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House Centipede Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from house centipedes by learning techniques for identification and control.

House centipede illustration
Scutigera coleoptrata
1 to 1.5 inches
Yellowish brown body
3 dark stripes
15 segments
Long legs with black & white bands


How do I get rid of house centipedes?

What Orkin Does

If house centipedes become a problem, the best course of action is to seek the advice and assistance of your pest management professional (PMP).

  • Inspection: Your PMP will perform an inspection and determine the most likely sources of the population.

  • Traps: 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.

  • Remove Clutter: 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.

Since every building or home is different, your Orkin Pro will design a unique treatment program for your situation. Orkin can provide the right solution to keep house centipedes in their place…out of your home, or business.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding House Centiepedes


  • Size: House centipedes have long, flattened bodies, which can measure as long as 1-1/2 inches long

  • Color: The body is a yellowish-brown with three dark stripes running along the top of the body with lighter shading between them.

  • Eyes: They have large, well-developed eyes.

  • Legs: 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.

House Centipede

House Centipede


House centipedes eat common household arthropods and insects such as:


Outdoors, these house centipedes are commonly seen in and under rocks, stacks of firewood, leaf litter, and tree bark. Once inside a home they are usually found in damp secluded areas such as:

  • Basements

  • Bathrooms

  • Crawl spaces

  • Garage

  • Kitchens

Life Cycle

House Centipedes complete three phases in their life cycle.

  1. Egg: Females lay 35 or more eggs in damp soil during the spring or summer months.

  2. Larvae: Larvae hatch from the eggs and have four pairs of legs when born.

  3. Adult: More legs develop as they go through six instars or stages.

More Information

Female house centipedes may live up to three years. On females, the last pair of legs is also more than twice as long as the body.

Do House Centipedes Bite?

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