Centipedes are some of the creepiest, crawliest insects you’ll find in your home. But how do they get there? Where do they come from?
Where do centipedes come from? House centipedes come from the Mediterranean region. The first mention of centipedes in the US was in 1849. Today the little creatures are well-established in the Northeastern parts of the US. They live mostly in leaf piles, moist dirt, and dead logs. Their contribution to the eco-system is immense. However, sometimes the creepy crawlers come inside the house, particularly during the winter season.
Most people are not aware but the centipedes are rather widespread. They are not insects and belong to a separate Arthropod phylum class. The word centipedes is a Latin word for ‘a hundred legs’. It is a misnomer since they don’t have more than 150 pairs of legs. But they seem to have a lot more legs since they move so fast.
Sometimes you are left to guess where do centipedes come from? This article will answer your question and also provide tips on how you can prevent the tiny crawlers from coming to your home.
Where exactly do centipedes come from?
Centipedes lay their eggs during the summer or spring usually in damp soil. A female centipede can lay more than 30 eggs at one time. The larvae progress through six stages before turning into adults.
Adults mostly hide in moist and dark areas. Unlike other pests, centipedes don’t have a clear sign of infestation. You cannot know that your house has an infestation unless you actually see them. They tend to crawl around the house instead of making a nest. That’s why you won’t see any trace of centipede urine or feces.
The tiny creatures don’t feed on food so you won’t have any clue that there are centipedes inside the house. If you see a centipede scurrying down the drain or up the wall, you can be sure that there is more than one in your house.
Centipedes generally roam outside the house. But they can come inside the house during extreme weather conditions. The tiny creatures tend to come inside the house during extremely cold winters or hot summers.
Centipedes don’t carry any dangerous disease that is transmittable to humans. The bite of the centipedes only results in temporary pain and mild swelling.
Common locations of centipedes inside the house
Centipedes don’t usually crawl in the open. You won’t usually see these tiny creatures on the floor or crawling up the wall in the living room. The common locations of centipedes include:
- Drain pipes
- Sump pump hoses
Centipedes are nocturnal creatures. They come out to eat only during the night. So, you may have a difficult time locating them. If your house is not properly caulked, the centipedes may be hiding in the hole in the wall or floor. Moreover, the tiny creatures may hide beneath the furniture as well.
Most centipedes are found in areas with moist and insects. Bugs and water are too much for the centipedes to resist!
Outside the house, centipedes may live in your supply of firewood. They may hitch a ride when you bring firewood inside the house. The tiny creatures may also lurk under leaves. If the pile of leaves is located near your home, they may decide to crawl inside your house. The little crawlers can also enter the home if there is a rotten tree with thick bark located near the house.
Centipedes also live inside the rock crevices. They may crawl through the cracks in the foundation of your house. The little creatures may also crawl up the sump pump hoses and pipes. In addition, they are not shy about crawling through the gaps in the windows and front door.
What attracts centipedes to a home?
Centipedes can come to your house for various reasons. The tiny creatures mostly come inside the house looking for food. Since they don’t have a protective ‘cuticle’ or a waxy covering similar to other insects like spiders, they can dehydrate quickly. That’s why the insects usually seek out moist places.
Centipedes cannot survive extremely dry or cold seasons. So, you should expect them to live inside the house until the arrival of the spring or autumn season.
Cold and heat accelerate the dehydration process. As a result, a large number of thirsty centipedes may flock inside your home.
The presence of a large number of insects also attracts centipedes to a home. If you don’t take care to remove other pests, chances are high of centipedes getting inside the house.
So, what prey attracts centipedes inside the house?
The following pests are part of the ‘centipede menu’, that makes your house attractive to the tiny creatures.
The above are the common pests that centipedes love to eat. But almost any bug will be part of the centipede diet. The tiny creatures rush the insects and grab them with their venomous front legs. The venom in the common house centipedes is not dangerous to humans. But you should still avoid handling the insects to avoid an adverse reaction.
How can you prevent centipedes coming to your house?
You can take many steps to prevent centipedes from coming inside your house. Here are some of the tips that will prevent these tiny creatures from coming inside the house.
Place sticky traps
You should place sticky traps near places where centipedes live such as crevices and corners inside the house. But you should know that sticky traps are only effective for smaller centipedes. They are not effective for large centipedes that will simply crawl over the glue tarps and leave only a few legs behind.
Caulk gaps inside the house
Another effective tip to prevent centipedes from coming inside the house is to caulk the cracks and crevices. You should caulk gaps in the walls and floors both inside and outside the house. Make sure to caulk areas around window sills, doorframe, and pipes.
You can also use expanding foam spray to seal the cracks. Sealing the small gaps will prevent the tiny crawlers from coming inside your home.
Buy a dehumidifier or exhaust fan
Centipedes are attracted to damp areas inside the house. They like moist areas such as the bathroom, attics, closet, and basements. To prevent centipedes from coming inside the house, you should consider using a dehumidifier in these areas. In addition, you should also consider installing exhaust fans in the attic and bathroom.
Get rid of pests
Most centipedes come to the house due to the presence of pests that form their diet. You can reduce the likelihood of centipedes coming to your house by getting rid of the indoor pests. The tiny creatures cannot survive long without eating insects such as ants, bed bugs, spiders, and silverfish.
If there are no critters inside the house, the centipedes won’t infest the house. They won’t thrive and multiply inside the house if you take away the source of their food. The tiny crawlers will either die or leave the house.
You can use natural repellent from preventing centipedes from coming inside the house. Cayenne pepper is a natural centipede repellent. The main ingredient in the cayenne pepper is capsaicin that is a natural insect repellent. Consider sprinkling cayenne pepper in places where centipedes like to live.
Another natural repellent is neem oil. Neem has anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. Farmers use neem oil as a biopesticide to get rid of pests. Neem oil disrupts hormonal system of the centipedes due to which they stop breeding and feeding.
Keep the outdoors clean
Keeping the outdoors clean can also prevent centipedes from coming inside the house. You should clear grass clippings, leaf litter, and other debris that can harbor centipedes. Consider throwing away the debris instead of keeping them near the house. You should also consider cleaning the spaces surrounding the house where centipedes thrive.
If you have sprinklers, you should turn them on during the early morning. This will allow the soil to remain dry throughout the night. You should also reduce the range of the sprinkler so that they don’t sprinkle water close to the house.
If ivy is growing on the outside walls, you should consider cutting it down. Centipedes tend to thrive inside the plant.
How do you get rid of centipedes in drains? To cleanse the drain of food particles and also centipedes, you might additionally pour some white vinegar down the tubes. If you want, you can include 1/2 cup of baking soda initially to produce a bubbling response.
How do you keep centipedes out of your bed? To keep centipedes away from the bed, initially, eliminate the food source – this insect tends to feed other insects. After that, be certain that you shut off their entry points – there are a couple of places in almost any house or apartment which are notorious for attracting insects. Finally, cut the flora down – cut any shrubs or bushes which might be home to centipedes in your yard.