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How to get rid of centipedes

The Bug Doctor: Adam Villareal, owner and president of Insight Pest Solutions, entomology nerd, and family man. To help demystify the world of bugs, the Bug Doctor answers your questions during our weekly “Ask the Bug Dr.” blog feature. You can submit your bug and pest control inquiries for him on our Facebook page, by tweeting @insightpest, or commenting below.

How to rid the home of centipedes

House centipede. Photo credit: gailhampshire

House centipedes are common invaders to many households and can be controlled rather easily when taking the right approach. They are yellowish to dark brown in color and are about an inch to as long as six inches when fully grown. Their bodies are flattened and they have many legs, two large antennas, and are very quick at getting away when startled, most often times at night when they are most active hunting.

Centipedes typically inhabit areas in and around the home where any kind of moisture can be found. Areas such as soil, mulch beds, accumulated leaf debris, under rocks, walk stones, corner splash boards, bathrooms, basements, garages, crawl spaces and any other area that may contain moisture. Often times, centipedes slip into the home through cracks, crevices, external piping, bad weather stripping at entry points, windows, and vents to name a few. An Integrated Pest Management program is needed to rid the home of centipedes.

It is recommended that as a homeowner with a centipede problem that you do the following steps to eradicate invading centipedes.

  • On the exterior you should remove possible harborage sites that are close to the home such as leaf piles, rocks, stones, wood piles, heavy foliage, grass, leaves, and boards in order to decrease the number living near the home.

  • You should also inspect the property and locate areas where moisture accumulates, and find ways to divert it further out from the house. Decreasing the moisture around the home takes away a vital resource centipedes need to survive.

  • To prevent centipede entry into buildings, you should seal up/caulk gaps around siding, repair entry points/weather stripping, seal up cracks/crevices, repair broken windows, seal up piping, crawl space entrances, vents, and voids around wires to name a few common entry points.

  • You can also use glue boards, liquid, and dust insecticides to treat entry points, harborage sites, moisture areas, cracks, crevices, and wall voids to eliminate centipede hiding and resting places.

For more information on centipedes, check out the advice from Penn State Extension or these suggestions from DoYourOwnPestControl. Was this information helpful?  Please comment below and share your experiences. We would love to hear from you. For more expert pest control tips, check out our guide.

Do you have a question about bugs or pest control? We’d love to help. Let us know on our Facebook page, in the comment section below, or by tweeting @insightpest. You may see the Bug Doctor’s answer to your question in a future post.

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