Centipedes are a spider-scared nightmare. Centipedes may not have 100 legs, despite their name. However, they could have as many as 300 legs or as few as a handful. Centipedes may not care to count, and they are likely to move too fast for you to notice. These fascinating creatures are here to inform you.
What are Centipedes?
Although not insects, centipedes belong to the same family as arachnids or crustaceans. Centipedes are myriapods. They are creatures with multi-segmented, long bodies and many legs.
Centipedes can be predators. Centipedes, however, are not predators. Unlike termites, which can damage your home, and spiders, which could endanger you.
Centipedes inject poison into their prey when it is time for them to eat. They are harmless to humans unless you treat them with care. If you are stung by a large Centipede, the pain will be similar to a bee sting. Although venomous centipede stings can cause severe allergic reactions in some people, it is not fatal.
How to identify centipedes
It is difficult to distinguish a centipede from any other bug. Centipedes can be long and swift thanks to their legs that propel them forward. You might be allergic to insects and unhappy to see one crawling around in your home.
Centipedes vs. Millipedes
Both centipedes and millipedes belong to the same family of arthropods. Despite sharing the same characteristic of having many legs, their anatomy differs.
Both arthropods are segmented, but centipedes only have one pair of legs per segment, and millipedes have two. Centipedes’ eyes and mouthparts can be seen, as can their forcipules. These pincers inject poison into their prey to make them eat.
Millipedes, on the other side, are scavengers. Millipedes have round heads that point down and don’t need forcipules. They don’t need to kill damp or decaying wood and leaves, so they don’t require them to have forcipules.
Where are Centipedes Most Often Found?
Centipedes love to live in warm and moist places all over the globe. Centipedes living outdoors love to gather in gardens, under piles of leaves, and on top of stacks of firewood. They might get into your home through cracks in the foundation or other openings.
What are the signs that you have a centipede infestation?
You’re much more likely to see a centipede than other insects leaving droppings and destruction behind. For people who are allergic to bugs, this is a bad sign.
However, all those legs belong to one centipede. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have an infestation. If you notice other insects in your home or suspect you might have an infestation, it could be possible to get a centipede infestation.
What damage can centipedes cause?
All those legs moving around will not cause any damage to your home or property, except for the ick factor. This is the good news.
Unfortunately, there could be something that attracts centipedes and causes damage to your home. Centipedes love insects, so if there is more than one, it could indicate that other insects may be lurking around. Your centipede guests will eat insects and spiders to help, but it is best to call a professional exterminator immediately.
How to get rid of centipedes
Although centipedes are not a good choice for your home, you don’t need to use harsh extermination methods to eliminate them. These natural methods can eliminate the centipede infestation in your home.
Use a dehumidifier. This will make your home less appealing to centipedes.
Fill in the cracks. Check the foundation and openings around windows and doors. Add more sealant or caulk as needed to keep pests and insects out.
Spray vinegar. White vinegar is used in many other household applications, so it’s safe. Spray the vinegar on the insects. You don’t need to dilute it in water – you can use it directly.
Spray peppermint or tea tree oil. Combine a little of each with water. Spray around crevices and other areas where you have seen centipedes. These oils are safe for humans but can be toxic to centipedes.
These natural remedies may not work, or the centipedes seem to be increasing in number, so call an exterminator. Your centipede guests might be attracting another pest problem.
Professional Centipede Removal Services
Terminix or Orkin offers centipede-removal services. You can contact one of these companies for a consultation to determine the best course of action for your centipede problem. Although one visit may be enough, there are other options.
Centipede removal prices will vary depending on where you live and how severe the infestation is.
Different types of treatment
A professional exterminator will likely use chemical spray treatments to eliminate centipedes. Although it is possible to eliminate centipedes using natural methods, an infestation of centipedes could indicate that you have another type of insect problem. Chemical sprays may be required to eliminate the problem from your foundation and exterior.
Exterminators usually treat the exterior of the house. If the infestation is too severe, exterminators might spray indoors.
Centipedes can be found outdoors and are an excellent food source for larger animals like birds and toads. Indoor pets may be curious enough to eat a centipede. However, this is where centipedes could fight back and sting. Consult a veterinarian if your pet is stung by centipedes. However, your pet should be fine.