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Centipedes in Your Home: How to Prevent and Get Rid of Them


What’s a Centipede?

If you’re not yet familiar with a centipede, it won’t take much to learn more about them. They’re usually red or brown in nature and they have lots of legs. Pinning down exactly how many legs they have, though, is rough, because different types of centipedes have different numbers of legs. They can have anywhere from 15 to 177 pairs of legs at a time. It’s almost always an odd number, though.  They’re fairly flat creatures, and they look a bit like a worm with lots of legs. You can find them throughout the United States, but they particularly like moist areas. In addition to all of those legs, they also have some antennae. You’re far more likely to find them at night than you are during the day because they’re nocturnal. They tend to feed on flies, spiders, and other small creatures.

Do I Need to Worry About Centipedes?  

Yes and no.  Centipedes are the sort of pest that don’t invade a person’s house unless they discover a food source readily available.  Centipedes don’t eat what a lot of other insects eat – so you won’t find them in your cupboard eating cereal or crackers.  Rather, they’re going to be eating the insects that had hoped to dine on the cereal and crackers.  Centipedes eat other insects, and where those insects go, they will follow – even if it means into your home.   

Centipedes can bite and do have some venom.  However, they aren’t actively out hunting people.  They aren’t looking to bite you and will run away the first chance they get.  The problem is that if you get too many centipedes living in your home, you may encounter them more and more to the point that a bite may occur.  Their venom is weak when it comes up against a fully grown adult, but people who have allergic reactions to the venom may require a visit to the doctor.  Still, these instances are rare. The biggest issue people have is the look of the centipede – one little creature with that many legs tends to offer nothing but creepy-crawlies to anyone.  

How Do I Fight Them?

If you do have centipedes in your home, you’re going to want to do a few things.

  • Seal It Up! Find out how they’re getting into your home, then eliminate those entry points as best as you can. They love moisture, so if you have weak spots or drain pipe holes or anything even remotely similar in your home, get rid of them immediately.
  • Get Rid of Other Pests. Centipedes come in looking for a good meal, so make sure they’re not going to get it. Your best bet is to take care of other pest problems as soon as you can so the centipedes don’t come in at all.
  • Contact a Pest Control Professional. If you do have a centipede problem, you can try DIY traps or other methods of control, but the chances are good that it’s not going to work as well as you’d hope. Instead, you may want to contact a pest control professional for help. They’ll not only be able to take care of the centipedes you already have in your home (both the ones you can see and those you can’t), but they’ll also be able to make recommendations to help keep the others from coming in too.

Do I Need Professionals?  

A pest control company is the best choice when it comes to figuring out what is going on with the pests in your house. Technicians can figure out why they are there, how they are getting in, where they are hiding, and much more. They can tell you what steps you can take to prevent further infestations, as well as take care of the problems you have at the moment. If centipedes are making you uncomfortable, then it’s time to do something about it.

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