Do you think you might have centipedes in your house? These creepy creatures are continually finding their way into homes. Whether they are searching for food or warmth, your home looks like a desirable and safe place to centipedes and other bugs.
If you have seen a house centipede, there’s no need to worry. There are ways to remove them from your home and deter them from coming back. At Environmental Pest Management, we specialize in removing pests safely and keeping them out.
What Do Centipedes Look Like?
The common house centipede is a long and flattened arthropod with many legs. While they don’t have a hundred legs as their name implies, they do have one pair of legs for each body segment, up to 15 pairs of legs. In females, the last pair of legs is twice the length of their body.
The body of a centipede is about an inch to an inch and a half long, but that amount can triple when you include the antennae and back legs: up to three to four inches in length. Their legs are banded, meaning they alternate light and dark colored. Their body is a translucent yellow with three dark stripes down the length.
Larvae, or newly hatched centipedes, are very seldom seen. However, they only have four pairs of legs. As they molt through five stages, they will have five, seven, nine, eleven, and thirteen pairs of legs. Each centipede larva will molt five more times before it is considered an adult with all fifteen pairs of legs.
Centipedes are predators and feed on many other insects. Centipedes have poison glands and can inject venom with their bites, although they seldom do so. If a centipede bites you, you will most likely experience temporary pain localized to the bite location.
A female centipede can survive for several years and have up to 150 offspring during their lifetime.
The house centipede is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean area. The arrived in Mexico and the Southern U.S. through shipping containers, and are now widespread throughout North America.
Where to Find Centipedes?
If you have centipedes in your house, you are most likely to find them under furniture or in places that are damp, dark, and protected. Outside your home, you may find centipedes under boards, logs, or rocks. They prefer to be hidden and out of sight.
Centipedes prefer to hide during the day. They will stay in a dark and moist location during daylight hours then come out at night to hunt for food. Their favorite foods are silverfish, firebrats, larvae of carpet beetles, cockroaches, and spiders. If you have an infestation of any of these other insects, the chances are good that you have centipedes as well.
Many homeowners report seeing centipedes dart across their floor. Because they are secretive and prefer their privacy, they hide most of the time. When they must move around, they do so quickly. This fast motion combined with all their legs is often scary to the humans who spot them.
How and Why Should You Get Rid of Centipedes?
It is important to get rid of centipedes because they can be harmful. While their bites are not extremely dangerous, they are painful. You do not want your small children coming in contact with them.
Centipedes in your house are often a sign you have other infestations. Because centipedes feed on other arthropods, their presence in your home means there is a food source. You will want to deal with the centipedes as well as what they are eating.
Managing and limiting the centipedes’ food source will drastically reduce any infestation you might have. Discovering their main meal ticket and dealing with that problem will often send the centipedes packing as well.
Ensuring your house is adequately sealed and protected will reduce both centipedes and everything they eat. Do a thorough inspection inside and outside your home. You are looking for cracks and crevices in your foundation or walls that would allow entry into your home. Sealing and filling these entry-points should keep out many of the problems.
Take some time to seal any covers to sump pumps or other openings outside your home with a screen and caulk. Ensure all your windows have screens, as well as floor drains. Pests are determined to get into your home and will do everything they can to find a way.
Because centipedes prefer dark and moist places, using a dehumidifier can help keep them away. Treating the soil around your home and ensuring there is no standing water near your foundation is also a good idea.
You can also look for a natural repellent that is safer to use. Both boric acid and diatomaceous earth pose minimal risks to humans and other mammals that might come in contact with them. You will want to know where centipedes are hiding in order to use these powders effectively.
Call Environmental Pest Management
If you think you have house centipedes, call Environmental Pest Management right away. We ensure that every pest removal product we use is safe for families, has little to no odor, and is only used where necessary. Our staff is well-trained and dedicated.
We do a thorough inspection of your home to ensure we are treating your infestation completely and effectively. We will provide an inspection for free and go over our plan with you, so you know what you can expect.
If you’re struggling with skittering centipedes in your house, we will eliminate them from the inside, then ensure they stay out with natural repellents applied on the outside.
We customize our plans for each customer, taking their needs and budget into account. Call Environmental Pest Management today and let’s see how soon we can get rid of any pests in your home.