An educational guide to help you get rid of unwanted Centipedes.
How To Get Rid Of Centipedes
For most people, centipedes definitely qualify as “creepy crawlies” thanks to their incredible number of legs and feelers. Even so, centipedes can’t really harm people and very rarely bite; if they succeed, it will be very minor. Instead, they eat the things you don’t want like bed bugs and termites. Out of the 2,000 species of centipedes found around the world, you are most likely to spot the house centipede indoors. On average, a full-grown house centipede will have about 30 legs. These arthropods aren’t technically insects and spend their time in dark places, leaving at night to find food.
Know Where To Find Them
You can’t get rid of centipedes if you don’t know where you will see them in the first place. When in the outdoors, they are typically found under leaves, tree bark, and rocks or other damp environments so they don’t dry out. Inside human dwellings, their ideal locations are bathrooms and basements thanks to their damp nature. Of course, simply reducing the clutter in your home will eliminate centipede hiding spots, reducing their numbers.
Consider Killing Them On Sight
Centipedes won’t usually be found inside in large numbers. This means that it is actually perfectly reasonable to kill them on sight and be taking care of your problem in some cases. Unfortunately, the practicality of smashing them is a challenge as their large number of legs, each of which are very long, make them incredibly fast. The best methods of killing a centipede include smashing it with your shoe or using an aerosol insecticide that says it works on centipedes. Alternatively, you can try to catch the centipede in a jar then bring it outside and release it.
Eliminate Other Small Insects
A good way to get rid of centipedes and discourage them from returning is to get rid of their food supply. Since they eat other household pests in the form of tiny insects, eliminating those will make your home less attractive to the centipede as it becomes harder to find food. It may even move of its free will, going somewhere where food is more easily accessible.
Make Sure Your Home Is Dry
As mentioned earlier, centipedes are attracted to moist environments. In other words, if you make sure that your home is dry instead of damp, you can reduce its attractiveness for them. To take advantage of this, clean up any damp areas like basements and closets and invest in some dehumidifiers, both of which should encourage the centipedes to look for a home somewhere else.
Like other insects, centipedes can be caught using sticky traps that will catch them when they walk over them. Keep in mind that using these traps to catch centipedes will also catch a range of other household pets. That will actually help you as it lets you know which insects you are dealing with and need to eliminate to discourage the centipedes from staying in your home. For the best results, place the traps along your floorboards as this is where centipedes tend to hunt.
While centipedes are small, it is still possible to seal up any entrances that they could use to get inside. Check your entire property thoroughly and seal up cracks in the concrete walls and foundation. Cover up the drains in the basement floors, make sure there are screens on all windows, and get rid of gaps around windows and doors. Like some of the other methods, this also has the benefit of preventing other bugs from entering your home.
As with all other similar pests, there are multiple insecticides that will kill centipedes, getting rid of your problem. If you are okay with these pests staying outside your home but don’t want them inside, you can use a powdered residual insecticide in areas within your home, like the crawl space or basement or under the furniture. Don’t listen to a product that claims to be a centipede bait; these pests only walk over insecticide accidentally.
If you don’t want the centipedes within a few inches or feet of your home, you can take more dramatic action. There are outdoor residual insecticide sprays that can be used outside. Either soak the soil within a few feet of your home with it or cover the entire lawn. Be careful when using insecticides, however, as many insects are beneficial. You don’t want to kill helpful ones like lady bugs or honeybees. You should also keep in mind that just using an insecticide is a temporary measure. Unless you remove other attractants, centipedes will keep coming back.
Try A Natural Pesticide
For those interested in pesticides but conscious about their impact on the planet, you can consider using diatomaceous earth of a food-grade or boric acid. There are also products with pyrethrin derived from plants that can kill centipedes in a natural way.
We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.