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Things You Should Know About Centipedes

An In-Depth Look At The House Centipede

If you are reading this article, chances are you have started seeing these disturbing, crawly creatures appearing in your home. And you may be wondering if you should be concerned about them.

Are they dangerous? Can they be harmful to your belongings or to your home? Could they hurt you, your children, or your pets? In this centipede article, we will try to answer these questions, and more.

a centipede crawling near a drain in a bathtub inside of a home in pennsylvania

What are centipedes?

The centipedes we see in our homes, often referred to as house centipedes, are yellowish to dark brown in color, and may have stripes or other markings. The word "centipede" literally means, "100 legs," but this is misleading. The fact is, a centipede can have anywhere from 15 to 177 pairs of legs, depending on the species. But regardless of how many legs they have, they have flat, segmented bodies. It is interesting to note that, in some parts of the world, some centipedes can grow to be up to a foot in length.

Centipedes are nocturnal creatures, so they are not seen much during the daylight hours. They like to hide in damp areas such as bathrooms, basements, and laundry rooms. Having centipedes may be indicative of having other household pests, since centipedes typically feed on spiders, flies, cockroaches, silverfish, and more. Common house centipedes can live for over a year, but there are other species which are known to live for up to 6 years.

Are centipedes dangerous to humans?

To answer this question, we would have to know your definition of the word "dangerous." While they don't cause diseases, they can be distressing to have around and they do sometimes bite, though they don't prefer to. While a centipedes jaws and venom are designed to take down prey, they aren't easily able to puncture the skin of a human. But it does happen. When it does, a centipede bite will cause localized pain and swelling, much like the sting of a bee. A centipede will sting, and then hang on, causing a burning sensation. When stung on some areas of the body, the pain can be significant.

While most of the time a centipede bite is not something to be alarmed about, it can be dangerous if a person is allergic to its venom. If you, or others in your family, have never been stung by a centipede, it is best to be wary. This information can be especially troubling if you are seeing centipedes and you have small children that are likely to be curious and may scare a centipede into stinging.

Are centipedes dangerous to belongings and health?

While these creatures are not harmful in the way termites, cockroaches, spiders and other pests are, they are still not something people typically enjoy having around. They don't eat away at the wood of your home, they don't spread diseases, and they don't inject a potentially flesh-eating venom, but they can scare the wits out of you if you are not expecting to see them. It is not fun to have them lurking in dark places.

Centipede Prevention Tips

  • Check all window and door screens and make sure they are present and in good working order.

  • Check weather stripping and door sweeps to make sure they make a good seal.

  • Inspect your foundation and walls for gaps, holes, or cracks. Seal any holes you find using a caulking gun, liquid cement, or some other sealing material. It doesn't take much of an opening to allow centipedes and other pests in. Don't forget to check around pipes, wires and other objects that enter the home.

  • Make sure your home is free of the insects that centipedes eat, so if they do make it in, they will not have food sources.

  • Keep your basement, crawl spaces, and any other humid area in your home dry by using fans or dehumidifiers. Many moisture-loving bugs will be repelled if the air is dry.

How Moyer Can Help Control Centipedes

If you are seeking assistance to get rid of centipedes in your home, or any other potentially dangerous household pests, simply reach out to Moyer Pest Control and schedule pest control services today. We have the expertise, training, and tools to make short work of any pest that is plaguing you. 

Contact Moyer Pest Control

Our team is ready to solve your pest problem. Fill out the from below or call (215) 660-3642.