Common House Centipedes
Facts, Identification & Control
House centipedes have long, flattened bodies, which can measure as long as 1-1/2 inches long. The arthropods have 15 segments, and each features one pair of legs.
The centipede’s legs are long, slender, and thread-like and have black and white banding. On females, the last pair of legs is more than twice as long as the body.
The body is a yellowish-brown with three dark stripes running along the top of the body with lighter shading between them.
They have large, well-developed eyes.
Behavior, Diet & Habitat
Where do they hide?
Inside a home they are usually found in the following areas:
- crawl spaces
- stacks of firewood
- under leaf litter
- cracks in rocks
- tree bark
Females lay 35 or more eggs in damp soil during the spring or summer months.
Larvae hatch from the eggs and have four pairs of legs when born.
More legs develop as they go through six instars or stages.
Female house centipedes may live up to three years.
Sign Of An Infestation
Centipedes typically leave no direct evidence other than being spotted in a sink or tub and being seen quickly running across floors or climbing on walls or ceilings.
Getting Rid of House Centipedes
If house centipedes become a problem, the best course of action is to seek the advice and assistance of your pest management professional. Your pest management professional will perform an inspection and determine the most likely sources of the population.
He or she might set out some sticky traps to monitor for their activity, but will certainly advise the homeowner on what can be done to reduce moist conditions and upgrade exclusions for possible and actual points of entry.
Outside recommendations will include removing clutter that serves as house centipede habitat.
Kill Other Pests
Eliminating other insect species from the home is an effective control strategy because centipedes depend on insects and other arthropods for food. For this reason, it’s very important to identify other pests inside houses and buildings and target those pests using both non-chemical and chemical control methods as appropriate for the situation.