • Bed bugs
  • Pinky Mice
  • Silverfish
It is important to note that centipedes eat dead food too, so you can buy commercial crickets, roaches, earthworms from the store as well. You can feed these insects with the help of a tweezer; also, always remember to feed them food which is not longer than half of its body length.

Even though they get much of their moisture from their prey, they still need to be provided with some source of water that can be kept in the centipede's enclosure. You can opt for daily misting or a water dish. A bottle cap would also suffice or you can go buy a dish from the pet store.

If fed properly your captive centipedes can live up to 6 years; however, you can't certainly put a number to the lifespan of wild centipedes because you never know when they can be a meal for their predators. Though small in size, centipedes are very poisonous and can be harmful even to animals like snakes and lizards. So don't underestimate their small size because these little fellas over here are a force to reckon with.