How to Identify a Centipede
Centipedes are well known for their many pairs of wiggling legs and can cause many homeowners a fright when they encounter them within their homes! These are not insects, but are actually arthopods and they are nocturnal. There are two main types of centipedes that you may see in your home:
- The House Centipede (Scutigeromorpha)
The House Centipede looks a bit different than other centipedes. It generally has a yellow gray exoskeleton and striping. You can tell this centipede is a centipede by its large number of legs – generally around 15 pairs. They have much longer legs than other centipedes, and move quickly. These centipedes eat spiders, cockroaches, silverfish, and termites, and can actually prevent infestations of these bugs! They are fierce hunters. However, if provoked a House Centipede can bite, and their venom can cause problems for homeowners who are allergic to bee stings.
- Scolopendromorpha Centipede
This centipede (usually) looks like this:
These centipedes are reddish brown and have shorter legs than their House Centipede counterparts. Centipedes have a round flat head, with two antennae and two jaw-like mandibles. These mandibles allow centipedes to bite and poison their prey, which are generally other bugs. Generally, these centipedes will venture indoors where it is cool and moist, as well as dark. These centipedes can bite humans, and their pinching jaws and venom can cause significant amounts of pain, depending on the type of centipede.
Centipedes can live in a variety of different places, from the desert to the forest. However, the habitat in which you don't want them is your home.
Signs of a Centipede Infestation
Since centipedes are nocturnal, it can be hard to tell if you have a centipede infestation in your home. Unfortunately, if you have begun to see more centipedes in your home, it probably means you have another type of pest. Centipedes are vivacious hunters, and will find and move to where there is a plentiful food source. Since they capture and feed on spiders, cockroaches, and silverfish, this may mean that you’re seeing more centipedes because you have a large food supply for them.
- Seeing Centipedes
Obviously, the first sign of a centipede infestation is seeing them all over your home. If you’re seeing multitudes of centipedes in your house, you most likely have a pest problem that you may not be aware of, as centipedes are known for moving to where there is a lot of food.
- Numerous other pests
If you already know you have a pest problem with another type of bug, and centipedes are plentiful in your area, then you should count on the fact that more pests means more chances that you’ll see centipedes in your home.
- Moist, dark areas with clutter
If you have a basement that is moist, dark, and full of places to hide, you can bet there will be a centipede or two in there! Centipedes need to live in moist environments, and basements and crawl spaces are where they tend to reside.
How to Get Rid of Centipedes in Your Home
- Get rid of other pests.
The main step for reducing the number of centipedes that are in your home is to remove their food source. That generally means removing the other pests in your home that they are feeding on! You may need to have a professional pest control expert come out to your home to assess and spray for your pests –this can remove centipedes as well.
- Reduce moisture and clutter
Since centipedes love moist areas with dark places to hide, you can reduce the appeal of your home, especially your basement, by getting a de-humidifier and reducing hiding spots in moist areas of your home. Keep an eye out in your bathroom, as these creatures also like hiding in and around drains. You can keep your sinks, toilets, and showers dry and prevent curious centipedes from investigating a new source of moisture.
- Seal up entry points
Finally, remove access points from centipedes. Caulk up cracks basement walls, or around basement windows. Install weather stripping on garage doors, as well.
Home Warranties and Pest Control for Centipedes
If you have a home warranty plan through Landmark Home Warranty that covers pest control treatment, you can eradicate a centipede infestation easily. Since centipedes usually come when another type of pest is present, call and open a service request through Landmark to find a pest control expert to help remove all types of pests from your home. This will usually cost you between $60-$100, and without a home warranty plan, that pest control can cost up to $300. For more information, or to look at plans that include pest control, go to www.landmarkhw.com/home-warranty-plans or read more about pests and home warranties here.