Wanna know how to get rid of centipedes in your house? You may be thinking that you don’t have any centipede issue and then one day, BAM! You see one accidentally when you are doing your laundry or darting out from the stuff (usually a box) you are trying to move. In case you are worried that a centipede infestation has taken place in your house, you need to take immediate action right away. But before you find out more about how to get rid of centipedes at home, you need to learn about their basic facts.
Before learning more about how to get rid of centipedes, you need to know their basic characteristics and facts. Centipedes aren’t all bad because they can actually help you manage and control the household pests (like cockroaches or bed bugs). However, a lot of people are terrified by their appearance. And the idea of them falling on you (when they are on the ceiling) isn’t something nice. Centipedes have two legs close to their head to carry their venom. The other legs are useful to scoop the bugs up. They have lassoing technique to catch their prey. They would jump on (their prey) and then wrap their pray up with the legs.
Unlike spiders, centipedes don’t create webs or nests or such a thing. Centipedes don’t eat wood, they basically just want to catch their meal; that’s it. If you don’t mind having them, then they can be a good ‘room-mate’ that will get rid of your bugs and household pests issues. Unfortunately, most homeowners are threatened by the centipedes’ appearance. And it leads them to learn how to get rid of centipedes in your house.
In general, house centipedes aren’t exactly biters – except for several species that are pretty aggressive. They are basically timid and they like to hide from people. They sting when threatened – they do it to protect themselves. Their jaws are basically weak so they won’t be able to pierce the (human) skin. When they do bite, it feels more like a sting of a bee. The bite, however, can cause swelling and redness. A cold compress should be able to help – it should make you feel better right away.
Different Kinds of Centipedes
Whereas most people believe that centipedes are, all the same, there are actually 3,100 different species. Many of which can be found in North America. There are 3 common types that are often found in houses and properties.
- Cryptoid centipedes. They can grow to 2.5 inches in length with a light brown color. They like to live under rocks and in leaf litter.
- Florida Blue centipede. They are found on the southern side of America and they are pretty aggressive. Although they like to live under rocks, roots, or logs that retain moisture, they also like to enter a house after a huge (and also heavy) rain.
- House centipede. This is one of the most common species found at home. It can grow to 1.5 inches in length.
How to Deal with Centipedes
There are several alternatives and methods on how to get rid of centipedes. Some may kill the creatures while some can deal with them without harming them. Must Read: House Centipede Vs Silverfish Difference
You can always use the food-grade type to kill various pests at home, including millipedes and centipedes. You can sprinkle some of the white powder on the area where you suspect often visited by the centipedes. Although centipedes like to be in damp areas (like cellars, closets, or bathrooms), be sure to sprinkle the powder in dry areas only. If you sprinkle it on wet areas, then it won’t work efficiently.
Cut Them off from the Food Source
Centipedes are carnivorous creatures. Just like spiders, the centipedes would be attracted in coming to houses with tons of crawling preys, such as silverfish bugs, cockroaches, bed bugs, and moths. One way on how to get rid of centipedes is to remove all of the food sources. If they can’t find any food in your house, they won’t be interested in living there anymore – and they will go away on their own.
Make Use of Dehumidifier
Since centipedes love to live in damp and humid areas, you need to make your house unpleasant to live in for them. You can use the dehumidifier on damp areas. It doesn’t hurt to light on the bathroom’s exhaust fan so you can remove the extra moisture. Once they find out that your house’s condition is unpleasant (for them), they will go. Using the dehumidifier has its own advantage too. Besides getting rid of centipedes, you can also prevent ants and roaches infestation because these household pests would try to find water source during the dry (and hot weather) season.
Use the Insect Catcher
There is a certain catcher for centipede that is available in a form of long pole, so you don’t have to be close to remove the creature. This type of catcher would be useful if you see the centipedes often hang on your ceiling or they like to move slowly on the wall. However, this catcher won’t be suitable for fast-moving centipedes. By the time you grab the catcher, the centipedes would be long gone. It is also a good idea to have some catchers in several areas of your house – areas that you suspect are often passed by them.
One way of how to get rid of centipedes is to check for any leak or moisture existence in your house. If there is plumbing leak, water leak, or ceiling leak, the centipedes would likely live there. It is also a good idea to remove any debris that is close to the leak or any debris that may cause the leak from happening. Do the inspection at least twice a year and do it around the house’s perimeter.
You may want to start checking the bathroom, and the surrounding area. Bathroom is filled with moisture and the possibility of humid condition and leak is big. It would be wise if you can check the bathroom regularly, including having a full inspection for leak. Do the inspection several times a year – at least twice a year. Installing an exhaust would be a good idea too. After all, you need to air the room on a regular basis. Centipedes rely on the food source and water source, and if you can remove these major elements, centipedes won’t be interested in living in your house.
You can prevent the centipedes from coming into the house by sealing all the cracks, crevices, and holes. Being small creatures, they can always slip in easily. But if you can seal all of those holes, you put a block to their opportunity to enter your house. You may want to focus on windowsills, doorframe, and pipes. In case centipedes’ infestation is already happening, sealing the cracks would prevent new colonies and another possibility of infestation.
Sticky Tape Trap
If you suspect several areas to be their favorite spots, you can place a trap, in the form of sticky tape. Centipedes like to move in corners or hidden areas – you should put the trap there. If you want to know how to get rid of centipedes indoors without harming them, then sticky tape would be a good solution. You can make your own trap or buy the commercial ones. Having one is pretty simple and easy to use. The sticky part will trap pests, including centipedes. By using this kind of trap, you can learn about the type of pests’ infestation happening at home.
You can also use the vacuum cleaner to remove the centipedes without killing them. Whether you use the regular vacuum or the portable vacuum (the one usually used for the car), rest assured that you can do it without harming them. But make sure to remove them right away after you vacuum them. And make sure that you remove them far away from the property.
Your garden should be free from mess and clutter – just like the inside of your house. Make sure to eliminate mulch piles, rags, untidy dumps and foliage silage piles, and other trash. Inspect the wood warehouse and greenhouse regularly, making sure that you can minimize the condition. They should be dry and not humid.
It is also a good idea to remove any clutter around the house. If you find any heaps of dead leaves or unused logs or boxes touching the exterior part of the house, remove them. It would be a good idea to surround the house with synthetic barrier or diatomaceous earth. The centipedes won’t be attracted to come to the house.
Some people aren’t threatened by the scary appearance of the creatures. You can always crush them with your boots – that is if you are fast enough. Some people may use their bare hands although this isn’t advisable. They say that as long as you are fast enough to cover it and then immediately crush it, then it won’t have the time to bite you. But then again, not everyone can do this.
Use the Insecticides
This should be your last resort of how to get rid of centipedes if the previous methods are failing. The insecticides are available in the form of dusts and sprays – and they generally contain active ingredients like permethrin and cyfluthrin. There are several things to consider if you want to use the insecticides. First of all, make sure that you read the instructions – it is for outdoor or indoor use? If it is for indoor use, is it safe for humans and pets? Even if it is safe for humans and pets, make sure to always follow the directions to the letter. Don’t try mixing it up or be creative with it. Remember, insecticides contain chemicals and they are highly reactive. Just use as the given directions and instructions.
Those are some of the possible ways to remove the critters from your property. Choose one of those ways on how to get rid of centipedes and you should be good to go.