Pest Guide for Centipedes
While the name “centipede” means “100 legs,” these arthropods can actually have anywhere between 15 and 177 pairs of legs. Centipedes are elongated, with flat, segmented bodies that contain a pair of legs per segment and while there are thousands of species of centipedes found all over the world, the most common found in North America is the house centipede.
Diet and Behavior
You’ve likely seen a house centipede before – it has a long pair of antennae on its head and around 10-20 pairs of long legs. However, what you may not know is that these centipedes have large, claw-like teeth that contain venom to paralyze their victims. Centipedes prey on things like worms and spiders, but their teeth can penetrate human skin (in the unlikely chance you’re bitten, it will feel much like a bee sting).
Centipedes like to hide in moist, dark areas like bathrooms, basements, closets, and other common hiding places. Because they’re nocturnal, you’ll rarely see a centipede during the day and if you do, it will move very fast and will likely be heading towards another dark area to hide.
Prevention and Elimination
Because centipedes prey on other small household pests, the best way to prevent them in your home is by eliminating any pests that may be present. Another good precaution is to reduce the amount of moisture in your home by using a dehumidifier and cleaning out damp closets and basements.
Luckily, centipedes don’t often travel in numbers so if you do find one in your home, it’s unlikely that there are many more. Still, if you believe there could be more, you can lay sticky tape down along floorboards and in dark corners to trap them. You can also call our pest control company for more tips on centipede elimination.