When you think of a centipede, the first thing you probably think about are legs… lots of legs! The name centipede means “hundred feet”, and although they do not usually have that many, it is an accurate description of a centipedes most distinguishing feature. Most centipedes live outdoors and rarely venture in, but the house centipede can live its entire life in a building. This makes the house centipede a very common household pest.
The house centipede is a long, flat arthropod with one pair of legs on each of its many body segments. An adult house centipede has 15 pairs of legs, and the last pair can be nearly twice as long as its body. Though most house centipedes are only 1-1.5 inches long, the length and amount of legs makes them appear much bigger. House centipedes are a yellowish brown color with three dark stripes going down its body. They also have light and dark bands on their legs.
Centipedes are predators that feed on cockroaches, carpet beetles, silverfish and other insects. They like to live in dark, damp environments like crawl spaces, cellars, bathrooms, in floor drains, in cement cracks and crevices, or under boxes or other clutter. Although the appearance of a centipede can be a bit scary, centipedes are usually harmless. They have a venomous bite, but they bite very infrequently and usually only cause temporary pain at the site. The bigger concern when you find multiple centipedes in your home is what kind of other insects or prey they are feeding on. This could signal an infestation that might be more difficult to deal with than the actual centipedes.
Centipede management is not usually too difficult. It involves getting rid of their food source and sealing any entry points that might exist into the home. Start by walking around the exterior of the home and sealing any cracks or crevices that might allow centipedes to enter your home. Pay special attention to any holes made to facilitate pipes or wires. Fill any excess space with screens or spray foam. Also make sure all drains are covered with screens. Since humid environments are the most popular hiding places, fixing leaky faucets and using a dehumidifier is a good idea. After all entry points are sealed, you can vacuum up any live centipedes that you might see, and then find a way to manage any pests that might be bringing the centipedes in. This might involve contacting a pest control company that can identify and take care of pest problems.
Six Brothers Pest Control can help you with your centipede problems. While centipedes may appear scary, there is no need to fear. With a few basic steps, we can rid your home of centipedes and keep them from entering again.