House centipedes inside your home are a little more than discomforting. These creepy crawlers with multiple legs are a much unwelcome house guest in any home. They might be hiding beneath the molding in the basement or darting out as they run toward the kitchen cabinets.
Nobody enjoys it when these creatures with multiple legs invite themselves inside the home. Trying to capture them is a difficult, seemingly impossible task as well. House centipedes have 15 sets of legs. Each pair of long legs have a white band. These legs propel them at an incredible speed, often allowing them to run 1.3 feet per second!
When spotting one of these creepy crawlers, our first instinct is to squish it. Yet, you should think twice before squashing a house centipede.
What do House Centipedes Look Like?
House centipedes, or Scutigera Coleoptrata nocturnal insects. They are found all over the United States and have bodies that are worm-shaped and elongated. These pests vary in color, from yellowish to dark brown, with even darker markings.
These insects are typically around one to one and one-half inches in length. A house centipede has a body with 15 segments, with as many as 15 pairs of legs attached. They have two legs near the head that carries venom through to the other legs.
In addition, the centipede has two long antennae on their head, often mistaken for another pair of legs. Centipedes are, for the most part, harmless to humans. However, if you have them living in your house, you still want to know how to get rid of house centipedes.
Why You Should Never Squash a Centipede
House centipedes have an imperative duty inside a house. For this reason, you should never squash one of these multi-legged insects when it finds its way indoors. Because of a centipede's important job, you should avoid the urge to squish it. It doesn't matter if it is two in the morning. If you see one of these creepy insects scurrying about, do not squash it!
What Happens if I Step on a House Centipede?
Should you step on a house centipede barefoot, it might result in a painful sting. The sting of house centipedes causes redness, pain, and swelling at the site of the sting. Usually, these symptoms disappear after 48 hours, but more serious issues can sometimes happen. One of the issues of a centipede sting is a tissue breakdown and infection of the skin where the bite occurred.
Where do Centipedes Come From?
An infestation of pests does not just appear out of nowhere without something to trigger it. Those triggering factors are the reason you have house centipedes in your home. Here are some of the primary factors that draw house centipedes indoors.
One triggering factor is boxes and clutter along the walls and floor. Any drains, holes, cracks, or gaps not sealed correctly. They also like to hide under basement molding or kitchen cabinets.
They are Seeking Shelter and Warmth
House centipedes live in climates that are warm. Winter is a common time to see these insects inside. House centipedes are in search of shelter and warmth away from the outdoor elements.
Searching for an Atmosphere that is Humid or Damp
Excessive damp areas or humidity inside your home is an open invitation for house centipedes. Some of the common places you will find these pests are in bathtubs, under sinks, or beneath leaky pipes in basements.
House centipedes enjoy an environment that is filled with humidity and dampness. Therefore, lots of moisture in a home is putting your house at risk for an infestation of house centipedes. A house centipede prefers rooms like basements and bathrooms because these are the damp areas of a house.
They are Looking for Food to Eat
Because house centipedes are nocturnal and carnivorous, these insects are active night hunters. Their legs are venomous, combined with rapid movements, making them extremely successful hunters. However, unless there is something for them to eat inside your home, they will not come inside.
When trying to get rid of house centipedes, the first thing to do is find out what is attracting them. Some common insects that accompany centipedes are flies, carpet beetles, silverfish, cockroaches, and spiders. Therefore, if you see centipedes, there are likely other pests crawling around your house.
A house centipede is fairly big and preys on all kinds of unwelcome visitors--such as moths, cockroaches, spiders, ants, and even termites! They have a mild venom that is used to weaken their prey as they use their two front legs to wrap their prey up once the venom kicks in.
House centipedes are often a welcome form of pest control to many homeowners because they get rid of these other pests. Yet, when you have an invasion of any pests, your home will not feel 100% safe.
How to Get Rid of House Centipedes
Keep in mind, a house centipede infestation can be a good thing because they are helpful in getting rid of dangerous pests. Therefore, you should not rush in your attempts to get rid of them. Below are some easy tips to keep these pests out of your home, but allow them to live outside and control the pest population:
- The first thing to do to get rid of centipedes is to eliminate their food supply.
- Next, eliminate what they are hunting. This means focusing on another form of pest control to rid the spiders, silverfish, cockroaches, and carpet beetles.
- If your home has a lot of excess moisture, purchase a dehumidifier or put in a bathroom fan.
- Seal any cracks or crevices off to eliminate entry points and areas for them to lay eggs.
- Keep your home clear of moisture-causing debris.
Why You Should Not Kill House Centipedes
Before squishing a scary-looking centipede, first, discover the ways it may be helpful as a house guest. Granted, seeing a house centipede inside your peaceful abode can be unsettling, to say the least. Yet, centipedes are a creepy form of pest control for more harmful house guests.
What attracts house centipedes into a home?
The house centipede is in seek of damp, cool, and dark areas. Consequently, the same places those other more dangerous insects are attracted to. Although they prefer to live outdoors under rocks, logs, or debris, they will seek more hospitable conditions inside if they exist.
These insects get inside your home by way of the tiny cracks in doors and the foundation of your house. These are ways of getting in for not only house centipedes, but also spiders, roaches, carpet beetles, and other pests. The house centipedes prey on these bugs. Their many legs carry a deadly venom to kill their prey prior to eating it.
Because they are tiny, they can hide in the smallest spaces. They prefer bathrooms, garages, and the basement. Using a dehumidifier will ensure there isn't any excess moisture in the walls.
When it's Time to Call the Professionals
When you have tried everything you could to eliminate centipedes, but they are still there, you need a professional exterminator.
A.N.T. Pest Control knows that reducing the population of bugs is the first step in ridding house centipedes. House centipedes feed on those bugs that bite and are harmful to humans. We will set up sticky traps where they might be hiding and seal all spaces and cracks.
Call A.N.T. Pest Control today (815)215-7211. Learn how a professional exterminator service like ours can help eliminate an active invasion.