1-1 ½" (25-38 mm).
Gray-yellow, Flattened and elongate. 15 pairs of long legs, One pair of legs are attached to most of these body segments. They differ from millipedes in that millipedes have two pair of legs on the most segments and bodies that are not flattened and 3 dark stripes running length of body.
Usually live outdoors in damp areas, such as under leaves, stones, boards or tree bark or in mulch around outdoor plantings. When these centipede habitats are near a home’s foundation, centipedes will wander inside, where they may be found at floor level almost anywhere.
The house centipede may well be one of the scariest household pests by appearance alone. The slender body is adorned on either side by numerous, very long legs, and it moves very quickly which can be disconcerting to many homeowners. This centipede is harmless, however, and is actually a beneficial creature, feeding on spiders and insects found within the home.
Centipedes are predators, feeding on small, living creatures such as insects, spiders, and other arthropods, like sowbugs, and millipedes. They use poison-filled jaws to help subdue their prey. Because of their predaceous habits, centipedes are beneficial arthropods.
Centipede Prevention Tips
If you find that centipedes are coming into the house in great numbers it is more than likely that there are a lot more outside. Removing materials from outside is the first call in centipede prevention, as this will remove the pest’s shelter. This can include:
- Any Debris around the garden
- Centipedes thrive on moist, humid areas and so the first step in preventing them is to make your home as dry as possible. There are actually forms of grass that can help to repel insects and one of those is called ‘centipede grass’. It has no relevance to centipede insect but it can repel them. Centipede grass is weed-free so you shouldn’t use centipede weed control.
- As they thrive on moist areas, rotting logs and grass clippings can be an ideal nesting ground for these creatures. so everything should be cleared away. You should mow the lawn frequently as this makes the garden drier and less appealing to the centipede.
- Another thing to look out for is cracks around windows and doors. If you do see any you should fill them as soon as possible. This will not only stop the centipede getting in but it will also stop other bugs from entering the home.
- Insecticides can also be used if the problem is severe but it is recommended that you leave them as a last resort because of the potential damage they can cause. If you do use an insecticide you should spray it around the house especially around entry points such as windows and doors. Insecticides do not always work the first time so you should expect to use two to three treatments before you eliminate the problem.
- Indoor centipede control is the next step in controlling the creatures. If there wasn’t any food for the centipede to eat in your house, it wouldn’t keep coming back. This means that the first step in stopping centipedes in their tracks is to cut down their food supply. You can do this by buying ‘sticky traps’ which trap other insects. Pest control companies sell these and they have been proven to be highly effective.
- You should check for any cracks in walls or around entry points. Make sure if there are any you cover them up and fill them as soon as possible. Check for cracks and gaps in floorboards, basements and under appliances.
- Using dehumidifiers will also help as they will take all the moisture out of the room. This can be particularly useful in moist rooms such as a toilet/bathroom or basement. If you do follow the tips above, you should have a pest free zone in no time.
The continued presence of house centipedes suggests that insects are abundant enough to serve as a food supply. Management of insects, spiders, or other prey may be the best treatment for centipedes. Because centipedes feed on a variety or prey, there may not be a single obvious source of food. Reduction of moisture can also help reduce centipede numbers.
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