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House centipedes are ugly, unsettling, and tough to catch. You’ll most likely encounter a house centipede in the spring as the weather gets warmer or in the fall when the bugs seek shelter from the cold.
House centipedes can reproduce rapidly in heated structures and quickly infest your home. We’ll help you identify these pests and offer natural and chemical solutions to get rid of them.
A house centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata) is a yellowish-gray arthropod that has dark stripes down the length of its body. Typically 3–4 inches long, these bugs have 15 pairs of long legs and two long antennae that are used primarily for hunting. House centipedes’ legs help them move very fast, making it harder for prey to catch them, but easier for them to catch prey.
As active, nocturnal hunters, house centipedes seek out their prey and use their legs to either jump on or wrap around their food. Two of the house centipede’s legs, located near the head and mouth, have been modified to carry venom that paralyzes smaller insects during an attack. A house centipede is sometimes classified as a beneficial organism, as it feeds on spiders, bed bugs, termites, cockroaches, silverfish, and other household arthropods.
Believed to have originated in the Mediterranean, house centipedes live in most parts of the United States. While most house centipedes live in warm, tropical, and humid climates, they can adapt and survive in almost anywhere.
Outdoors, house centipedes prefer to live in cool, damp places like under large rocks, piles of wood, or compost piles. Indoors, you’ll likely find them in basements, bathrooms, garages, or other wet places. Since their eyes are sensitive to light, they’ll likely find somewhere to hide during the day.
House centipedes will enter homes from the outdoors in search of food and warmth. They’ll enter through doors, cracks, and other openings in your walls or foundation. Since they’re small and narrow, they can fit through holes of almost any size.
Bites by house centipedes are rare since they’re shy creatures. Their jaws are small, making it difficult to break through human skin. In the rare event of a bite, a small, red bump may appear, but no additional pain or itching is expected.
Whether you prefer natural or chemical methods, here are some effective solutions that get rid of a house centipede infestation.
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