I have a dozen bodies to clear.
July 26, 2008 10:53 AM   Subscribe

Do house centipedes leave behind the corpses of their prey?

I have a TV on a cabinet in the corner of my living room. Just now I looked behind it to find a bunch of black dots, which turned out to be curled up ant corpses.

I see house centipedes on occasion, and they are known to eat ants. Do they just suck the innards out and leave the shells the way spiders do? Or do they normally eat the whole ant body?

If it's not the centipede eating the ants, what could be leaving the corpses there? I'm not spraying or leaving any traps out, and there aren't any other visible bugs around.
posted by ignignokt to Home & Garden (2 answers total)
Where do you live? What other insects are common in your area?

My initial guess would be a daddy long-legs spider if you're in most parts of the U.S.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:32 PM on July 26, 2008

If house centipedes (shudder) are like other centipedes, they consume almost all parts of the prey, no sucking involved. Centipedes have gnarly mandibles to chew up and consume other bugs.

(It took me like 10 minutes to find this)

Are the ant corpses piled in a little pile? If so, you have an active colony probably somewhere in your house, and they are cleaning out their dead. Are they randomly scattered around? Then they may have stumbled in and died from dehydration, or any number of ant dangers. If you've lived there for a while, someone else could have left ant poison around as well. In any case, unless you see little lines of ants marching around inside, it's probably not a problem.
posted by hybridvigor at 12:33 PM on July 26, 2008

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