Centipedes - Control and Eradication

(Class - Chilopoda)

Centipedes may invade your house and yard in search of prey and a humid refuge. One species occurs so commonly inside homes that it is called the "house centipede" (Scutigera coleoptrata). While a centipede will help rid your home of pests such as termites, roaches and spiders, it may spook your kids and guests, and it may hide in damp refuges, storage spaces, your clothing or bedding, ready to administer a painful bite if disturbed.

Outside Your Home

Outside, you can minimize the prospect of a centipede gaining entry into your house by eliminating centipede refuges, applying insecticides and blocking entryways.

  • Relocate firewood, compost, boards, rock piles, landscaping materials and other attractive centipede hideaways if they are stored near the walls and foundations of your home.
  • Rather than incurring the expense of treating your entire yard, apply an insecticide judicially, for instance, in a several-foot-wide strip of soil around the perimeter of your property, in a several-foot-wide strip of soil around the outer wall of your house, in a several-inch-wide strip above the foundation of the outer wall, and on the outer surfaces along potential points of entry such as vents, doorsills and windowsills. You may have to reapply the insecticide after a rain.
  • Check your foundations, walls, windows and doorways for cracks, crevices or other openings what might serve as a point of entry for centipedes, and block the passageways with caulk, weatherstripping or other filling materials.
Banded desert centipede descending stone.

Banded desert centipede descending stone.


Inside Your Home

If, in spite of all precautions, centipedes still penetrate your outside defenses to gain entry into your house, you can make yourself an inhospitable host.

  • Rid your home of insects, for instance, roaches, that might serve as meals for centipedes.
  • Check corners and floor and wall junctions for cracks and windows and doorways for openings that might provide an entryway, and block them with filling materiels.
  • Eliminate damp corners or crevices in basements, closets, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, possibly even resorting to a dehumidifier.
  • Apply a pesticide spray around points of entry such as door and window sills and other entryways.
  • Sprinkle a residual pesticide powder in damp corners, crevices, crevices or other likely centipede hideouts.
  • Place sticky traps along floorboards and dark corners of basements, closets, cabinets and storage rooms where centipedes like to hunt prey.
  • If you see a centipede in your house, you might kill it by spraying it with an insecticide or simply killing it with a broom or fly swatter. If so inclined, you might trap it in a jar, being careful to avoid its bite, and release it outside to go about its beneficial work of killing pests.

Before applying any insecticides, powder or spray, outside or inside, consult your supplier and read and follow the directions to assure safe and effective use.

Common Questions About Centipedes

How do I recognize a centipede?

Is a centipede bite posionous?

How should I treat a centipede bite?

How do I tell the difference between a centipede and a millipede?

Health and Medical Disclaimer Click here.

Author: Jay Sharp

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