Centipedes are long, brownish, flat insects with up to 15 pairs of legs and one pair of antenna. They differ from millipedes in that millipedes are usually round and have many more legs. Centipedes range in length from 1 to 6 inches and can run very rapidly.
Centipedes usually live outdoors in cool, damp areas, such as under leaves, stones, boards, logs, tree bark or mulch. When these centipede habitats are near a home’s foundation, centipedes will sometimes wander inside.
Centipedes do not damage food supplies or household furnishings. They do feed on spiders, bed bugs, roaches, silverfish, ants and other arthropods, so they can be beneficial; however, most people consider them a nuisance when found indoors and want them controlled.
All species of centipedes are venomous, but their venom is not found to be fatal for humans. These stings are not caused by their jaws or mouth parts, but by the front two legs that are modified into stingers that contain venom glands. Depending on the species, centipede stings may cause pain, burning, swelling, and other unpleasant symptoms. The stings of larger centipedes may puncture the skin, but smaller species are not large enough to penetrate it.
Some species of centipede can be dangerous for children as well as adults who are allergic to insect stings. Severe allergic reactions, including anaphylactic shock, may occur in some. Because the effects can vary, we advise treating a centipede sting with antiseptic right away and consulting your physician if any troublesome symptoms follow.
The House Centipede
The house centipede is a common pest in many parts of the United States. Unlike most other centipedes, this species generally lives its entire life inside a building.
The body of this centipede is usually only 1 to 1 1/2 inches long at the most, but it’s 15 pairs of legs make it seem much larger. The body is grayish-yellow with 3 dark stripes extending along the full length of the back. The legs are quite long in proportion to the body size. In homes, the house centipede prefers to live in dark, damp areas, such as cellars, closets, bathrooms, attics (during the warmer months) and unexcavated areas under the house. They lay their eggs in these same damp places, as well as behind baseboards or beneath bark on firewood. They develop by gradual metamorphosis, so immatures have a similar appearance to adults, but they are smaller. All life stages can be observed running rapidly across floors or accidentally trapped in bathtubs, sinks and toilets.
Chronic problems with outdoor centipedes should be addressed by reducing the types of habitats outdoors that encourage their presence. This should include removal of trash, rocks, boards, compost piles, and other hiding places around your home. Also, caulking and other exclusion techniques may be effective in preventing centipedes from entering homes or other buildings.
Aerex Has the Solution
The pest control experts at Aerex understand the importance of timeliness when it comes to centipede control. Our technicians are professional, state certified, licensed applicators.
At Aerex we pride ourselves on fast, responsive service every day. All appointments are scheduled at times that are convenient for you. Call us for a free consultation at 847-255-8888.
Did you know
The name ‘centipede’, means hundred feet, but the number of legs can vary from between twenty to above three hundred. Centipedes always have an odd number of pairs of legs. Centipedes are also considered one of the earliest terrestrial animals.