Have you ever flipped on the bathroom light to discover the scurrying of many long legs on a creepy insect as it makes its escape? So have we, and it’s quite startling. We’ll show you how to get rid of centipedes in and around your home to prevent these unwanted surprises.
House centipedes are slender insects with 100 pairs of legs, hence the name, centipede, which means 100-footed. It is because of this pair of legs times 50 that they bring out the fear in us while they dash up walls, behind furniture, and other hiding places. The good news is, these creepy-crawlies are not dangerous to humans.
The most common species of centipede in the United States is the house centipede. They carry venom in two of their front legs and sting prey, such as silverfish and termites. Their sting is similar to a bee sting on the human skin, and while it is uncomfortable, it’s not fatal.
- Getting Rid of Centipedes
- Eliminating a Food Source to Prevent Centipedes
- Getting Rid of House Centipedes with Sticky Traps
- Making a Homemade Centipede Sticky Trap
- Get Rid of Millipedes Indoors with Essential Oils
- How to Get Rid of Centipedes with Boric Acid
- Make a Homemade Insecticide Spray to Kill Centipedes
- Using an Indoor/Outdoor Soap Spray to Kill Centipedes
- Make a Natural Vegetable Oil Spray to Eliminate Garden Centipedes
- Applying Diatomaceous Earth to Get Rid of Centipedes
- Preventing Centipedes in Your Home
Getting Rid of Centipedes
While centipedes are not a danger to humans, that doesn’t mean you want them scuttling about the house. We’ll show you how to eliminate a centipede problem through several different pest control solutions.
As a bonus, many of these home remedies also get rid of other unwanted creatures. Some may be effective as a natural grub killer, others may repel ants or roaches, and still others might take care of box elder bugs or mosquitoes.
Eliminating a Food Source to Prevent Centipedes
During the winter months, centipedes make their way indoors where it’s warm. Other times of the year they feel drawn into your home if certain aspects are inviting to them, such as food.
Eliminating a Centipedes Diet
Centipedes are carnivorous and eat soft-bodied insects such as spiders, termites, silverfish, and even other centipedes. Eliminating their food source forces them to move on to better living quarters.
Keeping a clean home with low humidity is a significant first step in preventing insects in the home. Regular monitoring of insects in the home and performing routine insect control remedies eliminate a centipede’s next meal.
Getting Rid of House Centipedes with Sticky Traps
While you can always try the old fashioned method of catching a centipede with a large cup or jar, the chances are pretty high that the fast running centipede wins. Getting rid of house centipedes by using sticky traps is an efficient way to trap them naturally with no fuss.
Centipede Sticky Trap
Sticky traps are small, glue-based pieces of cardboard used in pest control. They are also an excellent tool for monitoring infestations. Place the traps in strategic locations around your home; anywhere that is dark and damp is sure to catch centipedes.
These traps are only effective against small centipedes. If you discover leg parts on the trap without a body, chances are you have a large centipede running around the house, missing a few legs!
Making a Homemade Centipede Sticky Trap
If you don’t have time to run to the store to pick up sticky insect traps, try making one at home using a few simple items.
To make the non-drying sticky paste, bring the water and corn syrup to a boil in a large pot. Cut the construction paper into sizes according to where you place them.
Use a paintbrush to brush one side of the paper with the sticky paste. Set each piece in dark and damp areas of your home where centipedes hang out.
Get Rid of Millipedes Indoors with Essential Oils
As with a lot of other insects, millipedes and centipedes hate the scent of specific essential oils. Therefore, these oils are an excellent tool to get rid of millipedes indoors. This recipe calls for peppermint oil, which is also an essential oil for dust mites.
Pour water into a glass spray bottle and add the peppermint oil. Shake the container vigorously to mix well and label for future use. Spray the solution along all entryways of your home, including windows, doors, and baseboards.
Spray dark corners and any other hiding spaces centipedes like to lurk. This solution also kills and repels many different insect varieties such as bed bugs and spiders.
