This is the most detailed guide on how to get rid of centipedes from your home.
You’ll learn the methods to eliminate house centipedes, what attracts them, and how to ensure they never come back.
You’ll also learn why the presence of centipedes in your home signifies a bigger problem lurking inside your house.
And a lot more. Keep reading.
Signs Of House Centipede Infestation
There are three obvious signs of centipede infestation in the house –
- Physical sightings of centipedes
- Shed skins of centipedes
- Baby centipedes
There’s no telltale sign of centipede infestation than the sightings of centipedes crawling inside the house.
Centipedes love damp areas. You’re most likely to notice the creepy crawlies in places like the bathroom, underneath kitchen sinks, and basement.
Centipedes will hide in the thin gaps and cracks in the walls, floor, and furniture in these areas of your home.
You may also notice small piles of dirt that centipedes leave behind when they burrow in concrete slabs or damp walls.
Centipedes molt while they grow. In other words, they shed their skin.
A house centipede will molt up to ten times before it matures into an adult.
So, coming across shed skins of centipedes near their hiding places is common in a house with centipedes.
That brings us to the third crucial sign of centipedes in the house – baby centipedes.
Centipedes will lay eggs in the house. Some places where centipedes lay eggs are the cracks in the concrete floor, wall voids, crawl spaces, and furniture crevices.
Not to mention, the cracks and holes in the damp areas of the house where centipedes hide are also the egg depositories.
Baby centipedes are creamy white.
It’s common to see baby centipedes crawling in the bathroom, kitchen cabinets, laundry rooms, and basements when the house has an infestation.
So, to control centipedes, removing the conditions that attract them is vital.
You’ll find out later in the post how to do that. But before that, let’s get into how to get rid of house centipedes for good.
3 Ways To Quickly Get Rid Of House Centipedes
The first and the most effective way to kill centipedes are chemical sprays. Chemical sprays are the best tools for centipede control inside the home.
A shot of pyrethrin-based spray on the centipedes kills centipedes instantly.
Sprays that contain chemicals like bifenthrin or cypermethrin also kill centipedes instantly.
But these sprays are harmful to humans and pets. So, please read the safety instructions on the spray can and follow them before using the sprays.
Your second option is to use natural centipede killers.
Products like boric acid and diatomaceous earth are proven insect killers that work on centipedes too.
They’re effective in centipede control. But they work slowly.
Both boric acid and diatomaceous earth are desiccants that penetrate the outer shells of the bugs.
Then they absorb the bodily fluids and the fatty acids inside the bugs that keep them alive.
That causes the bugs to die.
So, scatter them in the hiding places of the centipedes. And wait for a couple of hours.
Then inspect the places to find dead centipedes and remove them.
You’ll need to use the desiccants multiple times, at least thrice a week, to eliminate all the centipedes in the house.
The third and final option to eliminate centipedes in the home is sticky traps.
Place sticky traps near the hiding places of the centipedes.
Centipedes are nocturnal insects that come out of hiding during the night. So, you’ll need to keep the traps overnight.
When the centipedes step on the sticky traps, they get stuck.
Throw away the sticky traps with house centipedes stuck on them the next morning.
Smart Tip: Use a vacuum cleaner on the centipede to scoop them off the floor. And throw the vacuum bag outside of your property.
What Attracts Centipedes To Your House Or Apartment?
Centipedes prefer to live outdoors than indoors. But certain factors play a vital role in attracting centipedes to the house.
- Change in the outdoor weather
- Bugs and pests inside the house
- Excess moisture in the house
Centipedes enter homes when the outdoor weather changes.
Centipedes live in moist areas in outdoors too.
Centipedes enter homes during the warmer months when the temperatures begin to drop and after rains.
They need warm and damp spaces to live. Excessive dryness, wetness, and cold drive centipedes inside homes.
Centipedes will sneak inside the house through the gaps and cracks in the walls, windowsills, and cracks on door frames.
They’ll even exploit the gaps between the doors and the floor to crawl inside the house.
A house centipede is an efficient predator. Outdoors, centipedes hunt other insects to eat them.
So, if you’ve bugs or a pest problem, your home will attract centipedes.
The presence of bugs and household pests inside the house is an easy food source that centipedes can’t miss.
And it doesn’t matter to the centipedes how small the other pests are inside the house. They’ll eat tiny pests like bed bugs and even termites.
So, if there’s a centipede problem in your house, it can signify that your home is harboring pests you’ve been ignoring for a long time.
If your home has a moisture problem, it’ll attract centipedes and many other pests like roaches, ants, and termites.
Leaking pipes are the main culprits that cause dampness in the home’s walls and floors.
And when the house has persistent dampness, then the home’s foundation and walls become weak.
