Have you ever noticed small, wriggling creatures scurrying around your home in search of food or shelter? If so, chances are you have encountered house centipedes. These worm-like insects with hundreds of thin legs are a common sight and sound! In many dark and damp places in the house.
Getting rid of house centipedes can be challenging because they are fast moving. Nevertheless, they do not form colonies that could invade your home, so it is possible to get rid of them with a little time and effort.
How to Get Rid of Centipedes in Your Home
- Use a bowl or a cup to trap it – House centipedes move quickly and can be hard to catch. To trap one, place a bowl or cup over the insect and then slide a piece of paper underneath it so that you can easily pick up the insect without having to touch it. Release the bug outdoors as soon as possible.
- Vacuum up Single Centipedes – Vacuum cleaners can be used to suck up house centipedes. This is a fantastic way to get rid of the occasional centipedes. Then empty the vacuum cleaner immediately and thoroughly to ensure that no bugs escape.
- Eliminate the food supply for them – House centipedes feed on insects and spiders, so reducing their food supply is an effective way to reduce the population. Try to seal off points of entry for other bugs such as roaches, ants, and silverfish by caulking cracks and crevices in walls or floors. You can trap their prey by using sticky tape or by setting up bait traps. Also, use natural methods such as baking soda to rid your home of pests.
- Diatomaceous Earth – Diatomaceous earth is a powdery substance made of crushed fossils of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. When used as a barrier around your home, it can act as a physical barrier against house centipedes. Just sprinkle it around the perimeter of your home and replace it every few months or as needed.
- Block off the entry points – House centipedes look for small cracks and crevices in which to hide. To prevent them from entering your home, seal these off with caulk or other types of fillers. You can also use mesh screens on windows and doors to stop them from getting in.
- Cleaning away debris around your home – Centipedes need places to hide and if your home is surrounding by debris such as woodpiles, leaf litter and mulch, they will be around. Clear away this debris as soon as you can.
- Use Vinegar in your drains – See centipedes will feed on bugs that are attracted to clogged drains, add vinegar to your drain and this will be an unpleasant environment for the centipedes. Add one cup of vinegar an hour for three hours and then allow water to run for 15 minutes, this will help to rid the food supply to bugs that are a food supply to the centipedes.
- Adding bleach to drains – Bleach can damage the s pipe in drains if it is left too long, so prepare a 50 percent bleach, 50 percent water solution and allow it to sit in the drain for 15 minutes. This will help to kill any pests in the drains that the centipedes may be feeding on.
How to Get Rid of Centipedes Naturally
To get rid of centipedes naturally, you can use some of the same methods mentioned above, such as sealing off entry points, removing debris and blocking off food sources. Additionally, you can try the following:
- Use your bathroom fan often – House centipedes prefer moist, humid environments. By using your bathroom fan often and running it for at least 15 minutes after a shower, you will reduce the humidity and help deter centipedes from making their way into your home.
- Add a dehumidifier – Dehumidifiers can reduce the humidity in your home and make it uncomfortable for centipedes to live in. Try to get the level at below 40 percent to make the air dry enough to deter them.
- Essential oils – Essential oils such as lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus contain natural compounds that can repel bugs, including house centipedes. To use essential oils to repel centipedes, simply add a few drops of the oil to a spray bottle with water and spray it in areas where you commonly see centipedes.
- Add a ceiling fan – If you often spot centipedes on the floor of you bedroom, turn on a ceiling fan while make the centipedes suspicious and make them more prone to searching for other areas.
- Keep your home clean – Vacuum often and keep surfaces clear of clutter to reduce the hiding places for centipedes tend to use for cover while hunting their prey.
- Use cayenne pepper – Cayenne pepper is a natural insect repellent that can be used to deter centipedes and other bugs. To use it, simply sprinkle cayenne pepper around the perimeter of your home and in areas where you normally see centipedes.
- Use sticky traps – Sticky traps can be used to trap and kill centipedes. Place the traps in areas where you suspect centipedes are hiding and check them often for any activity. They are also a fantastic way to monitor the number of centipedes present in your home.
How to Identify Centipedes
Centipedes typically have long, flat bodies that are grayish or yellow. The head has two antennae and a pair of mandibles used to grab prey. Most centipedes have fifteen pairs of legs, and some can have up to 177. They also have two small, venomous claws at the front of their body.
These claws inject venom into their prey, so it’s best to stay away from them if you can. House centipedes are typically fast movers and will quickly scuttle away when disturbed. This venom is not dangerous to humans, but it can be painful if you are bitten and the pain can linger for a few days.
They are usually 2.5-4 cm in length, so they can be hard to spot. Sometimes people mistake them for spiders, so look closely to make sure they are centipedes.
Should you kill house centipedes?
You should not kill house centipedes as they are beneficial to have around the home. They eat other pests such as spiders, roaches, silverfish, moths, flies, and ants. They will not sting unless they feel threatened, so it’s best to just leave them alone.
Personally, I feel that seeing a centipede is great as a warning sign that other pests may be present. It’s best to take preventative steps such as sealing off entry points, reducing the food supply to other insects.
