Centipedes (Class: Chilopoda) are ancient arthropods that date back 430 million years ago. With over 3000 variations of centipedes worldwide, these bugs can be found in many places and are typically attracted to dark environments that have high levels of moisture, including garbage bins, logs, and under large boulders. While centipedes tend to be more outside creatures, they can make their way into your home, causing an infestation.
Canada is home to over 70 different centipede species; however, in Ontario, the most common centipede we deal with as exterminators is the house centipede that originated from Mexico and slowly made its way up North America.
The House Centipede
Contrary to their name, centipedes do not have 100 legs, but rather anywhere between 15 and 354 depending on the species. Centipedes are most easily identified by their elongated bodies and their legs. The house centipede has 30 long, slender ones (15 pairs). They can range anywhere from 4 mm to 152 mm in length and are generally a yellow tint with dark features or markings.
All centipedes have long antennae that are extremely sensitive to help them navigate their environment, as they have very poor eyesight. Thus, they use their sense of smell and their antennae’s sensitivity to find their prey, which is usually smaller insects. Additionally, what a lot of people may not realize is that centipedes have large teeth that contain venom glands. That being said, it is very unlikely that a house centipede will bite you. Their lifespan is around 5 – 6 years.
Habitat and Behavior
As mentioned earlier, centipedes are attracted to dark, moist environments. While they typically live outside, it is possible for them to get into your home. When looking for centipedes, you will generally find them clustered in basements, plants, bathroom cabinets, or crawlspaces. Female centipedes can lay up to 35 eggs over the span of a couple of days, usually during the summer. Additionally, centipedes are nocturnal in nature; therefore, you are more likely to find them at night.
How to Identify if You Have a Centipede Pest Infestation In Your Home
Unlike most other pests, centipedes do not leave very much evidence of their presence in your home or commercial office space unless you see the centipedes themselves. Therefore, if you begin to notice more centipedes around your home, it is essential to call a professional pest control service provider to provide you with a free home inspection and price quote.
Health Concerns of House Centipedes
As previously mentioned, there is a really small probability of anyone in your home getting bit by a house centipede. However, if one were to bite you, it is usually not hard enough to break the skin or inject any venom. At worst, one may experience pain, discomfort, and flared skin from the reaction. However, it is still best to be safe, especially if there are children or small pets in the home.
How to Prevent Centipede Infestations
While there are no direct signs of having a centipede pest infestation, there are methods that you and your family can take to prevent the risk of an infestation in your home:
- Make sure to reduce the level of moisture in and around your home.
- Identify and fix any cracks in your door and window frames.
- Ensure that you have removed all grass clippings and excess materials such as large rocks and wood from your property
How to Get Rid of Centipedes
One of the reasons why centipedes are so challenging to get rid of when you are experiencing a pest infestation is because of their ability to move quickly from one area of your home to the next. This means that you will likely have to spray pesticides throughout your home to handle the infestation properly. That being said, we always advise clients to pay attention to the pesticides they use and avoid mixing chemical treatments as they can cause severe health concerns for you and your family or employees.
If you are experiencing a pest infestation such as centipedes, it is best to hire professional pest control services. We are trained in capturing and containing centipedes and understand their behaviour patterns so that we may get the job done right.
While DIY methods may save you money upfront, you risk not eradicating all of the bugs in your home, which will only cause the infestation to come back a couple of weeks or months later.
If you have a pest infestation in your home, make sure to contact the experts at Vanquish Pest Control for a free home inspection and quote. Call today and have your centipede problem dealt with immediately so you can go back to living a stress-free lifestyle without these creatures in your home.