What Attracts Centipedes To Your Home?

What Attracts Centipedes To Your Home?

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.

Food

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.

Environment

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.

Protection

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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Signs of A Centipede Infestation

Signs of A Centipede Infestation

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.

Seeing Centipedes Inside

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.

Seeing Other Pests Inside

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.

Time of the Year

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:

  1. Using traps. Sticky traps work best and can be bought at your local hardware store.
  2. Drying out your home. Centipedes are attracted to moisture. Repair any leaks immediately. Use a dehumidifier when possible.
  3. Sealing cracks and crevices. Centipedes love to sneak in through small cracks and crevices. Seal or repair these as soon as possible. Use weatherstripping around doors and windows. Use window and door screens when possible, also.
  4. Pest Control. Because centipedes feed on other pests, consider routine pest control to help keep all of these nuisance pests away from your home. Contact your local pest control company for an evaluation and recommendations.

 

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Why Do I Have Centipedes?

Why Do I Have Centipedes?

Centipedes are a common household pest. Although they range in color, the most common species are grayish-yellow with dark stripes. Most centipedes grow up to 1″ long although the largest species has been recorded at a whopping 6″ in length. Each body segment on a centipede contains a pair of legs and they can range anywhere from 15 pairs to 177 pairs. They also have hairy antennae which they can use to detect their prey. Centipedes can move fast – up to 16 inches per second!

Centipedes can be found in a variety of climates – desert, temperate, wetlands, and even forests. Like most pests, they are in search of three things: food, moisture, and warm shelter. For this reason they will often make their way into your home. Centipedes thrive in dark, cool, damp environments that are close to a food source. They can often be found under rocks, logs, and under debris. They are nocturnal, coming out at night to search for prey that includes beetles, roaches, crickets, spiders, worms, and silverfish. Unlike their millipede cousins, they do not eat wood or decaying material.

Centipedes will make their way indoors through drains, holes, cracks, gaps, and poorly sealed windows and doors. Once inside, they are commonly found inside cement walls, in boxes, under clutter, in drains, and under sinks in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. What makes centipedes take up refuge inside your home? Centipedes are attracted to homes by three major things:

  1. Food Sources: Centipedes feed on other pests that are commonly found in and around your home. An infestation of roaches, ants, spiders, or other insects provides a feast for incoming centipedes.
  2. Heat: While centipedes typically prefer to stay outdoors, drought or cold weather can send them indoors in search of warmth. Heated homes provide the ideal environment for overwintering pests to come indoors.
  3. Moisture: Centipedes love moist environments. Leaks and standing water will draw in these pests, along with many of their friends.

While centipedes are capable of biting and injecting venom (which they use to subdue their prey), they rarely bite humans and, when they do, their bites don’t usually puncture the skin. Centipedes are considered beneficial to have around since they help keep other pest populations in check.

Centipedes can be prevented by getting rid of the things that are attracting them in the first place. Seal any cracks, holes, and gaps in foundations and around doors and windows. Repair any leaks and get rid of standing water. Keep piles of wood and leaves away from your home. Declutter your house, garage, and basement. Keep pests under control with routine pest control service.

If you have a problem with centipedes or any other pests, contact your local pest control company for a comprehensive analysis to help identify any pest problems and recommend the most appropriate treatment options.

 

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DIY Pest Control Tips for Household Pests

DIY Pest Control Tips for Household Pests

The last thing any homeowner wants to deal with is pests. A household pest is any insect or animal that is commonly found in a household structure that can cause destruction to the property or to your health. While the occasional critter can make its way inside, routine occurrences indicates the likelihood of an infestation. Fortunately there are some DIY pest control tips you can use at home to help prevent these pests from taking over. Here are a few of the most common household pests and how to prevent them.

Ants

Ants
Most ants don’t cause any structural damage to your home (with the exception of carpenter ants). They are, however, the #1 nuisance pest in the United States. Ants are difficult to control because their colonies are so large. These pests typically come indoors in search of food and water and can usually be found near these sources in your home – especially in kitchens and bathrooms. Prevent ants by:

  • Keeping your home clean.
  • Wiping countertops daily.
  • Cleaning up crumbs and spills immediately.
  • Cleaning appliances regularly.
  • Emptying trash daily and keep trash containers clean.
  • Keeping food in sealed containers.
  • Getting rid of overripe fruit.
  • Repairing leaky pipes.
  • Keeping gutters clear.
  • Keeping shampoo and soap containers sealed and clean.
  • Sealing any exterior holes, gaps, and cracks.
  • Trimming back trees and shrubs from the house.
  • Clearing your yard of debris.
  • Using screens on doors and windows.

Birds

Birds
Birds are not usually considered nuisance pests but their nests can obstruct common areas of your home and their droppings can contaminate or damage other areas. Birds usually enter your home in search of food and shelter. Prevent birds by:

  • Using saltwater vs freshwater in fountains and water features.
  • Not leaving pet food out overnight.
  • Keeping grass mowed and hedges trimmed.
  • Dismantling nests IF they are actively being built (bird nest removal laws prevent touching nests that are already built or occupied).
  • Sealing exterior gaps, cracks, etc. as birds can use these to access attics.
  • Hanging strips of aluminum foil from trees or other high places to deter birds.
  • Installing predator decoys (like owls and snakes) to scare off birds, moving them frequently.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches
Cockroaches are dangerous to humans as they are known to carry serious diseases and trigger both allergies and asthma. These pests multiply quickly, making them very difficult to control. Roaches will come into homes in search of food, water, and shelter, with them often found in kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. Prevent roaches by:

  • Cleaning up crumbs and spills immediately.
  • Throwing away or storing leftover food at night.
  • Cleaning surfaces nightly.
  • Rinsing food cartons before throwing them away.
  • Emptying trash nightly.
  • Storing food and pet food in airtight containers.
  • Not leaving pet food and water out overnight.
  • Using plastic storage rather than cardboard.
  • Getting rid of old newspapers and magazines.
  • Sealing any exterior gaps and crevices.
  • Using weatherstripping.
  • Using stoppers or metal baskets in sink drains.
  • Repairing leaks.
  • Caulking around tubs and sinks to seal them.
  • Hanging wet towels up after use.
  • Keeping kitchen sponges dry and not storing them on the counter.

