It’s likely that it took a good deal of courage from some of you to even start to read this article on one of the most feared household pests in our area. Centipedes, or Thousand Leggers in common vernacular, are arthropods belonging to the class Chilopoda. They are elongated creatures with many legs that are commonly found in most homes and even commercial buildings. The word Centipede comes from the Latin words meaning 100 and foot. Despite this name, centipedes can have a varying number of legs from under 20 to over 300 based on the species. Their fast movement with these many legs have earned them the nickname “Thousand Legger” as these pests can scurry up walls, ceilings, and virtually any surface at speeds up to 24 mph!
The common house centipede is typically yellowish-gray in color and have up to 15 pairs of legs. They feed on other insects and arachnids they find in their environment such as spiders, bed bugs, termites, cockroaches, silverfish, and ants. They can live anywhere from 3-7 years and begin to start breeding around their third year of life, laying 60-150 eggs each spring.
Outdoors, centipedes prefer to live in cool, dark places that shield them from dehydration and excessive cold. These areas are frequently under large rocks, wood piles, and in compost. When finding their way into home during times of inclement or harsh weather conditions, centipedes will tend to find the coolest, darkest places in the home or commercial building, but have been regularly seen in other spaces aside from the typical basements and bathrooms.
Centipede control is not a difficult task and one that is frequently part of a pest control program. Spraying a house or commercial structure’s exterior several times per year can effectively help to kill centipedes before they enter as well as control a large variety of pests that centipedes feed on, thus removing their food source. If you encounter lone centipedes, they can be crushed and disposed of. Setting up glue traps in areas centipedes are noticed will also provide some minor control.
It’s also a good idea to remove conditions that are conducive to centipede activity. Try whenever possible to reduce the humidity of indoor spaces by using a dehumidifier and correcting any leaks or malfunctioning drains. Centipedes can squeeze through the tightest of cracks, so whenever possible, try to seal cracks with caulk and replace weather stripping around windows and doors as needed for a tight seal.
If you would like more information about how we can keep centipedes out of your home or commercial property more effectively using our professional pest control services to spray for centipedes, please don’t hesitate to contact us.