Centipede Pest Control
Centipedes on Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Though relatively harmless, centipedes are one of the most unsettling pests to find scurrying across your floor. They are also among the most common. With dozens of long, fast-moving legs, these insects look scarier than they are — but that doesn’t mean you want them in your house. Learn more about these household invaders, including methods for removal and helpful tips for preventing an infestation.
What Are House Centipedes?
Centipedes are common in homes across the country, especially if you live in a place that gets a lot of rain or your house is located in a depressed area that gathers moisture. House centipedes are long, flat and usually a grayish color. They have dark-colored bands around their legs.
Though the “centi” in centipede implies 100 legs, the average house centipede only has about 30. Instead of creating nests, webs or dens like other pests, centipedes just travel throughout your home, finding new places to hide. At night, they come out to forage for prey. Some centipedes, especially females, can live as long as six years inside your home or business.
They feed on other insects, including:
- Carpet beetle larvae
How to Identify a Centipede
Centipedes have one set of legs on each segment, and one pair of legs doubles as venom-filled claws to trap and consume prey. They are typically between 1 inch and 1 1/2 inches long, but they often appear longer because of their extended legs and antennae. Some centipedes grow to be 6 inches long.
Compared to millipedes, a centipede’s last set of legs extend backward. They are also faster. While it’s not uncommon to see a centipede running across your kitchen or bathroom floor, they tend to linger in dark, damp environments, like basements, crawlspaces, cellars and garages.
Why Remove Centipedes From Your Property
Although some centipedes may bite if they feel threatened, most do not. In fact, the only one in your house who needs to be scared of these insects are the pests they feed on.
Though centipedes are harmless, do not make the mistake of ignoring them. Due to their hearty appetite for other insects, the presence of one or more centipedes could indicate a more significant pest problem in your home. Centipedes also lay eggs indoors, and some females can have up to 150 offspring during their lifetime. For these reasons, an infestation can quickly get out of hand. The larger an infestation, the more challenging it is to eliminate it.
How to Prevent Centipedes
There are a few things you can do to keep insects away and minimize the chance of a centipede infestation. Protect your home or business by taking these steps:
- Remove their food source: Because centipedes feed primarily on other insects, the best way to prevent an infestation is to remove their food source. If you have insects in or near your home — especially those listed above — consult a professional for thorough pest removal.
- Keep things clean: Keep your space as clean as possible by eliminating clutter and debris and promptly clearing away any food or pet waste. The cleaner your home is, the fewer places a centipede can hide. You are also less likely to attract other bugs, which compel centipedes to stay. This includes cleaning your porch, garage and other outdoor spaces.
- Seal off entrances: Use caulking or rubber strips to seal all possible entrances that centipedes can use to get inside, including cracks under and around the door, windows, loose-fitting screens, cracks or holes in the walls or foundation and air vents.
- Eliminate excess moisture: Centipedes thrive in moist environments. Inspect each room in your building and remove any standing water and fix leaking pipes or ceilings to keep water from puddling in the future. Use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air inside your house. Turning on fans throughout the day can also help. In some instances, you might consider grading the soil around your home’s foundation to redirect rainwater.
How to Get Rid of Centipedes
If you need to remove centipedes from your house, you have a few options:
- Relocate them: Because they are not dangerous or destructive, relocating one or two centipedes may be the quickest way to get rid of the insects. Keep in mind that this is only a temporary solution — if the centipedes found a way inside your home once, they can likely do so again.
- Make your space uninviting: Discourage centipedes from sticking around your home or business by making it as uncomfortable for them as possible. This means eliminating all other insects, using a dehumidifier to dry damp rooms and keeping things clean and aired-out.
- Use a centipede trap: Use sticky centipede traps to catch and remove centipedes. Place traps in areas where centipedes might frequent, like the corners of your basement, under the sink or near drains and plumbing. Once you’ve trapped a centipede, you can either relocate it outdoors or eliminate it yourself.
- Apply commercial insecticide: Some commercial insecticides may help temporarily alleviate a centipede problem. Apply the spray or powder solution in cracks, crevices and corners where they might hide during the day.When using a commercial insecticide, keep the solution away from pets and children and follow all safety instructions listed on the packaging.
- Contact a centipede control professional: Pest infestations are challenging for property owners to handle on their own. Despite your best efforts, centipedes may still find their way back inside. A professional centipede pest control technician can inspect your home or business to identify the source of your centipede infestation and create a plan to eliminate them and prevent future problems. They can also help you spot the vulnerable areas around your property that might be inviting to insects, like easy entryways or excess moisture.
Contact Cape Cod Pest Pros for Centipede Pest Control in MA
Nobody wants to share their home or business with insects. Centipedes are skilled at hiding and reproduce quickly, so infestations can happen before you even suspect a problem. Professional centipede extermination is the best way to ensure your home is free of centipedes and other insects.
The trained technicians at Cape Cod Pest Pros will inspect your home, eliminate any unwanted visitors, help you find the source of your centipede problem and take steps to fix it. In addition to one-time treatments, we also offer ongoing quarterly or annual pest control services, so you can have peace of mind all year long on a schedule that fits your budget and lifestyle.
Browse our website to learn more about our professional pest removal services, and schedule your free pest inspection today.