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Signs of House Centipede Infestation


If you are anxious around spiders, you will be even more so around centipedes. Centipedes are strange and unsettling even among insects. Its unusual, flat body, an abundance of long, spindly legs that bear its name, and its wormlike gait can frighten you as it scutters across your floor.

The most common species of centipede found in American homes is generally harmless, and in some cases even beneficial. They are adept at eliminating other bothersome insects such as termites, flies, roaches, and silverfish.

Nonetheless, the emotional impact of a centipede infestation in your home or business is sufficient reason to implement centipede management measures.

In this blog post, we will be discussing some signs of house centipede infestation in your house. So, continue reading to learn more about these pests and effective ways to manage them.

What Are House Centipedes and How to Identify Them?

Centipedes are myriapods, which are long, multisegmented creatures with many legs. And, contrary to their name, they do not have 100 legs; instead, they can have as few as a dozen or as many as 300.

House centipedes are nocturnal insects native to the United States. Their bodies are elongated and worm-like, with markings that are often darker, and a color range from yellowish to dark brown. Typically measuring one to one and a half inches in length, these insects can have as many as fifteen pairs of legs.

The house centipede is the most common type of centipede seen by homeowners and business owners. This is because it is the only centipede that can complete its life cycle indoors.

House Centipede

What Are the Signs of House Centipede Infestation?

Centipedes, unlike termites, do not eat wood or dig tunnels into it. As a result, other than being discovered in a sink or bathtub and swiftly sprinting across floors or scaling walls and ceilings, centipedes usually leave no visible trace. For this reason, the centipedes themselves are the most obvious indications that they are present in your home.

To determine whether these intruders are present, you should therefore rely on the more subtle indicators:

Visual Encounters

Seeing them crawling inside the house is the most obvious indicator of a house centipede infestation. Consequently, you could at least try searching for them in areas they like.

House centipedes adore wet environments. The bathrooms, basements, and under kitchen sinks are the areas where you are most likely to see them. In these sections of your house, centipedes will hide in the tiny cracks and gaps in the floor, walls, and furniture.

Little mounds of earth that centipedes leave behind when they burrow in damp walls or concrete slabs may also be visible.

Shed Skins

As they mature, centipedes molt—that is, they shed their skin. Before becoming an adult, a house centipede may undergo up to ten molts.

Therefore, finding shed skins close to their hiding places can be considered a common indicator of an infestation.

Baby Centipedes

Centipedes can lay their eggs within the home if they are comfortable enough. Crevices in furniture, wall voids, crawl spaces, and cracks in concrete floors are a few locations where centipedes lay their eggs.

Additionally, centipede hiding places such as holes and cracks in damp areas of the house can serve as egg depositories.

Infested homes frequently have baby centipedes crawling through the basement, laundry room, kitchen cabinets, and bathrooms.

Other Pests

This one is more like a secondary sign since other pests are a factor that can lead to centipede infestations in homes. Because house centipedes feed on pests, you can expect to see them if you see other pests in your home.

Pests like silverfish, spiders, cockroaches, and more are consumed by house centipedes. Thus, by eliminating these pests, you will have cut off centipedes’ food supply.

Where Do House Centipedes Live?

House centipedes usually hide in damp, dark places during the day and emerge at night. If they lose their cover, they will flee to the nearest dark place to hide.

They are most commonly found in boiler rooms and bathrooms, especially late at night. Discovering a house centipede may also indicate the presence of a nearby plumbing leak.

Autumn and springtime are prime times for centipede infestations. Evidence of an invasion can be found by searching the areas where centipedes typically hide during these seasons.

What are the Health Risks of House Centipedes?

Centipedes are hunters, but unlike termites, which can cause property damage, and spiders, which can endanger you, they are unlikely to harm anyone.

Despite their frightening appearance, centipedes are not particularly dangerous. They are mostly referred to as “nuisance pests.” They have poisonous fangs, but they are not strong enough to pierce human flesh.

House centipedes do, however, occasionally bite in self-defense, which can cause some localized pain and swelling that is comparable to a bee sting in that it may cause minor discomfort but should not cause permanent harm.

House Centipede behavior

Typical Behavior of House Centipedes

Centipedes are nocturnal animals. Though humans seldom see them during the day, certain species of centipedes break into homes. Typically, they hide in moist places like closets, basements, and bathrooms. Centipedes are most active at night because that is when they forage for food.

Their diet consists of various kinds of small household pests such as cockroaches, flies, and spiders. Because they can’t see well, they use their antennae to find their prey. In fact, a few of them lack eyes altogether.

Common house centipedes can live up to a year and are thought to have a long lifespan.

Do House Centipedes Enter Beds?

Centipedes prefer dark and moist environments. Outside, they live beneath decks, stones, mulch, or decaying logs and leaves, and inside, they can be found in places that somewhat resemble their outside environments.

That is why, house centipedes are only drawn to beds to find other resources; they are not looking for a human host. Keeping your bathroom and bedroom less humid will definitely keep centipedes away.

Inspecting your bedroom may reveal centipede food sources, such as ants, cockroaches, and spiders. Exterminating these pests will naturally chase away centipedes.

Tips on Getting Rid of House Centipedes

House centipedes are drawn to places that are abundant in moisture, food, and shelter. They will most likely move in if you have a nice, damp garage or basement with plenty of spiders and other prey.

In addition, warm, humid, quiet places like closets, bathrooms, attics, cellars, behind baseboards, and crawl spaces are preferred by house centipedes as places to live and deposit their eggs.

As a result, the main things to be concerned about are other pests that could become centipede prey, as well as humidity.

Down below are some tips to keep centipedes at bay:

  • Check for plumbing leaks and clean up any water damage you find.
  • When it is too hot or dry outside, centipedes seek refuge. Dehumidifiers can help keep your home’s humidity level below what centipedes prefer.
  • Turn on the exhaust fans in the bathrooms and attics to keep the space from becoming overly damp.
  • Close up any gaps, crevices, and openings on the exterior of your house to prevent house centipedes and other insect pests from entering.
  • Fix tears in your screens and install weather stripping on your doors and windows.
  • Clear away any potential outdoor living spaces, such as logs and leaf piles. This may also help to reduce the number of centipedes on the property.
  • Remove any centipede food sources, such as roaches, beetles, or spiders. Since house centipedes eat other insects, controlling other insects and spiders inside your home will also control house centipede populations.
  • Ensure that all food waste is properly disposed of in order to avoid attracting any other pests that may attract centipedes.
  • To make it harder for them to hide, clear out the attic, crawlspace, and basement of clutter.
  • If you have a garden, make sure there is enough space between the plants for air to circulate. When you are done watering your plants, this will help to dry them out.
  • Clear the area around the house of any heaps of leaves, grass clippings, and firewood.

To avoid having centipedes in your home, always remember that prevention is the best medicine.

However, there are certain pest control products you can try if the centipedes are already inside your house. In addition to being killed by many common pesticides, house centipedes can also be captured using sticky traps.

Of course, the best way to get rid of house centipedes in your home is to call your local exterminator. They have years of experience, in-depth knowledge, and access to the best pest control equipment available. It is much more likely that they will manage your centipede infestation problem much better than you if they have all of these on their side.

Just keep in mind that if you see centipedes on a regular basis or in large groups, it may indicate a larger pest problem. Centipedes are solitary creatures that do not create nests in human homes. Excessive centipedes are a clear sign that it is time to call the exterminator.