Can Centipedes Bite or Sting?

Can Centipedes Bite or Sting?

Centipedes: those creepy crawlers that send shivers down our spines when we encounter them scurrying across the floor. But beyond their unsettling appearance, many homeowners wonder: can centipedes bite or sting? Let’s dive into the facts and debunk the myths surrounding these household pests.

Identifying Centipedes

Centipedes are elongated arthropods with multiple pairs of legs, ranging from 15 to 177 pairs depending on the species. They typically have a flattened body and are light brown to dark brown or even reddish in color. One distinguishing feature is their long antennae and the pair of venomous claws located behind their head, known as forcipules.

Signs of Centipedes in Your Home

Spotting a centipede indoors is often the first sign of an infestation. They tend to hide in dark, damp areas such as basements, bathrooms, and crawl spaces during the day and come out at night to hunt for prey.

Hazards to Humans and Property

While centipedes may look intimidating, they are generally not aggressive towards humans. However, if threatened or mishandled, they can deliver a painful bite using their venomous claws. While the venom is not typically dangerous to humans, it can cause localized pain and swelling.

Centipedes can be beneficial to your property by preying on other household pests such as cockroaches, spiders, and silverfish. However, their presence in large numbers can indicate an underlying pest problem that needs to be addressed.

Keeping Centipedes Out of Your Home

Prevention is key when it comes to controlling centipedes in your home. Here are some tips to keep them at bay:

  1. Seal Entry Points: Inspect your home for cracks, gaps, and holes in walls, floors, and foundations, and seal them to prevent centipedes from entering.
  2. Reduce Moisture: Centipedes thrive in damp environments, so reducing moisture levels in your home by fixing leaks, using a dehumidifier, and ensuring proper ventilation can help deter them.
  3. Declutter and Clean: Remove clutter from your home and regularly clean and vacuum to eliminate hiding spots and potential prey for centipedes.
  4. Outdoor Maintenance: Keep outdoor areas free of debris, leaf piles, and mulch, as these can attract centipedes and provide harborage areas near your home.

Don’t let centipedes and other household pests invade your space. Take proactive steps to protect your home and family by partnering with a trusted pest control company. Contact a pest control company near you today for a free pest control quote and let our experienced technicians help you reclaim your home from unwanted intruders.

While centipedes can bite if provoked, they are generally not a significant threat to humans. However, their presence can indicate underlying pest issues that need to be addressed. By following preventive measures and seeking professional pest control assistance when needed, you can effectively manage centipedes and enjoy a pest-free home environment.

What Type of Centipede Is This?

What Type of Centipede Is This?

Centipedes are arthropods that will often make their way into your home. Although centipede means “100 legs,” not every centipede actually has that many. Most centipedes prefer dark, damp spaces and are commonly found outdoors under rocks, logs, or piles of leaves. Other species can be found in your home. Here are 5 of the most common type of centipedes you may come across in our area.

Types of Centipedes

House Centipede

House centipedes are found throughout North America and even in Hawaii. They can grow to be 1-1/2″ long and have 15 pairs of legs. Their bodies are yellowish-gray in color with 3 stripes on their backs. They have long antennae. House centipedes are usually found in dark areas of your home, like the basement. They are usually harmless, but will bite you if they are handled. They are quite beneficial to have around as they will eat roaches, moths, termites, and other household pests.

Eastern Red Centipede

The Eastern Red centipede is found across the East Coast. These centipedes grow to about 2-1/2″ long. Their bodies are red or orange in color with lighter orange legs. They like moisture and will burrow under wet leaves, logs, compost piles, and woodpiles. They are venomous with a very painful bite.

Eastern Bark Centipede

The Eastern Bark centipede can be found in the Eastern United States and Canada westward to the Rocky Mountains. They can grow up to 3″ long. These centipedes vary in color, ranging from solid orange-brown to dark brown. Some species also have an olive colored stripe on their back. Their heads are brownish-red and their antennae and legs are yellow. These centipedes are nocturnal and live under rocks and logs. They are venomous and will bite.

Diamondback Soil Centipede

The diamondback soil centipede will grow up to 2″ in length. They have light brown bodies with dark brown diamonds on their backs. They are found throughout North America, typically in gardens rather than inside the home. They live under debris and will burrow into the soil. They don’t have eyes and don’t bite. They secrete a poisonous substance from the underside of their bodies in an attempt to ward off predators but they are not considered a threat to humans.

Brown Centipede

Brown centipedes originated in Europe (where they are quite common) but can now be found on the Eastern seaboard of the United States. They grow to about 1″ in length. They have brown bodies, long antennae, and long tails. They hunt at night and can often be found in dark areas of the home, such as the basement. They do have venomous fangs but they are so small that they do not pose any threat to humans. In fact, they are beneficial to have around because they eat other household pests.

Preventing Centipedes

  1. Reduce moisture. Centipedes prefer moist, high humidity environments. Repair any leaks you may have in and around your home. Use dehumidifiers in areas with humidity (e.g. basements and crawlspaces). Run exhaust fans in bathrooms and attics to also help reduce moisture.
  2. Declutter. Clutter provides shelter and protection for centipedes. Reduce clutter around your home, especially in areas where centipedes are commonly found (basements, crawlspaces, attics). Move any leaf piles, grass clippings, and firewood away from your home.
  3. Get rid of food sources. Centipedes will eat other pests that come into or around your home. Practice routine pest control to help keep other pest populations at bay to keep centipedes away, as well.
  4. Seal them out.  Seal any cracks, gaps, and holes on the outside of your home to eliminate ways for them to get in. Repair tears in screens and install weatherstripping to doors and windows.
  5. Call the pros. Establishing routine pest control services with a local pest control company can help to not only keep centipedes from invading your home, but other household pests, as well. The technicians can also give your home a thorough inspection, helping to identify any pest problems before they get out of hand.
Why Do Centipedes Infest Homes?

Why Do Centipedes Infest Homes?

Centipedes are one of the most common household pests. Reaching lengths of 1 to 2 inches, these creepy looking critters also have 15 sets of legs. While it can be startling to find one in your home, they aren’t harmful to humans. They don’t carry disease, don’t damage homes, and don’t consume human food. They will, however, bite if they feel threatened, although this is rare.

Centipedes can be very beneficial to have around. In fact, they are considered a form of natural pest control. They feed on other pests, such as roaches, spiders, termites, and ants.

Centipedes come into our homes in search of dark, humid environments in which they thrive. They will also seek access to food sources (like other pests commonly found in your home).

Get rid of centipedes in your home by:

  • Controlling other pests. This is the #1 food source of centipedes. Maintain routine pest control both inside and outside your home to help keep them (and other pests) at bay.
  • Dehumidifying. Centipedes thrive in moist, humid environments. Use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels in your home.
  • Using bathroom fans. This is another way of reducing moisture in your home. Utilizing bathroom fans, especially when showering, helps keep things drier.
  • Sealing them out. Inspect the exterior of your home and seal any cracks or crevices with caulk, including doors and windows.
  • Cleaning up outside. Get rid of any piles of leaves or other debris that could be holding moisture around your home.

If you have a problem with centipedes or any other household pests, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation.

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