There are various species of centipede living outdoor and can be found residing under stones, piles of leaves, or damp soil. However, house centipedes can be found foraging around the house. In a certain period of the year, centipede infestation raises due to the dropped temperature and food shortage. Although centipedes are not aggressive and rarely approach humans, their bites can be venomous and cause swelling. Hence, homeowners assume that centipede extermination should be done to prevent the pest from infesting the house.
Centipedes in the house
House centipede looks alike silverfish and has got a dozen of legs and a pair of antennae. Their movement is quick and they can be anywhere in the house. However, they have no intention to scare humans and prefer isolated, dark, humid spots around the house. Hence, to check if you have some house centipedes, you might want to check their possible habitat. Centipedes may reside in spots which are rarely disturbed. Hence, the cracks on the wall, damp soil, piles of stored clothes, and other rarely used places in the house should be checked. Centipedes also like the place fulfilled with foods—which in their case, bugs. Hence, the places around the house with possible bug infestation might be the place where centipedes reside. Check the cabinets, drawers, under the sink, bathtub, even the shoe racks. You might find centipedes staying around those places to prey on smaller bugs and spiders. However, in some cases, house centipedes reported occurring on the bed and carpet placed around the rooms. This is not impossible since you might leave some crumbs which invite ants and other bugs. Hence, centipedes come after these pests to prey on them. For some homeowners, leaving centipedes alone is a better thing, since the invertebrate helps to keep the house insect-free. Centipedes also will not feed on humans’ foods, so that they will not be a destruction as ants, roaches, and other insects will. Moreover, centipedes do not transmit any diseases and bacteria to humans, so that their infestation at the house will not be a definite nuisance. However, for some people, centipedes can be a nightmare, because of the prehistoric appearance and the venom they produce. Around the house, centipedes do not only linger inside the building. There are some centipedes staying in the grass outside and can also be a nuisance.
House centipede control
As gross they are, centipedes are harmless and rarely bite persons for defenses. In fact, their jaws may not be strong enough to pierce our skin. However, the occurrence of centipedes in the house can be a sign that you have the infestation of their food sources—small insects. Hence, if you spot one centipede and kill it directly, you might have handled all possible infestation of this numerous-legged crawly. To do house centipede control, you might want to consider one of the various methods.
Kill centipedes on sight
Many people are concerned about how scary centipedes look like and decide to kill them on spot in order to avoid further infestation. To kill centipedes, one of these methods can be performed:
- Stomping on centipedes. This is the easiest way to kill centipedes if you have the courage to approach the animal. However, their creepy look often makes people reluctant to go near them.
- Using bug spray or ant killer. Spraying centipedes with bug spray or ant killer might be effective. However, the poison might need a while to take a reaction before eventually kill the centipede.
- Many people choose to suck the centipedes with a vacuum cleaner and leave it dead.
- Put traps for centipedes. Sticky traps can be effective for smaller centipedes. You can buy a ready-to-use one and set it up around the areas where centipedes pass through when trying to find some food sources. Setting up sticky traps near the cracks and crevices may be helpful. When trapped, centipedes may not instantly die, but it will eventually do. Disposing of the trapped centipedes may also help to relocate it outside.
Setting up barrier near any possible entrances
Centipedes, including house centipedes, are not indoor critters. Hence, they originate outside and come inside for foods. Therefore, setting up some barriers near any possible entrance from which these critters may get into the house can minimize its infestation indoor. Put some sticky traps or insecticides on those spots to kill any invading centipedes before they exploit the house further.
Although very rarely, people might find severe centipede infestation at home. If this is what happens in your house—signed by several centipedes in a variety of sizes spotted around consecutive days, you will need a professional help. Severe infestation needs a special care and handling techniques because you will need to find the nest and possible centipede eggs which will grow into adult crawlies. This service also prevents centipedes from infesting the house in the future.
Natural remedies for centipedes
Getting rid of centipedes can also be done by applying some effective natural remedies. These ingredients are more natural than chemical sprays and are easier to get around the house.
- Food grade diatomaceous earth
DE can be used to control not only centipedes but also small insects which they feed on. This natural remedy can be found in hardware stores and can be applied easily. To use DE as a natural remedy for controlling centipede infestation, sprinkle it directly over the places you suspect to be the spots where centipedes’ activities take place. Food grade DE is not poisonous for humans and pets, but is deadly for small insects, since it tears their exoskeleton and internal organs. Sprinkling the DE can be effective for killing centipedes not only inside the house but also in the lawn and other outdoor areas. This method also kills smaller insects and thus, minimize centipedes’ food sources, so that their infestation can also be controlled.
Boric acid is also effective for killing centipedes and other creepy crawlies. This substance contained in powdered borax works by drying up the internal organs, leaving the critters to die. You can either sprinkle powdered borax around the suspected areas or mix it with other bait for more effective treatment. Boric acid also kills roaches, ants, silverfish, and other small house insects, which means limiting food sources for centipedes.
