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Centipedes in your home

October 15, 2020
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Although no one really likes bugs, centipedes are a beneficial insect because they feed on other pests like crickets and cockroaches. They also will sometimes feed on bats, small birds, and reptiles depending on the size of the centipede. Centipedes attack their prey by wrapping their back legs around the victim and then attacking it with its 2 front legs that have poisonous pincers. These insects are not dangerous to humans, but they do have venom in their pincers that can give a painful bite. Humans who have been bitten by small centipedes have said that it feels like a bee sting, but the larger centipedes are said to have a more painful bite. To reduce the swelling and pain of a centipede bite, you should apply ice to it. 

Centipedes need moist environments to survive. They are hunters that search indoors for food, but will die soon if they don’t go back to the outdoors. As you’re probably wondering, there are indoor and outdoor centipedes. The indoor centipedes have longer legs than the outdoor centipedes, but are shorter in length being around one or two inches long. Their back legs are very long and have long antennae on their head. Centipedes will move very quickly and usually surprise people when they're not expecting it. Reducing moisture from around the house is your best way to prevent centipedes from coming in. It’s best to make sure that your gutters are not clogged and are moving water away from your house. It’s also good to remove wet mulch and any leaf piles that are surrounding the house and allowing the soil to dry out. Centipedes have flat bodies making it easy for them to get into the house through small cracks, so it’s a good idea to seal up the cracks around the foundation of your house. If doing this is still not efficient, you can use a barrier pesticide all around the outside of your house. A liquid treatment you can use to prevent centipedes from coming in is Talstar Granules or you can use diatomaceous earth. Applying these pesticides will also help to keep out the other insects out of the house that centipedes like to feed on. 

Centipedes have the ability to detach some legs if needed to help them escape from predators, but cannot grow those legs back. Indoor centipedes also known as house centipedes, will feed on bed bugs, silverfish, cockroaches, termites, spiders and other pests. You can find a centipede in almost any room in the house, but they are often seen in bathrooms and basements. When centipedes are outside, they like to live under large rocks and other damp/cool places like stacks of wood and compost piles. 

If you are seeing a lot of centipedes in your house, it’s a good idea to search for infestations of the other insects that they feed on like attic flies, lady beetles, spider beetles, cockroaches, boxelder bugs, and other insects. With that being said, controlling other insects is your way to eliminating the unwanted centipedes.