There are an estimated 8,000 different species of centipedes around the world, but one that is a common household pest is called the house centipede. House centipedes are comfortable in both urban areas and forests, but prefer a warm, damp environment.
House centipedes can be frightening to stumble upon. They are brownish-yellow in color and have three darker brown stripes running down their backs. They have a long, flat shape with many legs. The word centipede means “hundred feet,” but an adult centipede usually only has 15 pairs of legs. The last pair of legs can be very long, up to twice the length of its body. Although house centipedes are generally only 2.5-4 cm long, their legs make them appear much larger.
House centipedes feast on many insects that we consider pests. Two of the “legs” near their mouths are modified to carry venom that they use to sting their prey. This venom is potent on things like roaches, spiders, and silverfish, but is unlikely to be dangerous for humans. If you do get stung or “bitten” by a house centipede, it will likely only feel like a bee sting and may leave a small red bump.
While house centipedes are not typically considered dangerous for humans, you definitely don’t want to find these creepy creatures in your home. Centipedes are attracted by easily accessible food, water, and shelter, so making sure that these things aren’t available in your home is essential for prevention.
Food: Eliminate a centipede’s food source by getting rid of insects and bugs in and around your house. Favorite food choices include: roaches, beetles, spiders, and silverfish. Do this by keeping your home clean and applying a perimeter treatment using Harris Home Pest Control, which will keep out a variety of household pests.
Water: Centipedes love warm, moist environments. Solve moisture problems in and around your home by fixing leaky pipes and faucets, cleaning out gutters, using a dehumidifier if necessary, and correcting landscaping issues.
Shelter: Prevent entry into your home by sealing the exterior. Apply caulk or expandable spray foam to any cracks or gaps. You should also make sure that doors and windows have weather stripping and intact screens.
House centipedes can be frustrating, but with Harris pest control products, you can take care of them quickly and easily. For more information, check out Centipedes and Millipedes: The Ultimate Guide.