How to Get Rid of Centipedes with Boric Acid
Boric acid is the least toxic way of killing centipedes in the house. This highly effective form of centipede control does have its side effects, however. Take caution when using it around children and pets and wear a dust mask while applying it.
Fill a squeeze bottle with boric acid and put on a dust mask to prevent accidental inhalation while applying. Dispense the powder into dark corners, cracks, crevices, along baseboards, and any area that is appealing to insects. The centipede travels across the powder, dehydrates, and eventually dies.
Make a Homemade Insecticide Spray to Kill Centipedes
For killing outdoor centipedes that appear to take over your patio and seating area, make an alcohol recipe. This solution is toxic to insects when they ingest it and also makes an excellent homemade ant spray.
Pour the water into a bottle sprayer and add the rubbing alcohol and vegetable oil. Shake the bottle well to mix thoroughly. Spray the solution on flower beds and plants invaded with centipedes and other insects.
Using an Indoor/Outdoor Soap Spray to Kill Centipedes
Soap is a natural ingredient for killing a variety of insects and dries out centipedes on contact. This natural spray solution is safe to use outdoors on plants and vegetation and indoors.
Combine the water and soap in a large container and mix well. Pour the soapy solution into a garden sprayer or spray bottle and spray areas where you spot centipedes often.
Spray along baseboards, in crevices, and dark corners of the home. Spraying the solution outside on plants not only kills centipedes but many other insects as well.
Make a Natural Vegetable Oil Spray to Eliminate Garden Centipedes
For centipede infestations in the garden, make a homemade solution with vegetable oil and soap to eliminate them safely from your flowers and plants. The oil blocks their airway, causing them to suffocate, while the soap dries out their exoskeleton.
Mix the vegetable oil and dish soap in a container and cover it with a lid until you are ready to apply it to the garden. Pour the water into a bottle sprayer and add two tablespoons of the oil mixture.
Shake the bottle well to mix and spray the solution directly onto the infested areas of the garden. For best results, apply the mixture to plants on a dry day.
Applying Diatomaceous Earth to Get Rid of Centipedes
Diatomaceous earth, or DE, is a naturally occurring substance commonly used for various purposes. Spreading DE around the perimeter of your home eliminates and controls large numbers of centipedes.
Diatomaceous Earth Application
Sprinkle a fine layer of diatomaceous earth along the outside of your home, making sure to spread it in areas where centipedes hang out. Place it in crawl spaces, along entryways, in crevices, and other hiding spots.
Because DE is an abrasive powder that absorbs liquids, it drains the bodily fluids from insects, resulting in death.
Preventing Centipedes in Your Home
As with most things in life, prevention is the best medicine. You may not realize it, but getting rid of centipedes and other arthropods is as easy as making your home an unattractive environment for their lifestyle.
The first step in centipede infestation prevention is to keep your home dry. These household pests love damp places and moist environments. Place a humidifier in your home to draw out excess humidity from the air. Place silica packets in areas that are particularly damp to absorb moisture.
Reuse silica packets from new shoes or purchase them from the store. Use the exhaust fan in the kitchen and bathroom when necessary to suck out damp air. Seal off all entry points where centipedes, millipedes, cockroaches, crickets, and other unwelcome visitors sneak into your home.
Caulk crevices in walls, cracks in the foundation, and any gaps along with doors and windows, and apply weather stripping to prevent easy access to the inside of your house. Clean the area around the base of your home to remove leaf litter, grass clippings, and leaves.
Bag the debris and dispose of it properly — store mulch, firewood, and other organic material away from the house.
Are house centipedes dangerous to humans? Fortunately, the answer is no. While the centipede bite or sting is uncomfortable, it does not do permanent damage. That still doesn’t mean that we want those 100-legged insects roaming free around the home.
Using a dehumidifier to prevent damp places for them to hide while eliminating their food sources are both great starting points in the prevention of centipedes. Following these steps gives you a centipede-free home without having to call in an exterminator.
Now that you’ve learned how to get rid of centipedes for a bug-free home, why not share our centipede elimination tips with your friends and family on Pinterest and Facebook?