Centipedes are definitely one of the scarier looking pests out there for many homeowners. They’re commonly brownish or reddish in color, though other species can be in a multitude of other colors including yellow and white.
Their flat, elongated bodies are segmented, with each segment having a pair of legs, and they can have anywhere from 15 to over a hundred pairs of legs. They’re very fast and can travel 1.3 feet per second, and can even run up walls and furniture. They have claws and use venom to paralyze prey.
The great thing about centipedes though, is they only rarely bite humans. In fact, they’ll do their best to stay clear of you, and only bite you in self-defense.
Centipedes can be very beneficial in your home. They’re nocturnal creatures, and spend the night hunting more problematic pests like cockroaches, termites, silverfish, and even spiders. They don’t damage your home like termites do, contaminate your food like cockroaches, nor do they spread diseases like rodents.
If you do want to get rid of them though, or think you have one too many in your house, there are a few, easy steps you can follow.
- Close off pest entry points in to your house – that is, repair or install window screens, especially for any outside vent. Install weatherstripping, and make sure drains and pipes are properly sealed. Use caulk on cracks found on walls and around pipes. This prevents centipedes and other bugs from getting in to your home, which helps in the 2nd step.
- Get rid of their food sources. As mentioned earlier, centipedes prey on other pests, so making sure you have as less pests as possible in your house for them to feed on, will make them want to look for greener pastures.
- Run a humidifier, especially in your basement. This lessens damp and mold, and makes the area less appealing for many pests.
- Get rid of as many hiding places as possible, including old cardboard boxes, trash, compost piles and rocks.
- Of course, spray insecticide on any you find, and for good measure, spray on hard-to-reach areas you think may harbor pests.
If you follow these and still regularly find centipedes (and other pests) in your home, get in touch with a pest control services company and have a professional come out to look.