Centipedes (Common House)

Centipedes

Centipede Quick Facts
• Name “centipede" is a bit of a misnomer as they can have between 15 and 177 pairs of legs
• Centipedes ALWAYS have an odd number of pairs of legs
• The usual pest species is the common house centipede Scutigera colepptrata (Linnaeus)

What does a typical house centipede look like?
• Grayish yellow with three dark longitudinal stripes
• Adult centipedes are about 1" to 1-1/2" long (25 to 38 mm)
• House centipedes have 15 pairs of long legs.
• The antennae and last pair of legs are longer than its body.

What do centipedes eat?
• Centipedes are carnivores and eat invertebrates like worms, spiders, crickets, beetles, cockroaches, flies, grasshoppers, ants, potato bugs.
• They will also eat other centipedes.

Where do centipedes live?
• Typically centipedes are found in moist areas like rotting logs, under stones, in the trash, or piles of leaves and/or grass.
• When they are discovered in homes, centipedes are most often found in damp basements, crawl spaces, bathrooms, or potted plants.

Are centipedes dangerous?
• Generally not. Centipedes are more generally considered nuisance pests as they do not pose any significant threat to health or property.
• However, house centipedes do have poison glands that can inject venom during a bite. Usually they are not strong enough to pierce human skill, but it is possible. The bite and venom is comparable to a bee sting.

How can I prevent a centipede infestation?
• Reduce areas of moisture in and around your home.
• Remove piles of grass clippings, leaves, logs, stones, and rocks.
• Store firewood on racks and not directly on the ground.
• Ensure proper ventilation of all attic, basement, and crawl spaces.
• Seal all cracks, gaps, and holes in your walls that may allow centipedes to enter your home.

How do I get rid of centipedes?
• A single centipede may be sucked up in a vacuum cleaner.
• If you suspect an infestation, it is recommended that you contact a licensed pest control specialist. Please call DKS Pest Control at (724) 478-5344.

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