Here are the main reasons why you should be ok having centipedes in your home:
- They are exterminators that will devour other pests – Centipedes will feed on lots of other bugs, including ants, roaches, silverfish, moths and more. This helps to keep the insect population in your home under control.
- They don’t reproduce or lay eggs inside – Unlike other pests, centipedes don’t reproduce inside the home. They will lay their eggs in damp, dark places outside of the home such as under rocks and logs.
- They are not dangerous – Centipedes are not dangerous to humans or pets, their venomous claws are used to capture prey. They will not sting unless they are handled.
What Attracts House Centipedes?
Centipedes are attracted to your house because of the presence of other insects. They are drawn to areas with lots of moisture such as bathrooms and kitchens, or in dark places where they can hide. Doing chilly weather, they will try to find a way into your home to get out of the cold.
Doing periods of drought, centipedes may come indoors in search of water. If you see them around your home, it might be a good idea to reduce the moisture and humidity in the area. This can involve fixing leaking taps or pipes, using dehumidifiers and/or using a fan to circulate air.
Centipedes also will enter homes that are close to moist areas that are providing a lot of shape due to landscaping. So, it’s important to make sure that your property is well-maintained and free of any excess moisture.
Nevertheless, they are not attracted to your house as a place to breed and lay eggs. They prefer areas with a lot of moisture where they can find other insects to feed on. You will not have to worry about an overpopulation of centipedes in your home as they will only stay as long as there are food sources present and then retreat to the outdoors.
They are attracted to homes also because of the easy access to trap their preys in a house environment. They can move quickly along flooring to corner and capture their victims, which makes them a helpful and effective pest exterminator.
How To Prevent Centipedes from Coming into Your Home
To prevent centipedes from coming into your home, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure that they do not have a food supply since that is main reason, they enter dwellings.
- You need to remove mulch, leaves and other organic debris from around the foundation of your home as they provide food sources for centipedes. Also, pests around the foundation will find their way into your home, so be sure to use effective pest control measures to keep them under control.
- If there are cracks in the foundation or around windows and doors, it is important that you seal them with caulk or weatherstripping. Even microscopic openings can allow the prey of centipedes to enter your home, which is why sealing them up is essential. This will also help to reduce the humidity in your home and make it less attractive to these pests.
- You should spray insecticides around the exterior of your home to keep the prey of centipedes away. This will help to reduce the food supply and make it less appealing for them to enter your home.
- Reduce the humidity level of your home during summer as damp conditions are more attractive to centipedes. The use of dehumidifiers and fans can help to reduce the humidity levels in your home. Plus, inspect your attic and crawl spaces for water damage or leaks that could be causing moisture problems.
Are Centipedes Dangerous to Humans and Pets?
Centipedes are not dangerous to humans or pets, as they have venomous claws used to capture prey. They will not sting unless they are handled or it they are attempting to eat. Although their bite can be painful.
If a centipede feels threatened due to the touch of human, it will become defensive and try to bite to protect itself. This is why it’s important to be careful when handling them since they can deliver a nasty bite if provoked. The feeling is the same as a mild bee sting.
You will experience swelling and pain in the sting area for several days.
For this reason, it is best to not try to catch them with your hands and instead focus on preventing them from entering your home in the first place.
Centipedes are not dangerous to the family dog even if your dog attempts to eat them. If your dog does manage to eat one, they may be stung. Try to remove the moist environment around your home where your dog can encounter centipedes.
When centipedes are in your home, cats will attempt to catch or to play with them. Centipedes will dash across floors in the search of prey. Even though cats are smaller than humans or most dogs, the sting will cause pain and irritation. Cats have great memories which means they can remember the unpleasant experience with centipedes and stay away from them in the future.
How do you get rid of house centipedes fast?
To get rid of centipedes fast, the best way is to use insecticides in the home. Insecticides such as pyrethrin-based sprays can be effective against centipedes. Spray all cracks and crevices in your home where centipedes may be hiding as well as around windows and doors.
It will not take a long time to get rid of centipedes fast because of the low number of these pests in your home. However, you may need to repeat the insecticide treatment several times to completely rid of them.
Another way to get rid of centipedes fast is by using traps. These traps use pheromones and other attractants to lure in the centipedes. Place the traps in areas where you have seen centipedes, such as moist basements or bathrooms. Check the traps every few days and dispose of the captured centipedes.
A quick solution to rid your home of centipedes is to create a mixture of peppermint oil and water. Spray the mixture on any areas where you have seen centipedes. The strong odor of peppermint oil is known to repel the centipedes.
Using tea tree oil is another fast way to get rid of centipedes. The oil can be applied directly to the centipede or sprayed around your home in areas where you have seen centipedes.
Centipedes can be a nuisance in the home, but they are not dangerous to humans or pets. They should not be handled as their bite can cause pain and irritation. If you want to get rid of house centipedes fast, insecticides and traps can be used to kill them. Other home remedies such as peppermint oil and tea tree oil can also repel the centipedes.
Taking preventive measures such as reducing moisture levels in the home and sealing entrances can help to keep them from entering your home in the first place. With a few simple steps, you can quickly get rid of house centipedes and have peace of mind.