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Centipedes are common pests that make their way into homes in search of food. They are yellow to dark brown in color with worm-like bodies and long antennae. They have small mouths that contain venom glands and lots of legs – in fact, they can have anywhere from 15 to 177 pairs of legs. Centipedes regrow legs each time they molt, so the older the centipede, the more legs they have.
Centipedes can be frightening in appearance, especially if you come across one unexpectedly in your home. When this happens, should you kill it? The short answer is – no. While centipedes can bite, they rarely do and aren’t considered to be a threat to humans or pets. They also don’t really do a lot to disturb your home. They don’t make nests or webs, they don’t transmit diseases, and they don’t damage your home or belongings. The best reason for not killing centipedes, though, is that they are a fantastic form of natural pest control for your home. These household pests eat roaches, flies, termites, moths, and silverfish. Instead of killing them, relocate them outside so they can help keep other pest populations under control.
Centipedes can be prevented if the things that attract them are removed. Seal any cracks, holes, and gaps in the foundation, as well as gaps around doors and windows. Repair any leaks and clean up any standing water. Keep piles of wood and leaves away from your home. Purge your house, garage, and basement. Pests can be kept under control with regular pest control services provided by your local pest control company.
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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:
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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While often mistaken for each other, millipedes and centipedes are distinctly different pests. Although commonly referred to as insects, they are actually not – in fact, they are more closely related to lobsters and shrimp. Centipedes have bodies composed of many segments with one pair of legs on each segment. These long legs extend from the sides of their bodies and trail backwards behind them, making them very visible. Millipedes, on the other hand, are the opposite. These arthropods have only 1 pair of legs on their first 3 body segments but then two pairs of legs for each body segment after those. Their legs are shorter and do not trail behind their bodies like centipedes do.
Both of these land dwelling creatures prefer moist environments with high humidity. Most are nocturnal, as well. While neither carry diseases that can harm humans or pets, they can be a nuisance when they make their way into your home. Centipedes can bite, although this is rare. They do have poison glands and can cause skin irritation when a bite occurs. Millipedes feed on stems and leaves and can cause damage to gardens. They can also leave a stain if crushed. Both species can be a nuisance when they invade your home in large numbers.
Although there is no set season for millipedes and centipedes, they do come out in large numbers twice per year: in the spring when they lay eggs and in the fall when they prepare to overwinter.
Preventing centipedes and millipedes can be accomplished with these tips:
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Centipedes are a type of arthropod often mistaken for their cousins, millipedes. These pests thrive in a diverse array of environments, from the driest deserts to wet, humid forests. Determining whether you have a millipede vs centipede can be tricky. Both creatures have linked segments forming their bodies. Centipedes only have 1 set of legs per body segment and these legs are situated on the sides of their bodies. Millipedes, on the other hand, have 2 sets of legs per body segment and their legs are situated underneath their bodies. Centipedes have flatter bodies while millipedes have rounded bodies. Now that you know how to spot a centipede in your home, what attracts them in the first place?
There are 3 main things that attract centipedes to your home: food, environment, and protection.
Centipedes are nocturnal predators with voracious appetites. They can often be found wandering around at night in search of their next meal. Centipedes consume mostly other insects, including beetles, spiders, roaches, crickets, earthworms, bed bugs, silverfish, moths, flies, pill bugs, and even other centipedes.
To prevent centipedes from coming into your home, keep these other pests away. Routine pest control is a good place to start in keeping their food sources limited.
Different species of centipedes prefer different environments. While many centipedes prefer to live outdoors, others will make their way indoors. Inside your home, they are attracted to cool, dark, damp places that are rarely disturbed. They are attracted to moisture and can often be found near food sources. They like to hide out in cement block walls, boxes, clutter on the floor, floor drains, on or near plants, leaky faucets, leaking hoses, and broken gutters. They can get into your home through drains, holes, cracks, gaps, and poorly sealed doors and windows.
To keep centipedes from making your home theirs, you can eliminate standing water in your yard, fix drips and leaks including faucets and hoses, clean and repair gutters, clean up loose brush and other yard debris, and keep your home cleaned and decluttered, especially in areas that are not disturbed often.
Centipedes are overwintering pests, meaning they cannot survive in cold weather. Instead, they will make their way indoors in search of a warm, heated place to survive the winter months and to reproduce. Because they are attracted to moisture and need it to survive, they will also come indoors during periods of extreme drought in the summer, as well.
Keep centipedes out of your home during any season by sealing any gaps and cracks with caulk, using rubber stoppers on drains, and installing weatherstripping around doors and windows.
If you have a problem with centipedes or any other pests, contact your local pest control company for a thorough evaluation and treatment plan.
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While centipedes can be unsettling to find in your home, they aren’t actually harmful to humans and can be quite beneficial to have around. Centipedes will eat almost any other kind of bug (even other centipedes!) and can help keep other pest populations down. While they can bite humans, these instances are rare. They also don’t cause damage to your home. How do you know if you’re just seeing a random bug or if you’re dealing with a full-fledged infestation? Here are some common signs of a centipede infestation.
The most common sign of a centipede infestation is seeing them in your home. Centipedes are yellow to dark brown with elongated bodies, about 1″ to 1-1/2″ in length. They also have dark stripes running down their backs. They can have up to 15 pairs of legs extending from their bodies with their hind legs longer than the other legs (often mistaken for antennae). Centipedes are usually seen at night and are commonly found near damp areas of your home.
Centipedes will eat other bugs like ants, roaches, spiders, bed bugs, and silverfish. As the populations of these other pests increase in and around your home, so will centipedes looking for a meal. On the flip side, seeing an increased number of centipedes in your home could also indicate you have a problem with other pests, as well.
Centipede infestations are more common in spring and fall than they are in summer and winter. Spring is the time of year when centipede eggs hatch. Any overwintering pests that have laid eggs inside your home will emerge in abundance when the weather warms up. Centipedes also become more prevalent in the fall when temperatures start dropping. They can’t survive temps below freezing so they will make their way indoors looking for warmth and shelter during the winter. They are especially attracted to moisture and will often be found in basements and bathrooms.
Centipedes can get into your home through cracks in the exterior or in foundations. Once inside, they’ll then hide out in dark damp places, such as drains, cracks, crevices, bathtubs, and sinks.
Getting rid of centipedes can be a challenge. If you have a problem with centipedes in your home, try:
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