Centipedes are one of the creepier creatures you can come up on in your home. While most centipedes are found outdoors, the house centipede is very comfortable all year round in your house. Despite their numerous legs and overall strange appearance, house centipedes are essentially harmless and can help control other household insect pests. However, if the numbers get out of hand, getting rid of house centipedes can become a priority.
The key feature of the house centipede is the legs. There are 15 pairs of legs on one centipede’s body, with the last pair twice as long as the body. The legs increase in size incrementally down the body, which allows this arthropod to be extremely quick and agile but prevents the legs from tangling up in each other. The body is about an inch to an inch and a half long, but can look up to four inches long with the length of the legs. The body is a light, brownish yellow with dark stripes, with banded light and dark legs.
House centipedes eat other undesirable insects found in your home, like cockroaches, silverfish, carpet beetle larvae, bedbugs, beetles, spiders, and other arthropods. These insects hide most of the day in damp, dark areas of your home like underneath concrete slabs, inside cement block walls, floor drains without water traps, in or under cardboard boxes stored on concrete floors, and any damp, cool area like crawl spaces and cellars. Unlike many insects that may find their way into your home, house centipedes can readily reproduce indoors. House centipedes have “fangs” that can penetrate human skin, but rarely bite and usually only as a defense if closely handled. The bite is likened to a bee sting.
As with most pests, reducing food, shelter, and water is key, since this is why the pests seek out your home.
If the population is out of control and you don’t want to wait for these above steps to take affect, you can use insecticides to speed up your control. Any synthetic pyrethrin, like permethrin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin, etc, will work to control these pests, as well as products formulated for cockroach control.