Creepy-looking insects, centipedes generally reside outdoors under tree bark, leaves, boards, and stones. However, they frequently enter homes to cause inconvenience. Centipede infestation is one of the most common indoor pest problems facing homeowners in America today.
Often, confirming or ruling out a centipede infestation in a house can be hard. The reason is that these crawlers generally stay out of sight. Additionally, centipedes share many physical characteristics with millipedes and can be easily mistaken for the latter.
Therefore, it is important for you to understand the distinct physical features of centipedes, what they eat, the things that attract them to your house, and how they enter your home before you find out how to get rid of centipedes naturally. Let’s begin.
The physical characteristics of a centipede
As a layman, it is okay to think of centipedes as insects, and however, they are not that. Instead, centipedes are arthropods, a species of invertebrate animals with segmented bodies, legs paired together, and exoskeletons. Even the bravest people can get creeped out by the appearance of centipedes.
In terms of physical features, centipedes are tiny bodies sized between 3 to 6 cm. The color of centipedes is either brow or gray with bluish or purple-colored strips; they also feature fifteen long striped legs pairs. The size of the final pair of legs can be twice as much as the length of the body. This is what gives centipedes a creepy outward appearance.
There are thirty legs on an adult centipede; the arthropod is born with sixteen legs which increase in number with every molting or as the centipede ages. You can use the leg count to determine the approximate age of a centipede and distinguish a fully-grown centipede from a young one. The average life of a house centipede, the type of centipede are most likely to enter and reside in your home, is between three and seven years.
An interesting thing about centipedes is that they move extremely fast and can lift their bodies on long legs. This allows them to get from one place to another within seconds. This makes getting rid of the centipedes in your house tough.
What do centipedes feed on/eat?
Why is it important to find out what centipedes feed on or eat? Because it will help you determine the likelihood of a centipede infestation in your house.
The first thing to clarify about centipedes is that they are natural predators, and this means they are likely to feed on the other pests in your home. These pests include fleas, flies, moths, termites, silverfish, spiders, and cockroaches.
Where do centipedes look for these pests? In your basement, inside your sheds, and on the walls of your house. If you find a centipede in your house, there is a good chance of another insect infestation in your home. Typically, centipedes take their time before pursuing their prey. However, since these arthropods are active throughout the day, you can come across them at any time of the day.
If you’re serious about preventing or getting rid of the centipedes in your home, you must first get rid of their food source in your house. Find out the insect infestation in your house, and then get down to work.
Centipedes can often enter a home from the backyard, where they arrive in search of food. Often, the centipedes will accidentally enter a house if they find food near its exterior walls. While centipedes can feast on all the pests mentioned above, they prefer creatures with soft bodies, such as worms and spiders.
Therefore, if you find worms or spiders in your house, you should immediately inspect your house for a potential centipede infestation. The sooner you deal with the centipede infestation in your house, the better it will be for you.
The things that attract centipedes to your house
If you find a centipede in your home, there is a good chance that many more roam every nook and corner of your house. The best thing that you can do to prevent this is to keep your house clean and free from all kinds of pests.
Like any other insect entering a home, centipedes are attracted to certain things that make them visit the house. All the things that can attract a centipede to your home are mentioned below:
Lots of water or moisture
One thing that centipedes don’t like is drought, and this is because they are moisture pests that thrive in humid, damp, and wet areas. Therefore, if you live in a wet or damp area, there is a good chance of a centipede infestation in your house.
The areas in a house most likely to provide the ideal conditions for a centipede infestation are the bathrooms, the kitchen, and the basement. Unlike other bugs, centipedes don’t hold in moisture, and therefore, they need to find sources of moisture to stay hydrated and alive.
This means that you can prevent a centipede infestation in your home by keeping your home, especially the areas mentioned above, as dry as possible. Some of the things that you can do to avoid dampness and moisture in your house include:
- Fixing any water leaks in your house
- Keeping your gutters in good shape, so they do not break and cause moisture
- Cut tree limbs or trim bushes to prevent moisture around your home after the rain
If pests infest your house that centipedes feed on, you can expect a home visit from these creepy crawlers soon. We’ve already detailed the different types of pests that centipedes feed on. Therefore, if there is any sign of these pests in your house, you should be prepared to deal with a centipede infestation there. In addition to eliminating the food source of centipedes from your home, you must also ensure that your yard does not have any ornamental plants and vegetation; these are plants that the food source of centipedes feeds on.
