Kirby interviewed for BDN article on beneficial household bug

The Bangor Daily News interviewed Clay Kirby, an insect diagnostician with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, for an article on a beneficial household arthropod, the centipede. While centipedes can be creepy and startling to some, Kirby insists they are harmless and are actually predators of other pests that could live in your home, including ants, beetle larvae and spiders. Centipedes do not cause damage to houses and are afraid of humans, keeping mostly to basements and other cool, humid areas with lots of cover, according to the BDN. If seen in large numbers, they can be discouraged by sealing up cracks in the house’s foundation, removing clutter, using a dehumidifier and consulting a pest management professional to eliminate other pest populations they could be using for food. But Kirby hopes humans and centipedes can peacefully coexist. “If [people] knew the benefits of house centipedes, they would think twice about smashing it with a fly swatter. It’s really worth getting the word out,” said Kirby. “And they really are a very striking organism.” WGME (Channel 13 in Portland) carried the BDN article.