When you see a house centipede, it can be scary. They have 15 pairs of legs and can move fast, up to 1.3 feet per second. People often get scared and try to kill them with a shoe or magazine. But before you do that, know that house centipedes can actually help you and your house.
Don’t Get Rid of House Centipedes
House centipedes are not harmful to humans, but they can help get rid of other pests such as termites, cockroaches, spiders, silverfish, moths, carpet beetles, and flies. They use their legs to grab the pests and then inject them with venom from their front legs. Centipedes have 15 pairs of legs, but they look like they have more because of their stripes. They hunt at night and don’t leave any webs or nests behind.
If a centipede bites a person, it may feel like a bee sting and should be treated with cleaning, antiseptic, and ice. House centipedes are good house guests because they don’t carry diseases or damage clothes or furniture.
It’s best to have no bugs in the home, even if they are helpful. Centipedes come inside during cold weather to find a warm place. They also like moist places like basements or under leaky sinks. To get rid of them, fix damp areas and take away the things they eat.
How to Get Rid of Centipedes
To keep centipedes away from your home, it’s important to get rid of any extra moisture. You can do this by using a dehumidifier or getting a fan installed in the bathroom. Make sure there is no debris in your home that is causing moisture to leak into the walls. Check for leaks under the sinks and in the basement. Make sure your shower and sink drains are working well and not leaving any puddles.
Seal any cracks or openings around doors, windowsills, and corners, as well as where pipes and electric lines enter your home. This will stop centipedes from getting in and also help keep other pests away, as they are the centipedes’ food. If there is no food source, the centipedes will have to go somewhere else, but if there is food available, more centipedes may come.
To keep pests out of your house, make sure all torn screens are fixed and weatherstripping around doors and windows is in good condition. Clean away any spiderwebs you find. Look in your crawlspaces and basement for nests or cockroaches. Check that your dryer vent is sealed tightly to keep pests from getting inside. Set up traps, use cedarwood spray, vinegar, or baking soda in areas with pest problems. If you need help, call a pest control company.
If you see a centipede, do not crush it with a tissue as it could leave a mess. Instead, use a vacuum to catch it and put the vacuum contents in a plastic bag and throw it away outside. You can also try diatomaceous earth, a powder that can kill indoor pests. Sprinkle it around doors, corners, cracks, and damp areas wait 24 hours, then vacuum it up.
To prevent centipedes in your bathroom and sink, pour vinegar or bleach down the drain. If the infestation is severe, use insecticide spray or dust (following the instructions) or hire a professional exterminator. While centipedes may be helpful in hunting other pests, most people prefer not to have them in their homes.