From the Skepchick back channel:
On Apr 14, 2013, at 9:01 PM, Mary Brock wrote:
We just found a huge, red house centipede (in the sink!) and so we sucked it up into the vacuum. Now we are terrified to empty the canister because we are both paranoid the bug will come out with the dust. So my question is how long do these fuckers survive without food/water? We don’t know if it was sucked into the main part of the vacuum or if it is lurking in the tubes, so we duct taped the holes and we’re not going to use the vacuum for a while. Until it dies, hopefully.
One of the benefits of having a diverse group of smart people on call at all times is that when you ask a question like that, you get an honest answer from an entomologist:
On 15 April 2013 12:04, Bug Girl wrote:
Well, they do like moisture, so it’s possible that being in the canister with all the dust is unhealthy. But honestly? You may not be able to vacuum again in 2013 if you wait for it to die.
It is harmless, and a helpful predator.
And for a small fee I will come to your house and empty your canister :)
You also get a lot of snarky answers from an asshole:
On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 9:06 AM, Rebecca Watson wrote:
Maybe you should just make a bonfire and burn the Dyson? Oh but then what if it explodes and the centipede had been pregnant and then millions of flaming centipedes fly through the air at you?
On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 9:08 AM, Mary Brock wrote:
Don’t think I didn’t consider it. The house isn’t safe until the bug is dead.
On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 9:21 AM, Rebecca Watson wrote:
Maybe you could buy a small snake and send it in through the Dyson’s tube. It would find and eat the bug, and then you can take it out and then you have a pet snake.
On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 10:00 AM, Jamie Bernstein wrote:
House Centipedes are the best! I do not understand the fear of them. They look like primitive bugs that crawled the earth with the dinosaurs. They move so fast and are harmless and eat all the terrifying bugs like spiders and cockroaches. Granted, I only saw my first house centipede when I moved to Chicago a couple years ago, but my first apartment had ivy all over the outside so I got a lot of them. My cat loves them too. House centipedes are his second favorite toy, second only to mice.
On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 10:05 AM, Mary Brock wrote:
My cats are worthless as bug killers, except when it comes to flies.
I don’t believe this–most people I knew in person hate house centipedes, and you all love them? Blech! Our apartment doesn’t have cockroaches or spiders (that I’ve seen), only the occasional fly and carpenter ant (which are promptly smashed).
On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 10:08 AM, Rebecca Watson wrote:
Your apartment doesn’t have cockroaches and spiders because of the bravery of the house centipede imprisoned in your Dyson!
On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 10:10 AM, Mary Brock wrote:
Oh well, we killed a baby one a few months ago too. SO THERE.
On Mon, Apr 15, 2013 at 10:13 AM, Rebecca Watson wrote: