Few things are more unsettling than waking up in the middle of the night to find a centipede crawling on your bed. Centipedes can be a common pest in many households and often enter through cracks and crevices in search of food or moisture. This article will provide tips on how to keep centipedes out of your bed (and your home).
Keep your bedroom clean.
One of the best ways to keep centipedes out of your bed is to keep your bedroom clean. Centipedes are attracted to dark, damp, and cluttered environments, so it’s important to vacuum and dust regularly and to keep your bedroom free of clutter.
When you have carpeting, it’s even more important to vacuum regularly, as centipedes love to nest in the carpet’s fibers. Make sure to go into all the nooks and crannies of your carpet-including under furniture-to remove any potential nesting sites.
Dust attracts centipedes because it is a source of food for them. Centipedes are carnivores and love to eat the tiny insects that live in dust, and they will also eat other things like pollen, hair, and skin cells. That’s why it’s important to keep your bedroom clean-dust is one of the main things that attracts centipedes.
Keep your bedroom dry.
Another way to keep centipedes out of your bed is to keep your bedroom dry. Centipedes need moisture to survive, often found in damp areas like basements and bathrooms. To prevent them from entering your bedroom, fix any leaks and keep things like towels and rugs off the floor.
Fans are a very important tool when you have a centipede problem. Not only do they help keep your bedroom cool and dry, but they also help circulate the air and keep the centipedes away. Ceiling fans are especially effective at keeping centipedes out of the room, as they create a breeze that blows the insects away from the bed. Standing fans can also be helpful, but they’re not as effective as ceiling fans.
If you have a centipede problem, keep your bedroom cool by using fans-both ceiling and standing fans. This will help keep the centipedes away and make your bedroom a more comfortable place to sleep.
Use caulk or weather stripping.
Centipedes can easily enter your bedroom if you have cracks or gaps around your doors or windows. To prevent this, seal any cracks or gaps with caulk or weather stripping.
- First, start by cleaning the surface around the crack or gap. This will help the caulk or weather stripping to adhere better.
- Next, measure the length of the crack or gap and cut a piece of caulk or weather stripping to size.
- If you’re using caulk, load it into a caulking gun and apply a bead along the length of the crack or gap. If you’re using weather stripping, peel off the backing and press the strips into place.
Use a dehumidifier.
If you live in a humid environment, consider using a dehumidifier in your bedroom. This will help keep the air dry, making it less hospitable for centipedes.
There are a few different types of dehumidifiers available on the market, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks.
The most common type of dehumidifier is the compressor dehumidifier. These dehumidifiers use refrigerant to cool the air and condense the water vapor, which is then collected in a tank or drainage hose. Compressor dehumidifiers are very effective at removing moisture from the air, but they can be noisy and expensive to operate.
Another type of dehumidifier is the desiccant dehumidifier. These dehumidifiers use a material like silica gel to absorb the water vapor from the air. Desiccant dehumidifiers are quiet and energy-efficient. But they can’t remove as much moisture as compressor dehumidifiers.
Finally, there is the thermo-electric (Peltier) dehumidifier. These use a thermoelectric module to remove moisture from the air. Thermo-electric dehumidifiers are very small and compact and are also the most energy-efficient type of dehumidifier. However, they’re not very effective at removing moisture from the air.
Keep your yard clean.
If you want to keep centipedes out of your bed, you should also keep your yard clean. Remove any debris, such as leaves and mulch, that could provide shelter for centipedes. Additionally, trim any plants close to your home so that centipedes can’t use them as a bridge to enter your house.
While keeping your yard clean to prevent centipedes is important, you also want it to look nice. Here are a few more tips for keeping your yard clean and well-maintained:
- Rake leaves and debris regularly – leaves and other debris can provide a hiding place for centipedes, so make sure to rake them up regularly. This will also help to keep your yard looking neat.
- Cut the grass often – long grass can provide a hiding place for centipedes, so cut the grass often. You may also consider using a weed eater to get rid of tall grass or weeds.
- Trim back plants and bushes – plants and bushes can provide a bridge for centipedes to enter your house, so make sure to trim them back regularly. This will also help to keep your yard looking tidy.
Apply pesticide around your home’s foundation.
Another way to prevent centipedes from entering your home is to apply pesticides around the foundation of your house. This will create a barrier that will discourage centipedes from entering.
When using a pesticide, it is important to follow the directions on the label carefully. If you don’t, you could put yourself and your family at risk. Some of the risks associated with pesticide use include:
- Congenital disabilities
- Neurological damage
- Reproductive problems
In nearly every case, I recommend people avoid pesticides. Still, I want to ensure you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.
Use traps inside your home.
If you already have centipedes in your home, you can use traps to catch them. Many types of traps are available, so be sure to choose one specifically designed for catching centipedes.
Centipede traps are a great way to get rid of centipedes without using pesticides. They are also a more humane way to get rid of centipedes, as they will not kill them.
Many types of centipede traps are available. But choosing one for catching centipedes is important. Some things to look for in a centipede trap include the following:
- The trap should be easy to set up and use.
- The trap should be made from durable materials that can withstand wear and tear.
- The trap should have a large enough opening to catch centipedes as they enter.
- The trap should be easy to clean and maintain.
You can also make your own trap by placing a piece of cardboard on the floor and putting some food on it as bait. Then simply wait for a centipede to crawl onto the cardboard and flip it over so that the centipede is trapped underneath.
How to identify a centipede
Centipedes are icky. There, I said it. I know they perform an important ecological role as predators of smaller pests, but that doesn’t make them any less icky.
Fortunately, only a handful of species are large enough to pose a threat to humans, and those are relatively rare. Nevertheless, it’s always good to identify a centipede when you see one.
The easiest way to identify a centipede is by its many legs. Centipedes have one pair of legs for each body segment and can have anywhere from 15 to 177 pairs of legs. That’s a lot of legs!
They also have a pair of long, antennae-like appendages that they use for sensing their prey. Another identifying feature is their long, slender bodies, which can range in color from pale yellow to deep red. If you see an insect with these characteristics, it’s very likely a centipede.
Of course, the best way to avoid an encounter with an icky centipede is to keep your house clean and free of potential hiding places for these creepy crawlers.
But if you come across one, you’ll know what it is, at least now. And maybe you’ll just appreciate the important role these critters play in our ecosystem.
Know your enemy
To effectively eliminate centipedes, you have to know what you’re dealing with. House centipedes are known by the term Scutigera coleoptrata within the scientific community.
They originated in the tropical regions of the Mediterranean expanse, as they like the warmth and humidity, but quickly adapted to survive in all sorts of atmospheres. Now, they can be found all around the world.
The house centipede isn’t very big; it grows to about 25 to 35 mm. Up to 15 pairs of legs are attached to a single body, with long antennas on top.
The house centipede is the only centipede that has eyes. If you look closely, you can see them.
Their eyesight is pretty good, but their antennae guide them around and help them sense their prey.
They are pretty quick, too, so it might take a while to spot them in your room or bed. Their hind legs allow them to move around quickly, so you might only detect a yellowish-brown streak darting across your pillow. It will be gone before you can figure out what you just saw.
Also, they are nocturnal, so you won’t have a good look at them when you have ample light during the day.
Centipedes are hunters, so they’re not interested in making webs or nests around your house. They also don’t carry any germs and spread no illnesses.
In certain situations, it’s actually beneficial to have a few centipedes around the house. Since they eat other insects, they can keep your house clean from all other types of pests.
They catch their prey with a technique called ‘lassoing’ and are deft at what they do, not sparing insects even up to thrice their size.
House centipedes breed in the spring season and, on average, lay 65 eggs. So if you don’t want centipedes crowding your place, you might want to act fast and get rid of the insects before they multiply out of control.
Why are there centipedes in my house?
To get them out of your house, you need to understand what made them venture into your home in the first place.
One reason is the warmth of your home. House centipedes usually flood houses in the winter, looking for a warmer, cozier environment with enough to feed on. Centipedes like to be near heat, so if you see one near your bed, it’s likely looking for a warm place to stay.
Their natural habitats are damp, dark locations, and when they move indoors, they search for similar conditions, albeit warmer. If you have moisture in the house, your house can be a centipede’s, or any other insect’s, prime location to settle.
It could even be a bed bug problem. Another reason centipedes decide to move into your house is their abundance of food.
If you have an infestation of any of these insects, the centipedes will likely follow. So try to find what attracts the centipedes to your bed, and nip the problem in the bud.
How to keep centipedes out of your home
Centipedes are one of the most common pests homeowners have to deal with. These long, multi-legged creatures can quickly make their way into your home in search of food, and they can be difficult to get rid of once they’re inside.
If you’re dealing with a centipede infestation, you can do a few things to get rid of them. First, seal any cracks or gaps around your home’s foundation or exterior walls. Centipedes can squeeze through tiny spaces, so it’s important to ensure that your home is well-sealed.
You should also remove any potential food sources from your home, such as piles of leaves or mulch near your foundation.
Finally, set up a perimeter spray around your home to keep centipedes from getting inside in the first place. By taking these steps, you can keep centipedes out of your home for good.
How to get rid of centipedes if they’ve already invaded your home
We’ve all seen them before. Maybe you were watering your plants, and one suddenly ran across the concrete. Or maybe you went to reach for a book on your nightstand and found one clinging to the wall. Centipedes in your home are unwelcome guests no matter how you discover them. So how do you get rid of them?
The first step is to determine how they’re getting into your home. Centipedes are attracted to damp, dark places, so check around your doors and windows for any cracks or gaps. If you find any, seal them up with caulk or weatherstripping.
You should also ensure that your gutters are clean and debris-free. This will help prevent water from pooling around your foundation, attracting centipedes (and other pests).
Once you’ve taken steps to prevent them from getting inside, you can start working on getting rid of the ones that are already in your home. The best way to do this is to vacuum them up.
Be sure to empty the vacuum bag immediately afterward, as centipedes can escape and continue causing problems. You can also try using a dust mop or dust cloth to sweep them up; just be sure to dispose of them properly afterward.
Finally, if you have a serious infestation, you may need to call in a professional exterminator. However, following these simple tips should help eliminate most centipedes without too much trouble.
What to do if you’re bitten by a centipede
As a homeowner, you’re bound to encounter some creepy crawlies from time to time. But there’s one particularly worrisome bug: the centipede. Centipedes can reach up to 12 inches in length, and their large size is matched by their painful bite. If you find yourself on the receiving end of a centipede bite, here’s what you should do:
- First, remain calm. It can be tempting to panic when you see a centipede, but keeping your cool is important. If you start thrashing around, you’ll likely get bitten again.
- Next, clean the wound with soap and water. This will help to prevent infection.
- Then, apply a cold compress to the area. This will help to reduce swelling and pain.
- If the pain persists, take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Finally, if you have any allergic reactions, such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face or throat, call 911 immediately and go to the nearest emergency room.
While a centipede bite may be painful, it’s usually not life-threatening. With proper treatment, you should be feeling better in no time.
How to prevent centipedes from entering your home in the first place
Here are some ways I suggest to prevent centipedes from the start.
Check for cracks and holes.
First, look at the exterior of your home and ensure there are no cracks or holes that could serve as entry points for centipedes.
Also, check to see if your weatherstripping is intact and sealing off any gaps around doors and windows. If you find any problems, repair them as soon as possible.
Reduce the moisture in your home
Next, take steps to reduce the moisture levels in your home. Centipedes are attracted to dampness, so fixing any leaks or other sources of water will help keep them away. In addition, using a dehumidifier can also help prevent these pests.
Finally, keep your home clean and clutter-free. Centipedes like to hide in dark, moist places, so decluttering and vacuuming will help deny them the hiding places they need. Following these simple tips can help keep centipedes out of your home for good.
FAQs about centipedes
How big do centipedes get?
Centipedes can reach up to 12 inches, but most are much shorter.
What kind of food do centipedes eat?
Centipedes are omnivorous. They eat various things, including insects, spiders, and other small animals.
How dangerous are centipede bites?
Centipede bites are not usually dangerous, but they can be painful. If you have any allergic reactions, such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face or throat, call 911 immediately and go to the nearest emergency room.