The 101 On Centipedes: Understanding, Preventing, And Treating These Leggy Insects

As a homeowner, you most likely understand the importance of periodic maintenance and repairs. From replacing a loose roofing shingle to repairing a broken window, these tasks are necessary for your home's function, appeal, and value. Unfortunately, you may not be placing enough time and energy into pest control. Considering the house centipede is a common insect in residential North American, learning how to identify and control these pests is smart. Using this guide, you will understand the dangers of the house centipede and learn how to eradicate these leggy insects if found in or around your home.

The 101 on the House Centipede

You may believe centipedes have 100 legs due to its name, but these insects can actually have more or less depending on their age and exact species. On average, centipedes can have 15 to 177 pairs of legs, making them truly unique.

Each centipede varies in size and color, as well, but their shorter legs can help you distinguish them from a millipede. Most centipedes are able to move quickly, so they are difficult to see. While their poisonous bite helps control the population of other insects, centipedes can be dangerous to have around your home.

A centipede bite may feel similar to a bee sting, which can cause an allergic reaction. Due to this possibility, it is best to prevent the possibility of centipedes or treat your home if there is an infestation.

Centipede Prevention

Centipedes are attracted to moisture, so ensuring your home is free of damp, wet areas is a great start to preventing these unappealing insects from entering your home.

To get started, inspect your home's foundation and crawlspace for excessive moisture. If you notice any cracks in the foundation, repair them immediately. Centipedes can easily enter your home through small cracks. Consider sealing your crawlspace or adding a vapor barrier to the ground to reduce the moisture content under the home.

Inspect garden planters, furniture, toys, and other outdoor surfaces for rain puddles or moisture. Remove containers and wipe down moist areas to reduce the risk of centipedes and other pests.

Since centipedes feed on other insects, keep your house clean and free from other pests. Remove trash, wipe down countertops and cabinets, and seal any opened packages of food to make your home less appealing to other insects and pests.

Treating a Centipede Problem

If you notice centipedes in and around your home, contact a local pest control company to determine the best course of treatment. In most cases, professionals locate and treat entrance points with an insecticide spray. They will also locate and spray areas with centipede eggs to a possible infestation in the future. Insecticides are usually effective with ongoing applications, but they can be hazardous to your health and the environment.

If you prefer a non-toxic, natural option to rid your home of centipedes, consider the following:

  • Diatomaceous Earth – Formed from sedimentary rock, diatomaceous earth is a thick, white powder that kills many insects without harming surrounding landscape or vegetation. Purchase food grade diatomaceous earth, which is safe to use around your pets and family, from your local home improvement store or garden center. Spread the powder around your home's foundation, in the crawlspace, and in various areas of your home to kill existing centipedes and other insects.
  • Tea Tree Oil – While surprising to hear, tea tree oil is also a great option for treating a centipede problem. The oil contains numerous antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties, but its aroma and taste is unappealing to most insects including centipedes. Add pure tea tree oil to a spray bottle and spritz around door and window frames, crawlspaces, and the foundation. Repeat a few times each month for ongoing treatment.

Preventing pests inside your home can be difficult, but it is possible. Using this guide, you will have a better understanding of centipedes and learn the best techniques to prevent and treat a home with these leggy insects.

If you find yourself dealing with an overpowering invasion, don't hesitate to call a professional pest control company like Ace Walco & Sons Termite & Pest Control.