This method is not only natural, but also very humane. If you prefer this method, you will only need to prepare one thing—your courage to approach centipede. You will use the jar directly to trap it and relocate the animal outside. This is an effective method for getting rid of centipede from inside the house and put it back to its natural habitat outside. There will be no residue left and it suits those who do not want to kill any animals.
Among all treatments and remedies, people can do about centipedes getting into the house, preventing it from coming in at all is the most effective one. Do these things to prevent centipede infestation around and inside your house.
Keep the house dry
In order to live, centipedes require a moist environment. In a dry environment, this critter will dry out and eventually die. Hence, you will need to do things which ensure that you are living in a dry—not moist household, such as:
- Installing a room dehumidifier
This will regulate your house moisture and keeps the entire rooms and house dry. Centipedes do not like this kind of environment and will likely to leave the house alone. Dehumidifier also keeps smaller insects away, which is beneficial for the whole centipede control.
- Wash dirty clothes as soon as possible
A pile of dirty clothes creates a damp, humid environment, which may invite centipedes to come in. hence, you will need to wash these clothes as soon as possible, as the humid pile might be a perfect hiding place for centipedes.
- Check the shoe rack
Centipedes may also hide inside your shoes. This can be harmful since it may hurt you when you fail to inspect the shoes before wearing them. Some people get stung by centipedes when wearing sandals and shoes which are rarely worn. To avoid this, knock the shoes onto the ground before you wear them, especially when the pair is rarely worn. Stored shoes must be placed inside the box, to avoid small insect bites, which will invite bigger centipedes. Using plastic-based shoe boxes is better than using the cardboard ones, since cardboard shoe boxes may invite small insects to feed.
- Get rid of compost and other piles of wood in the garden
Centipedes live outdoor, but they may get inside the house through small gaps and entry points. Hence, preventing them from infesting the garden will likely to prevent their infestation inside. Get rid of wood piles and compost in the garden to prevent centipedes from infesting and thus, get into the house for foods.
- Putting silica gel inside the cupboards, drawers, and cabinets
Silica is an affordable, yet effective absorbent which can be used to control house humidity, especially in some unventilated spots, such as cupboards, cabinets, and drawers. You can easily find wrapped silica gels in chemical stores. Simply put some small bags of silica gel inside some potential places and replace it within two weeks. This will be helpful to keep the spots dry and thus, keep centipedes at the bay. You can also put silica inside any stored shoes and sandals to prevent centipedes from hiding inside those.
Get rid of insects
Insects infesting your house has a big role in centipede infestation since centipedes feed on these small insects. Make sure you get rid of small insects in the house to limit food sources centipedes might look for when infesting the house. To get rid of insects, you will need to:
- Wipe off food crumbs and spill stains around the house
- Remove card boards in the storage rooms
- Remove organic things around the garden
- Empty any indoor trash cans regularly
- Caulk any entry points such as window gaps, wall cracks, and any other small holes
- Remove pet food from the bowl
Remove water source for centipedes around the house
Centipedes may get indoor for several reasons, and one of them is finding food and water to survive. Outdoor water source, such as the garden faucet and rain gutter can be a beneficial water source for centipedes. Make sure you cut off these water sources to avoid centipedes from infesting by doing some simple things:
- Fix any leaked faucets outside the house
Leaked faucets drop water and not only provide a water source for centipedes but also humidify the surrounding soil or pavement around it. Remember, centipedes love humid places, and those humidified spots will invite them to come to feed.
- Empty rain gutter
Rainwater is also a nice water source for centipedes, and your rain gutter clogged with leaves and other organic things provide this need well. To avoid this, directly empty your rain gutter from rain water and any clogging materials, making sure that centipedes do not feed and build the nest there.
- Empty pet water bowl
Inside, the water left in your pet’s bowl can be the source of water inviting centipedes. Remove any left water from the bowl to avoid this. You will also remove any spilled water around the bowl and under the sink, as they may cause humidity liked by centipedes.
Use natural centipede repellents
In order to keep centipedes at the bay, you can use various repellents which are natural and effective. Those centipede repellents include:
- Cayenne pepper
These home remedies can be sprinkled around the entrance to keep centipedes and other insects away. This is a natural ingredient which has no harms to your home pets and children, although they should be kept away from the remedies.
Centipede infestation inside the house is rare and commonly not severe. In most households, only one or two centipedes are usually found, and centipede eggs and nest are not frequently spotted. Damp, humid places are their favorite spots, especially when supported with food and water sources. Hence, dehumidifying the house and removing the sources of food will keep centipedes away. Removing spotted centipedes in the garden can also be an attempt of preventing it from moving indoor. Closing up all entrance points also keeps these critters outside. Hence, all cracks on the wall and small holes should be caulked, since centipedes can get infest the house through small entrance points.