Harborage is the third and final thing that can attract centipedes to your home. Often, centipedes will enter your yard and roam around your foundation walls in search of this. Several different forms of harborage can attract centipedes to a house. These include the following:
- Overgrowth, such as tall grass and weeds. These are the perfect playground for pests. This is the best way to welcome centipedes in your home if that is what you want. If not, then make sure to keep the area around your home neat and free from any overgrowth
- A woodpile. For a variety of creatures, this is the perfect place to hide and stay undetected
- Any toys that are temporarily left outside can be a great resting place for a range of pests
- The appliances, tools, and materials used in construction and home decoration that are left outside
- Items that lay on the grass and block the sun from getting through can serve as a harborage for pests. These can include temporary items such as leaf litter and leaf piles, as well.
These are some of the main things that can attract centipedes to your house to cause a centipede infestation ultimately. If you want to avoid this, make sure your house and backyard are free of or have a limited presence of water/moisture and the food mentioned above source and harborage that attract centipedes to a home.
How centipedes can enter your home
Now that you know what centipedes look like, what they eat/feed on, and what attract them to a house, you need to find out how these crawling pests can enter your home. Fallen leaves and the trees in a yard are where centipedes typically reside.
However, they will enter a home, especially in the colder months, in search of warmth and food. How do centipedes enter a house? They enter it through cracks in the home’s foundation, from the holes in the toilet, or through the gaps in the windows or doors. Therefore, you should pay special attention to these areas in your home to prevent centipedes from entering and causing a centipede infestation there.
The natural ways to get rid of centipedes in your house
If you cannot prevent centipedes from entering your house, then the next best thing to do would be to get rid of the centipedes in your house immediately or as soon as possible. While there are several chemical-based products to get rid of centipedes, this can put the health and safety of your family at risk.
Therefore, we recommend that you try the natural ways of getting rid of centipedes in your house before turning to chemical-based solutions for help. So, how to get rid of centipedes naturally? The following are ten tried and tested ways of eliminating centipedes that may enter your house.
Use a dehumidifier
As mentioned earlier, centipedes love and thrive in humid conditions. Therefore, one of the best ways to prevent a centipede infestation in your house is by using a dehumidifier in all the damp places of your home. Additionally, remove excess moisture in your bathroom by turning on the exhaust fan.
By reducing humidity inside your house, you will not only deter centipedes from entering your house, but you will also keep other pests, such as ants and roaches, away from home. This is because these pests are known to enter homes during the dry season in search of a water source.
Use cayenne pepper
There are many natural ways to repel centipedes; one is using cayenne pepper. The natural compound in peppers, like capsaicin, produces a fierce heat that acts as a natural repellant against bugs, including centipedes.
This heat or chilly sensation produced by cayenne pepper is something that a centipede must avoid at all costs; this is its instinct. Therefore, you can keep centipedes away from your home by sprinkling cayenne pepper at all the potential entry points for the centipede into your home.
Block all entry points
One of the best things you can do to keep centipedes away from your house is to block all the potential entry points for them. To do this, seal any cracks in the concrete walls and the foundation. Additionally, use a window screen to cover the floor drains in your basement and eliminate the gaps in your windows and doors. All this will help keep centipedes from entering your home in the first place.
Use boric acid
Another natural way to get rid of the centipedes in your house is using boric acid. Using boric acid might be the most effective way to kill centipedes naturally. The best thing about this method to get rid of centipedes is that boric acid can be bought easily from a hardware shop.
Additionally, there is no danger to the health of your kids and pets as boric acid is non-toxic. So, you can sprinkle boric acid in the different areas of your home without any fear. As soon as the centipede comes into contact with the sprinkled boric acid, it will ingest it, and this will cause dehydration in the centipede, ultimately leading to its death.
Use sticky traps
Using sticky traps is another effective way of removing the centipedes in your house. Place these traps in the corners of your home along the floorboards. These are the places in your home where centipedes are most likely to hunt for food, so your chances of capturing them here with a sticky trap are bright. In addition to centipedes, the sticky traps will capture the pests they feed on. This way, you will kill two birds with one stone and keep your home pest-free.
Use an insect catcher.
Often, centipedes will hang around the ceiling in your house. If you fear that these hanging centipedes may fall on you when you’re sitting, then you can place an insect catcher right below the ceilings in your home to capture any centipedes that may fall.
Another natural way to kill centipedes is by using diatomaceous earth (DE). A naturally occurring protective powder that causes no harm to humans, DE comprises thousands of extremely small fossilized sea shells. This makes it a natural insecticide that can effectively kill centipedes; DE scorches or desiccates centipedes to scuff their exoskeleton and cause the moisture they hold to escape. This ultimately kills the centipedes.