That makes it easy for the centipedes to hide in the voids that develop in walls and floors because of overexposure to moisture.
How To Prevent Centipedes In The House?
To deter house centipedes, you must eliminate the conditions that attract them.
Plus, you’ll also need to take steps that keep centipedes away.
Both are essential for centipede control and prevention.
Here’s how you can do it.
Keep Your Outdoors Clean
Centipedes invade homes from your outdoors, like a yard or garden.
Outdoor centipedes hide in places like leaf litter, grass clippings, under firewood piles, mulch beds, and below rocks and stones.
They can even hide in the cracks on the tree bark or tree stumps.
So, clean the outdoors. Ensure that there is no organic debris rotting in your yard or garden.
Don’t ignore the trash bins in your outdoors. Ensure that you dispose of the waste in them regularly.
Decaying waste in the trash bins is a magnet for many species of flies to lay their eggs. Those eggs lead to maggots.
And these maggots are easy meals for the centipedes.
Control The Moisture Levels In Your Yard
Centipedes love moist areas to hide in the outdoors. So, if you’ve been overwatering your yard, stop doing it.
Also, if there’s a standing water problem, like old tires, pots, potholes, and cans holding water, remove them too.
Both increase the dampness level of your yard’s soil, making it attractive to centipedes.
Seal The Gaps On The Windows, Walls, And Doors
Centipedes are efficient crawlers and crawl through the thinnest of gaps and crevices.
So, seal cracks and gaps on the walls, windowsills, and doors.
Also, don’t overlook the cracks in the damp areas of your house, like the bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and basement.
The cracks in these areas are hiding places for most centipedes. Seal them too.
Fix Leaky Pipes Inside The House
Water leakages inside the house increase the home’s dampness level. That attracts the house centipede.
And if one centipede enters the home, other centipedes follow suit soon.
So, fix any leaky pipes underneath the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Check the floor drains for any leakages.
If there are any, fix them too.
Don’t overlook the basement for water leakages. Most basements are cluttered, dark, and have many damp places.
So, it’s a go-to place for many basement bugs to go and hide there, including the centipedes.
Use Smells That Keep Centipedes Away
There are some smells that insects, including centipedes, hate. One of those is the peppermint smell.
You can use peppermint spray both inside the house, along the home’s perimeter, and on the windows and doors.
Use the spray thrice a week because the spray doesn’t remain effective after 48 hours.
The acidic smell of white vinegar also keeps centipedes away.
So, if you can bear the acidic smell of white vinegar, you can also use it as a spray to keep away centipedes.
Get Rid Of Insects And Pests Indoors And Outdoors
Bugs attract centipedes. Centipedes are active hunters, and homes with bugs will surely draw centipedes.
So, look out for other insects and bugs inside the house.
If needed, hire a pest control services team to remove bugs from your home, especially when hard-to-remove bugs like bed bugs, termites, ants, and roaches have infested the house.
All centipede removal services also recommend keeping your home bug-free to keep centipedes away.
Are Centipedes Harmful To You And Your Home?
Centipedes are harmless insects, though they carry venom and can bite too.
But centipedes avoid human contact.
You’ll notice that the first thing the house centipede will do on seeing a human is scurrying across the floor and look for a crack to hide.
So, the chances of a house centipede biting you are very less. But it can bite you if you try to handle it with bare hands.
But a centipede won’t kill you despite biting you.
A house centipede’s bite feels like a bee sting. But their fangs can’t pierce human skin.
A bit of Pain and discomfort is only for a few hours unless you’re severely allergic to bug bites.
Centipedes don’t cause any damage to your home either.
They’re, in a way, helpful bugs that hunt and eat other insects both indoors and outdoors.
That’s why many people invite centipedes into their gardens to keep away garden pests like aphids and mealy bugs.
But some centipedes can be aggressive. One is the Florida blue centipede, which is common in the southern US.
These centipedes hide underneath rocks, woodpiles, and even underneath plant pots.
Other scary-looking centipede species, like the cryptopid centipede and bark centipede, are also common.
It’s easy to identify centipedes. They’re so noticeable that you can’t miss them.
They’ve got a pair of antennae on their head and scaly bodies with 15 segments on them, where each segment has a pair of legs. They’re fast crawlers and grow up to 1.5 inches in size.
Centipedes are harmless despite looking scary. But that doesn’t mean you should tolerate their presence inside your house.
You can quickly get rid of centipedes in the house by using the sprays containing specific chemicals listed in this guide.
To prevent centipedes, you’ll need to remove the damp conditions that attract them.
Reduce humidity and moisture inside and outside the house by taking the steps you’ve learned in this guide.
Centipede’s diet consists of other insects. So, removing bugs and insects from the indoors and outdoors plays a big role in keeping centipedes away.