The first thing that comes to mind on seeing a centipede is fear. Some even try to smash the centipede on seeing it.
But these insects are not as harmful as they look.
In fact, centipedes are beneficial insects. So, what are centipedes good for?
Let’s find it out.
Centipedes Eat Other Bugs Hiding In Your House
Centipedes are predators. They enter homes when the weather outdoors become too inhospitable for them.
Another reason is that presence of bugs inside the house can also draw centipedes.
The centipedes inside the house will hunt and eat pests like roaches, ants, termites, flies, silverfish, beetles, and even bed bugs.
So, in a way, centipedes help in keeping the bug problem inside the house under control.
But should you tolerate the presence of centipedes inside your home?
Centipedes In The House Can Cause Infestation
Centipedes will lay breed and lay eggs in the house. Their hiding places are their egg laying grounds.
So, the presence of a few centipedes can trigger an infestation in your home if you don’t get rid of them.
Centipedes are hard to spot during the day. They’re nocturnal insects that hide inside the cracks and voids in the damp areas of your house during the day.
Centipedes emerge out of hiding when the lights are off.
The most common places inside the house where centipedes lay eggs, and where they hide, are bathroom, kitchen, basement, and laundry room.
Places where there’s a lot of water usage attract the centipedes.
The gap between the floor tiles, wall voids, fissure in damp furniture and wooden door frames, and cracks on the windowsills, are all viable hiding places for the centipedes.
One of the signs of centipede infestation is the sighting of baby centipedes in bathroom, kitchen, and basement.
These baby centipedes are slender worms with developed legs, creamy white, and less than half an inch in size.
You’ll notice these baby centipedes crawling in the bathroom floor, underneath sinks, and even in the storage sections of kitchen and bathroom.
But do centipedes bring any risks?
Centipedes Don’t Cause Damage To Your Home
Centipedes are not damage causing pests. They’re just hunters that sneaked inside the house because the weather outdoors became too inhospitable for them.
So, you’ll notice centipedes in the house during the peak of the summer, winter, and after heavy rains.
But unlike other damaging pests, centipedes won’t damage your food, clothing, furniture, or anything else.
These bugs are only on the lookout for the other insects that they can eat.
Also, centipedes won’t get onto your bed or couch. And no, they won’t get inside your ears.
Centipedes are shy creatures that avoid human contact or any creature that is way bigger than them.
So, you might have noticed that a centipede will scurry across the floor when it encounters you.
Should You Kill A Centipede Inside The House?
If you see a centipede inside the house, then you might want to use a centipede killer spray or a bug spray like Raid on it to kill it.
Those sprays kill the centipedes instantly on contact. But don’t forget to dispose of the dead centipede because leaving it will attract bugs like ants.
You can also use a vacuum cleaner on the centipedes to scoop them off the floor. Dispose the vacuum dust bag outside the property so that they don’t come back.
Killing centipedes is unnecessary. Because they’re helpful bugs.
However, tolerating a centipede inside the house can trigger an infestation. Because the presence of one centipede will attract more and they’ll start to lay eggs.
But you must leave a centipede alone outdoors as it’s not going to harm you anyway.
Many people notice a sudden appearance of centipedes inside their house.
It’s because of the change in weather outdoors and there are too many entry points in the house that allow the centipedes to crawl inside.
The best part is that centipedes are harmless. And they’ll think twice to bite you or your pets.
But centipedes can bite you if you try to handle them. They’ll insert their fangs in your skin.
House centipedes are venomous. But their venom has very little effect on humans when they bite.
A slight discomfort, a bit of pain, and itching can ensue after the bite. But the discomfort goes away after a few hours unless you’re severely allergic to bug bites.
If a centipede bites you, then use any bug-bite-reliever cream that is easily available over the counter.
Nang Chen is an Entomologist and Arachnologist who is associated with Vienna’s museum of natural history. He’s also a consultant with real estate groups, insecticide conglomerates and law enforcement groups as a forensic entomologist. Nang Chen holds an M.S. from South China University and he’s a regular contributor to our site.