To use DE to eliminate the centipedes in your home, sprinkle the powder across all corners. While DE is harmless to humans and pets, wear a respirator or mask when applying the powder not to breathe it in.
Eliminate the food source
Centipedes enter your house in search of food and water. Therefore, you can keep them away from your home by eliminating the source of food and water for centipedes. This means eliminating the water/moisture in your home and pests such as cockroaches, spiders, worms, bed bugs, moths, etc., that may be present inside your home. Find these sources of water and food for centipedes and then eliminate them.
Use soap spray
Using soap spray is another effective way of removing the centipedes in your house. You can create a natural centipede repellant by mixing one-part water with one-part soap and then loading the mixture into a spray bottle.
This is one of the best ways to get rid of centipedes, as soap and water are easily available in any home. The soap spray will kill the centipedes in your house by dehydrating them. Oils and wax cover the exoskeleton of a centipede; this is removed by soap spray to allow the water inside the centipede to escape. This leads to the dehydration and death of the bug.
The final way to get rid of centipedes naturally is using cedar oil. A natural insecticide, cedar oil causes suffocation and osmotic dehydration in centipedes; another way that cedar oil kills a centipede is by homogenizing its body fats.
Are you looking to get rid of centipedes naturally?
Cedar oil is your answer! These pests are not only icky to look at, but they can also be dangerous, carrying diseases that can harm humans.
Luckily, cedar oil is a natural repellent that will keep centipedes away for good!
Here’s how to use it:
- Mix equal parts of cedar oil and water in a spray bottle.
- Spray the solution around the perimeter of your home, paying special attention to cracks and crevices where centipedes like to hide.
- Reapply as needed to keep centipedes at bay.
Not only is this method effective, but it’s also safe for use around children and pets.
If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly looking for new and interesting ways to get rid of pests. So, when I came across peppermint oil as a natural pest control method, I was intrigued.
I did some research and found that peppermint oil can be used to repel a variety of pests, including centipedes. Here’s what you need to know about using peppermint oil to get rid of centipedes naturally.
Peppermint oil is a natural repellent for various pests, including centipedes. To use peppermint oil as a repellent, mix a few drops with water in a spray bottle and spritz around areas where centipedes are a problem.
You can also add a few drops of peppermint oil to a cotton ball and place them in areas where centipedes are likely to enter your homes, such as cracks and crevices. Peppermint oil is a natural insecticide, so it can also kill centipedes.
Mix a few drops of peppermint oil with water in a spray bottle and spritz directly onto centipedes. Peppermint oil is a great option if you’re looking for a natural way to get rid of centipedes.
Give it a try and see for yourself!
I mean, who wants to deal with those pesky critters?
Thankfully, there is a way to get rid of them without resorting to chemical pesticides. And that way is.
Cinnamon! That’s right, cinnamon.
This common spice is not only delicious but can also be used to get rid of centipedes.
Here’s how it works:
Centipedes are attracted to the smell of cinnamon, so if you sprinkle some around your home, they’ll be drawn to it. Once they’re in the area, they’ll be trapped by the cinnamon’s sticky texture and eventually die.
Just be sure to use it sparingly, as too much of a good thing can be bad for your health.
And if you’re looking for a natural way to eliminate centipedes, you’re in luck!
Cloves are a great way to keep these pests away. Not only are cloves a natural insecticide, but they also have a strong aroma that centipedes hate.
Scatter a few cloves around your home, and you’ll soon see a reduction in the number of centipedes.
FAQs about How to Get Rid of Centipedes Naturally
How do I get rid of centipedes permanently?
There is no definitive answer to this question. Some methods may work include using a natural insecticide such as diatomaceous earth, setting out traps, or using a natural repellent such as essential oils.
Does vinegar get rid of centipedes?
There is no definitive answer to this question. Some people swear by using vinegar as a natural centipede repellent, while others find that it has no effect whatsoever.
If you’re interested in trying out vinegar as a centipede repellent, we recommend researching online to see if it might work for you.
What kills centipede fast?
There is no one answer to this question, as different things may work for different people. Some possible methods for killing centipedes naturally include using a vacuum cleaner, setting up traps, or using natural predators such as spiders or lizards.
Why does my house suddenly have centipedes?
There are a few reasons why your house might suddenly have centipedes. One possibility is that a food source has attracted them to your home.
This could be something as simple as an insect or spider infestation. Another possibility is that moisture somewhere in your home provides an ideal environment for centipedes to thrive.
This could be a leaky pipe or a damp basement. Finally, it is also possible that centipedes simply look for a place to hide from the cold weather outside.
Whatever the reason, there are a few natural ways to eliminate centipedes in your home.