Centipedes are arthropods that often make their way into our homes. Because they love moisture, they are often found in kitchens, basements, laundry rooms, and other humid areas of your house. These pests are easily identifiable with long antennae, yellow to dark brown body color, small mouths, worm like bodies, and many legs. While their name suggests they have 100 pairs of legs, they can actually have anywhere from 13 to 177 pairs, depending on their age and species.
Centipedes will come indoors in search of moisture, food, or to escape predators outside. Common predators of centipedes include birds, chickens, toads, snakes, frogs, mice, spiders, beetles, and even badgers.
If you find a centipede in your home, your first instinct may be to immediately get rid of it. But should you kill a centipede in your house? There are several reasons you shouldn’t, including:
- They pose no threat to humans. While they can bite and do have venom glands in their mouths, this is rare and poses no threat to your health.
- They don’t nest indoors.
- They don’t cause damage to your home.
- They are beneficial to keep around as they eat other pests you may have around your home, such as insects, worms, roaches, and mollusks.
Consider relocating centipedes outdoors instead.
Centipedes can be avoided by removing the factors that attract them in the first place. Seal any foundation cracks, holes, and gaps, as well as gaps around doors and windows. Fix any leaks and remove any standing water. Keep wood and leaf heaps away from your house. Clear out your home, garage, and basement. Regular pest control service will keep pests under control. If you have a problem with centipedes or any other household pests, contact your local pest control company for an assessment.
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