Centipedes are an occasional invader of homes and structures and most people know them by the name, hundred leggers.

Adults vary in size from 1/8″ to 6″ long. They are elongated and flattened with many pairs of legs. They develop by incomplete metamorphosis. The most common species of centipedes are House Centipedes. These guys average about 1″ to 1-1/2″ long with a grayish-yellow with three dorsal longitudinal dark stripes. The females lay their eggs in soil outside – usually about 15-30 over a period of a few days. They can live up to a year and prefer warm, moist environments. They feed and are predaceous on other insects so they’re considered beneficial insects until they are found inside in numbers.

They do have what’s called poison jaws that they use to capture and inject venom into their prey. They are mostly nocturnal. One thing people can do to reduce the number of centipedes getting into a structure or home is to seal points of entry 1/16″ and bigger by sealing using caulk. Door sweeps (bristle type works best) are recommended on door bottoms with gaps bigger than 1/16″. Piles of leaves, grass, and other items against the structure or home are a hotspot for centipedes. Removing those piles away from the side of homes and structures would be highly recommended. It is advised that you should not try to handle a centipede. They can inflict a painful bite when handled roughly.

A professional pest control technician should use microcap insecticide or other appropriately labeled residual insecticides to control them. The areas that should most be focused on are areas with high levels of moisture such as basements, utility and pipe chases, crawlspaces and etc on the interior. On the exterior, an emphasis would be used along with the foundations, around doors and windows, and anywhere it’s damp outside or has the conditions described above.

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