What is a centipede?
A centipede is an arthropod with many legs that can crawl around eating tiny particles. There are thousands of species of centipedes, but the house centipedes are the kind we are going to get rid of. The scientific name is Scutigera coleoptrata, and removing these pests can cause quite a conundrum. I remember when I was playing around in the garden as a child. There was this red little worm thing I found, so I picked it up. It bit me, I screamed, and ran to my house crying. Little did I know that a centipede had bit me. They are quite fascinating to watch crawl around and can mesmerize anyone. Centipedes rarely bite, but we are going to discuss methods and home remedies to get rid of centipedes.
Centipede bites can be very painful to small children. Since the jaws of centipedes usually aren’t strong enough to pierce the skin, most adults don’t find centipede bites painful. However, to a scared 5-year old, a centipede can be very frightening and painful. Run the child’s bite under cold water, apply some anti-bacterial cream and wrap the bite in a baidaid. If the centipede bite doesn’t clear up within a few days, consider visiting a health care professional. The feeling of a centipede bite is comparable to a bee sting without the allergic reaction.
Actually arthropods like chiggers and spiders, centipedes aren’t actually insects. They spend most of their life hiding in dark places and scouraging for food. Places like tree bark, in the attic, under a bed, basements, and bathrooms are prime places for a centipede to live. Since they are relatively not aggressive, they don’t pose much of a danger, but are still unwanted for the value of a house. Many individuals are provoked with fear when they see this creepy-crawly and are scared to mess with these creatures, especially depending on how big the centipede is.
Centipedes offer a huge value to your house that you may have never though of. They eat a variety of other other bugs and small mites such as bedbugs, termites, tiny spiders and even some species of cockroaches. Rarely biting people, many species of centipedes are harmless to humans. This is not to say that they are needed in a home environment, since they can still instill fear into anybody and are still technically a pest.
How many legs do centipedes have?
Centipedes hibernate during the winter and lay around an average of 40 eggs in soil during the spring. Newly hatched baby centipedes start off with 4 pairs of legs, but each time they molt, centipedes grow more legs. Some species of centipedes can live up to 6 years! House centipedes generally have 15 pairs of legs, and can grow up to 1.5 inches long. The color of these house centipedes ranges from dark gray to a darker yellow with three stripes down their back.
Get rid of house centipedes
The first step you can take to getting rid of house centipedes is to go looking for them. Move around furniture and take a flashlight down in your basement and actually look for live centipedes. You can kill centipedes by stepping on them with a boot or capture them with a cloth and take them elsewhere. Some people catch the bug in a glass jar and release them outside. Reduce clutter and dirtiness around your house. Keep laundry put away neatly and keep your lawn cut short. Keeping a mowed yard and tree limbs cut short will help tremendously. During the fall, try to keep piles of leaves at least 30 feet from your house. These critters like to huddle in the pile of leaves for shelter and warmth, so make sure they are a sufficient distance from your house to keep them from wandering in. Reducing clutter inside and outside your house are a great way to discourage these bugs from infiltrating your property and to keep them from coming back every year.
Another way to keep away centipedes is to keep your house clean and dry. Simply remove the food sources that they are looking for and the bugs will leave. I recommend keeping all food in an airtight container and keeping your counter tops clean to discourage centipedes from nesting. Keep the humidity low by purchasing or renting a dehumidifier. Centipedes love humid places as they don’t have to search for moisture, and installing a dehumidifier can greatly reduce the possible environments for these pests as well as many other pests.
Sticky traps can work amazingly for many insects and pests. Just buy a few sticky boards and place them around furniture, in the basement, and high-traffic areas. The traps will catch spiders, flies, centipedes, and sometimes even small mice! Remember to check your trap at least once a week, preferably every day because the trap can fill up quick and start producing a foul odor. This is the best natural way to kill centipedes. You can purchase these sticky traps at a supermarket for a fairly cheap price, and they are extremely easy to set up according to instructions listed on the back. A homemade DIY sticky trap can be made by using duct tape wrapped around a board. The centipede will walk over the duct tape, become stuck, and die until you can throw the trap in the trash. In fact, just placing some tape around the floorboards can catch many little bugs that are preying in the shadows of your house and eating up the crumbs of your meals. The only disadvantage to these traps is that centipedes aren’t susceptible to baits, and will only go after moving baits, which means you will have to wait for the centipede to wander into the trap.
Make sure that your home fortress is sealed. This is possibly the easiest way to get rid of centipedes. Take an hour and walk around your house with a caulk gun to seal off any holes in your foundation. If the centipedes can’t get inside your house, then you won’t have any problems with them. Check your roof too as this can prevent other small animals like squirrels from entering.
Killing centipedes can be done very easily by using poison. Do your research and read the reviews on Amazon before purchasing house centipede poison. Keep in mind that these poisons may be dangerous to children and pets, so you have two options. One, if you don’t have any children or pets, then go ahead and make the purchase. Two, ensure that you have safe places to keep the poison where the centipedes will interact with it, but away from kids and pets. Insecticides such as Raid can kill many types of pests quickly and can actually get rid of centipedes overnight. A professional spray poison can be purchased in pump bottles that work great at deterring many other pests and insects by barricading your home in a chemical.
There is a secondary type of poison, which can kill on contact. You will rarely find centipedes when they are hibernating, so it will be difficult to kill these pests with a poison during their hibernation months. However, using poison that kills on contact is a commonly used method to get rid of house centipedes since often times the poison residue can be wiped up and the centipede thrown outside or in the trash. Be careful though, as the poison may be dangerous to pets and children and should be cleaned up immediately.
There are many insecticides that will repel and reduce the amount of centipedes around and in your house. Natural pesticides that repel house centipedes include boric acid and diatomaceous earth. Boric acid can cause stains, so take caution when sprinkling it around your house. I use diatomaceous earth around my yard, simply just sprinkle some around the base of trees, the outside of your house, as well as places you might suspect centipede nests. Cayenne pepper is a very potent spice and can get rid of many other insects and pests. Removing fleas, spiders, dogs, squirrels, and cats can be obtained by sprinkling cayenne pepper around your house. One thing to note is that sprinkling dust is not a permanent method and will be needed each season possibly two to five times. This can become quite expensive, depending on the size of yard you have.
For some, house centipedes can become a huge disastrous problem. Exterminators are professionals with the training and tools available to remove centipedes quickly and effectively. Hiring an exterminator can be quite expensive, but the advice of a professional is extremely valuable. House centipede exterminators can be purchased locally at great prices to solve such a scary and intimidating problem. If you found this article helpful, be sure to share it with a few of the share buttons below. If you have any better tips on how to kill scutigera coleoptrata, feel free to leave a helpful comment below and we would love to discuss the idea, and possibly add it to the article. Good luck solving your problem!