What Attracts Centipedes?

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Centipede Environments

Centipedes are located in numerous environments ranging from dry deserts to moist, forested areas.

Like so many other arthropods, centipedes are attracted to locations that provide protection, food sources, and suitable environmental conditions.

Food Sources that Attract Centipedes

Centipedes are predators that actively search for their prey at night. Their preferred food sources include:

Some of the large centipedes, such as the giant desert centipede, may even consume small mice. They do not consume leaf litter and other decaying vegetation as do their close relatives, millipedes.

Environmental Attractions

Locations that attract centipedes are places that are cool, dark, damp, close to food sources, and rarely disturbed. Many species of centipedes prefer to live outdoors, while others such as house centipedes, are comfortable in indoor and outdoor environments.

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Centipedes in Homes

Most centipedes live in damp areas under logs, rocks, or other debris on the ground. However, they may make their way inside if more hospitable conditions for food or shelter are available. People are often repulsed by the pests but aren't sure what attracts centipedes or how to keep them out.

What Attracts Centipedes to Homes?

Centipedes feed on home-invading species like cockroaches and spiders, so an abundance of prey often lures these pests into homes. Residents may find centipedes in cement block walls, boxes, clutter on the floor, or floor drains.

The warmth and safety of a heated home may also attract centipedes inside to reproduce. This is often the case during cold winters when the pests can't survive outdoors, or when severely dry outdoor conditions force them to go inside.

Are Centipedes Harmful?

Centipedes have venomous bites, but most species that are often found inside homes usually do not even puncture human skin should they bite. Because homeowners often want to get rid of the prey that attracts centipedes into homes, some people consider them useful. However, the pest's appearance is enough to unnerve others.

House centipedes can enter homes through:

  • Drains
  • Holes
  • Cracks
  • Gaps
  • Poorly sealed windows and doors

Removing Centipedes

Because food, protection and moisture attract centipedes in homes, control starts with creating dry, clean conditions. Seal cracks, holes and gaps in the foundation or around doors where centipedes might gain entry inside the house. Natural repellent products and conventional insecticides are options to control centipedes, although these may be harmful if used incorrectly. Homeowners with centipede problems can contact the team at Orkin for help with safe and effective control.

Contact Orkin for a free inspection, and one of our specialists will prepare a plan of action to fit your infestation needs.