Termites

Termites
Termites are known as silent destroyers, eating wood from the inside out and going undetected for long periods of time. Common signs of termites include swarms; mud tubes; discarded wings; discolored drywall; peeling paint; wood with a hollow sound when tapped; squeaky floorboards; doors and windows that stick; damaged wood; loose tiles; and buckling floors. Prevent termites by:

  • Using concrete foundations when building your home.
  • Covering exposed wood with sealant or metal barrier.
  • Keeping soil around foundations dry.
  • Keeping gutters and downspouts clear and functioning.
  • Filling cracks in cement foundations.
  • Filling in gaps around where utilities come into your home.
  • Fixing leaks immediately.
  • Keeping vents unblocked.
  • Keeping landscaping trimmed away from the sides of homes and foundations.
  • Not storing firewood next to the house.
  • Getting an annual termite inspection.

Rodents

Rodents
Rodents are common household pests and include rats, mice, squirrels, and raccoons. Rodents can cause significant damage to your property by chewing through electrical wires and insulation. They can also contaminate food and spread disease. Prevent rodents by:

  • Using metal trashcans with tight-fitting lids.
  • Storing pet food and birdseed in glass or metal containers with sealing lids.
  • Picking up fallen fruit and birdseed from the ground.
  • Removing standing water from bird feeders.
  • Storing firewood away from the home and elevating it.
  • Storing boxes in the garage off the ground.
  • Storing food in containers.
  • Cleaning up crumbs nightly.
  • Sealing exterior openings.
  • Keeping gutters clear.
  • Screening attic vents.
  • Screening windows and doors.

Centipedes and Millipedes

Centipedes and Millipedes
Centipedes are arthropods with 14 or more body segments and one pair of legs per segment. Millipedes are also arthropods but they have 2 pairs of legs on their body segments. Neither of these pests are considered dangerous and don’t cause damage or spread disease. They can, however, be annoying if they infest in large numbers. Both of these pests thrive in moisture-rich environments. Prevent centipedes and millipedes by:

  • Repairing leaks.
  • Removing standing water.
  • Removing moisture-holding ground cover or mulch that is close to foundations.
  • Storing firewood away from the house and elevating it off the ground.
  • Inspecting firewood before bringing it in the house.
  • Sealing doors and windows that are low to the ground to prevent entry.

Spiders

Spiders
Although there are a few venomous spider species in our area, most spiders that make their way into your home are harmless (and even beneficial by eating other pests)! Prevent spiders by:

  • Sealing exterior cracks and crevices.
  • Screening doors and windows.
  • Vacuuming up spiders and eggs found in your home.
  • Brushing down webs with a broom.
  • Decluttering your home.
  • Vacuuming and dusting frequently.
  • Keeping shrubs and plants trimmed back from the sides of the home.
  • Keeping mulch a few inches away from foundations.
  • Using plastic rather than cardboard storage.

The key to household pest control is prevention. By taking these steps early, you can head off an infestation before it starts. If you have a problem with any household pests, contact your local pest control company for a free evaluation and comprehensive treatment plan.

 

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Millipede vs Centipede – Which Is More Dangerous?

Millipede vs Centipede – Which Is More Dangerous?

Although they are often confused with each other, millipedes and centipedes are two completely different pests. While both are classified as arthropods, the similarities end there. Which one is more dangerous to humans – millipede vs centipede?

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. These legs enable centipedes to move very quickly. They also have long antenna. Centipedes do have the capability to bite and are classified as predators, killing and eating their prey.

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. These shorter legs make millipedes move much slower than their long-legged counterparts. Millipedes are also unable to bite. They are scavengers and do not kill prey to feed.

So which one is more dangerous? When millipedes are disturbed they will curl into a tight ball similar to a pill bug or “roly poly.” Since they are unable to bite, they emit a foul-smelling fluid that can cause irritation to the skin and eyes of humans if handled. Centipedes, on the other hand, will bite humans on occasion if they are disturbed. A centipede bite is similar to that of a bee sting, leaving behind a red bump that can swell, itch or sting. Despite these defensive mechanisms, neither millipedes nor centipedes are considered dangerous to humans or pets. Neither of these pests are known to transmit diseases or contaminate food, furniture, or plants either.

Although they aren’t considered harmful to humans, we still tend to be a little leery of their presence. You can prevent millipedes and centipedes by:

  • Repairing any leaks and removing standing water from around your home. Remove any moisture-holding ground cover and organic material that is close to your home’s foundation. Moisture is necessary for the survival of both of these species.
  • Store firewood away from the house and elevated off the ground. Inspect it for any pests prior to bringing it into your home.
  • Seal any doors or windows that are low to the ground to help prevent easy entry into your home.

If you have a problem with millipedes or centipedes, contact your local pest control company who can help identify which of these pests you have, as well as help identify how they are getting into your home and the best method to eliminate them and prevent them from returning.

 

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