Unexpected House Guests

Note from Sue: It seems I’ve been visited by a few “unexpected house guests” as of late. Rather than go “eek,” I’ve taken to the internet to identify these creatures and to my cell phone to capture their pictures. Then, I’ve recorded a bit of interesting information about each of them, which you can listen to here on my website.

The House Centipede

Photograph by Sue, November 25, 2017

The House Centipede, Playing time 10:28

“The house centipede… has become common in dwelling houses in the Middle and Northern States.  It is a very fragile creature capable of very rapid movements, and elevated considerably above the surface upon which it runs by very numerous long legs… It may often be seen darting across floors with very great speed, thus creating much consternation… The creature is not a true insect, but belongs to the Myriapoda, commonly known as centipedes…. If captured it will be found to consist of a worm-like body of an inch or a little more in length, armed at the head with a pair of very long slender antennae, and along the sides with a fringe of fifteen pairs of long legs. The last pair is much longer than the other, in the female more than twice the length of the body. Examination of its mouth parts shows that they are very powerful and fitted for biting, indicating a predatory or carnivorous habit… It will eat house flies, roaches, and any other insect inhabitants of dwellings. It would therefore seem to be a very efficient enemy of many of our house pests… Very few cases are recorded of its having bitten any human being…”

The audio is a reading from a U.S. Bureau of Agriculture Farmer’s Bulletin. The House Centipede, written by Charles Lester Marlatt, 1914, revised 1930.


Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, January 25, 2017

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Playing time 10:17

“The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys, is an invasive pest…native to Asia, which was introduced into the United States in the mid-1990’s, possibly stowing away in a shipping container. In early autumn, adult brown marmorated stink bugs look for wintering sites… They can enter structures by the hundreds, or thousands. Once inside, they may congregate almost anywhere, including bookcases; under beds and sofas; in cracks under or behind baseboards, window and door trim; and in attics. These pests will not cause structural damage or reproduce in homes. They do not bite people or pets and they are not known to transmit disease or cause physical harm. However, some people may be sensitive to allergens give off by the stink bugs.”

The audio is a reading from an article about the brown marmorated stink bug by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


Here are a few more of my readings prompted by “curiosity.”

A Robin’s Nest

Tent CaterpillarsTent Caterpillars

Tadpoles