Centipedes live in damp locations. They are common under logs and woodpiles. They also live under mulch in flowerbeds. The centipedes eat insects that they find in these locations.
The timing of centipede eggs depends on the location. In cool climates, centipedes spend the winter in their hiding places. They become active again during the spring and summer. In these areas, centipede eggs are produced during the summer. In warm climates, centipedes can produce eggs at almost any time of the year.
The male centipede deposits a mass of sperm for the female to find. She fertilizes the eggs with the sperm. The stone centipedes and the house centipedes deposit their eggs in holes in the soil. There is usually one egg placed in each hole. The female centipede covers the eggs with soil and leaves.
The female soil centipedes and the tropical or desert centipedes make nests for their eggs. The nests are usually in the soil, but the female sometimes makes the nest in a decaying log. The female stays with the eggs and cleans them until they hatch. If the female did not clean the eggs, fungi would destroy them very quickly.
The female centipede stays with the immature centipedes until they can hunt for prey. Centipede eggs develop in a few months. If the temperature and humidity are favorable, the eggs can develop in as little as a month.
When house centipedes hatch from their eggs, they only have four pair of legs. As they grow, they add body segments and legs each time they shed their skin. Other types of centipedes emerge from the egg with all of their legs and body segments. These centipedes do not change form after they hatch.