What is this vicious creature, you ask?
I woke up at about 2:00 yesterday morning, and went downstairs to the kitchen. To my horror I spotted this guy, about 3 inches long all in, at the edge of the counter about a 6 inches from where I was working. I jumped back and grabbed a rag off the counter to prepare for battle. I did not want this guy in my kitchen!
As I stared him down and prepared to attack, I felt something tickle my hand. With a quick flick of my wrist this guy's brother was scurrying across the floor. He had crawled into the rag (probably to hide from the light?) and I'm sure was no happier to be picked up than I was to have him crawl across my hand.
I made a lame attempt to kill the one still on the counter, but decided to let my knight in shining armor take care of them. Apparently, though, knight in shining armor duties do not apply in the middle of the night, unless there is an immediate threat. When I crawled back in bed and told Mike about the kitchen crawling with hideous bugs, his response was, "Did you really just wake me up at 2:00 to tell me about a bug? That's in the kitchen?"
I'm not typically this squeamish around insects, but these guys are creepy! I did some research on my flight out later that morning. House centipedes. It seems they are fairly common, and in spite of the fact that they were in the kitchen, they only eat other bugs, not people food. So now we have to decide if we should wage war on the centipedes or keep them as pets to keep the rest of the bugs and spiders out. I have always found our house curiously insect free.
The centipedes can bite people (it is supposed to be similar to a bee sting), but this is rare. My favorite learning is from a USDA pamphlet published in 1902 "It may often be seen darting across floors with very great speed, occasionally stopping suddenly and remaining absolutely motionless, presently to resume its rapid movements, often darting directly at inmates of the house, particularly women, evidently with a desire to conceal itself beneath their dresses, and thus creating much consternation." It seems not much has changed. I must admit I'm still a little afraid of the kitchen at night!