Unless you’re an entomologist, the chances are that you despise creepy crawlies in your home just as much as we do – especially ones that look like something out of a sci-fi movie. Thankfully, learning how to kill centipedes is simple, and most approaches keep them at bay for extended periods.
Some bugs die off in the cold winter months, some migrate to warmer climates, and others burrow beneath leaves and tree bark to protect themselves. Centipedes, on the other hand, start to weasel their way into your home because your house provides plenty of dark, damp areas for them to live year-round.
If you’ve seen one centipede in your home, there are more hiding around your house. If you see new centipedes daily, you may have a centipede infestation.
This realization may trigger a lot of people to call pest control immediately to get rid of them, but you’ll be happy to know you can do it yourself. The best way to kill a centipede and prevent them from entering your home is to become knowledgeable about what kills centipedes in the house.
- Information on Centipedes
- What Kills Centipedes in the House?
- How to Kill Centipedes with Insecticides
- Prevention against Centipedes
Information on Centipedes
If you want to kill a centipede, some general information on the insect is often the best place to start. Centipedes are invertebrate arthropods.
There are more than 8,000 different species of centipede, and they are also very similar looking to their cousins, millipedes. Centipedes have a pair of legs on every body segment and have anywhere from 15 to 177 pairs of legs.
They have long, segmented bodies, and their size reaches up to 11 inches. Thankfully the average house centipede in the United States only reaches up to an inch and a half. Could you imagine trying to kill an 11-inch centipede? No, thank you!
While you’re probably familiar with Googling, “Will hairspray kill spiders in my house?” or making DIY moth repellent, this is likely your first time spotting a centipede in your residence. Centipedes are hard to spot because they’re so fast.
They run 16 inches every second and have hiding places in small crevices, crawl spaces, and closets. One benefit of house centipedes is that they are insectivores, meaning they eat spiders, bed bugs, cockroaches, silverfish, termites, ants, crickets, and other household pests.
A centipede bite is generally uncommon, and their forcipules aren’t usually strong enough to penetrate human skin.
On the rare chance that they do, you’ll see two small marks, but it less painful than a bee sting. Although most centipedes live outdoors, these are creepy looking insects that nobody wants in their home.
What Kills Centipedes in the House?
If you’ve recently discovered that you have centipedes trying to take over your home, there are several ways to kill them and prevent them from coming back. The best way to kill a centipede is to take care of it right when it’s spotted.
The Best Way to Kill a Centipede
A centipede’s freakishly long legs are what make them so quick. If you spot a centipede, you have to act fast. It’s rare to have large numbers of centipedes in your home, so killing it right away often takes care of the problem.
The quickest way to kill a centipede and the most effective centipede killer is to stomp on it. Depending on whether these items are in arms (or feet) reach, either spray them directly with bug spray or insect killer or suck them up with a vacuum hose.
Using Sticky Traps to Kill Centipedes
Purchase sticky traps at your nearest hardware store and place them along baseboards or close to corners and small crevices.
These traps are less effective on larger centipedes because they may escape by leaving a few legs behind. On the other hand, the traps work to catch other household pests as well. Use these traps for killing silverfish, ants, roaches, and spiders, too.
How to Kill Centipedes with Insecticides
Sticky traps help homeowners find traffic areas of house centipedes. Once you’ve located the problem area, use an insecticide to keep the insects at bay.
Garden supply stores have various insect repellents for sale, but making your own spray with boric acid or deltamethrin works equally well.
Boric acid is a powerful insect killing tool. When the targeted bugs eat the acid, it poisons them and causes their digestive system to shut down. This reaction makes them die of starvation. Boric acid also damages their exoskeletons, causing severe dehydration.
Wearing a dust mask protects yourself from inhaling particles from the boric acid powder. Fill a spray bottle or yard sprayer with equal parts Borax and water and shake to combine. Spray the solution on the problem area or around your home in cracks or crevices.
Natural Centipede Spray
Dish soap is a more natural ingredient used to kill house centipedes. Once the bug has made contact, the soap starts to dry it out until it dies. This spray also works as an earwig repellent. If you coat the earwigs in the solution, they immediately die.
For a natural way to get rid of centipedes, mix a gallon of warm water with two tablespoons of liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. Try not to make too many suds.
Spray the solution along dark crevices and corners. Reapply every few days to ensure the bugs have come in contact with the spray.
Creating a Barrier against Centipedes
Centipedes work their way from the outside in, meaning that if you create a barrier around your house, you drastically decrease the chances of them entering your home and having to call centipede control.
Use either a store-bought insecticide or one of the insecticide recipes listed above. Spray a one-foot barrier around the entirety of your home’s exterior. A homemade spray is a natural centipede repellent and one that you don’t have to worry about harming your small children or pets if they come in contact with it.
If the centipedes do happen to make their way inside, they are either nearly dead or dead by the time you find them.
When to Call an Exterminator
When are house centipedes a severe problem? Although it isn’t typical for centipedes to gather in large numbers, it isn’t impossible. If you have a centipede problem, you more than likely have other infestations as well.
Because centipedes feed on other pests, they are more attracted to homes with a hefty food source. This indicates that it’s time to call a professional, like Ortho.
Their professional training equips them with the knowledge and tools to rid your home from infestations that are taking place.
Prevention against Centipedes
The most critical measure to take against centipedes is preventative action. If you live in a home that is entirely unappealing to a centipede, you increase your chance of never having to see or deal with them.
There are a couple more preventative measures to take if you have already sealed off cracks and holes in your home’s exterior.
Keep Your Home Free of Moisture
Centipedes require a moist environment, or else they dry out and die. Place a dehumidifier in areas of high humidity or damp places like basements and closets.
Place silica packets, found in new shoes and purses, in the corners of your home to absorb moisture. Be careful when using these packets because they are poisonous if ingested by pets or humans.
Remove Organic Material around Your Home
Don’t leave excess mulch, firewood, leaf litter, or compost bins too close to your house. Nearly all organic debris around the home holds on to moisture and becomes a haven for them to lay eggs.
Spotting a centipede in our home often catches us off guard and makes our skin crawl.
Nobody wants unwelcome pests in their home, and that’s why knowing what kills centipedes in the house is the best way to guarantee that you won’t have to experience them too often. Applying these methods are quick and easy ways to ensure that unwelcome guests stay away.
If learning how to kill centipedes has helped you rid your home of the creepy crawlies, share these insect deterrents on Facebook and Pinterest.