What is it about centipedes that make most of us shudder?
Many people point to their numerous legs, their ability to “bite” with their strong mandibles, or their propensity for scurrying out of dark corners when you least expect it.
Whatever it is, most of us aren’t fond of centipedes outdoors, let alone centipedes indoors.
The truth is, most types of centipedes prefer to live outside and would rather not enter your home. Unfortunately, centipedes can get inside through vulnerabilities in our housing. Worse, there are some types of centipedes that actually seek out our homes for shelter, food, and water.
Luckily, there are methods you can use to remove and control centipedes inside your home. In today’s article, we are going to discuss the best centipede traps for indoors. But before we begin, let’s first talk a moment about the different types of centipedes you might encounter in your home.
Types Of Centipedes And What You Should Know About Them
Though commonly referred to as insects, centipedes are arthropods.
Centipedes are not insects, though they are related to them. Instead, centipedes are classified as arthropods.
Though they are typically considered some of the most undesirable of the creepy crawlies, centipedes are actually incredibly beneficial and are not known to be harmful to people, pets, agriculture, or housing.
In fact, centipedes make an excellent form of pest control both inside and outside of the house. They are generally solitary animals that prefer to dwell in moist, dark environments and feed on a variety of insects and spiders.
There are an estimated 8,000 different species of centipedes throughout the world, but there are just four types of centipedes common in the United States. These types include the house centipede, the bark centipede, the scolopendrid centipede, and the cryptopid centipede.
Why Are People Afraid Of Centipedes?
All four of these species can bite and their bites are known to be quite painful. Their bites also release a toxic venom designed to paralyze their prey. Though deadly to other insects, this venom is not usually harmful to humans.
Still, bites can hurt and, depending on the sensitivity of the person bitten, some bites can cause more serious reactions.
If you have allergies to a centipede bite, you could be at risk for what is known as anaphylactic shock.
Anaphylactic shock is a rare but serious allergic reaction that can lead to vomiting, dizziness, difficulty breathing, collapse, and even death.
If you or someone you are with is bitten by a centipede and is suffering symptoms of anaphylactic shock, it’s important to get emergency help immediately.
Luckily, these serious scenarios from any insect bite are rare. Furthermore, most types of centipedes prefer a habitat outdoors.
With that being said, centipedes can find their way inside. Let’s take a look at the four most common types of centipedes you’ll come across in the United States and learn which ones may require the best centipede traps for indoors.
The House Centipede
As its name suggests, the most common type of centipede you’ll find in your home that may require centipede traps for indoors is going to be the House Centipede.
House centipedes are about an inch and a half in length. They have 15 pairs of legs, with their last pair of legs often being twice as long as their body length. This can make these animals appear to double their size, which can be unnerving.
House centipedes often invade our homes through vulnerabilities in the foundation, cracks in siding, gaps in doorways, or openings in windows. They prefer to live in dark, moist areas of the home like crawlspaces, basements, beneath sink cabinets, and in bathrooms.
You might also find house centipedes in your indoor potted plants.
While coming across a house centipede is nerve-wracking, these animals are solitary, which makes infestations relatively rare. If you do find one house centipede, you can almost always rest assured you have found the only one in that general proximity.
Though house centipedes can bite people, they typically won’t unless provoked.
The Bark Centipede
Bark centipedes prefer to live outdoors, where they feast on a wide variety of insects. They are often found living in old wood, debris, leaf litter, beneath potted plants or large rocks, and more.
Sometimes, bark centipedes can find their way indoors. When they do, they will often retreat to damp, dark spaces like basements or crawl spaces.
The bark centipede’s bite can be painful, though, like all centipedes in North America, it is not medically dangerous to most humans.
They are considered beneficial creatures due to their propensity for feeding on a wide variety of insects and other arthropods. Bark centipedes can grow to be up to 12 inches, and larger bark centipedes are known to feed on small mammals like rodents and bats.
The Scolopendrid Centipede
Scolopendrid centipedes are another type of centipede that prefers to live outdoors, though there is a chance you will need the best centipede traps for indoors with even these unique-looking critters.
These arthropods have thick bodies and come in a variety of colors, some of them being bright blue, black, or orange. They can grow to be up to four inches long, though are usually smaller.
Their last pair of legs are long and come together like pincers. Their legs are also often shorter than those of other types of centipedes.
They are not as fast as the bark centipede or the house centipede, and often prefer to live in soil or beneath leaf litter.
The Cryptopid Centipede
Cryptopid centipedes are one of the smaller types of centipedes in the US, growing to be around .39 to 2.56 inches in length. They are often brown, tan, red, or orange, and prefer to live outdoors beneath stones, logs, or other natural debris.
They feed on a large variety of small insects and, like other centipedes, are generally solitary. Though they prefer to live outdoors, you may need to find the best centipede traps for these arthropods as they can find their way inside.
Luckily, and as with all centipedes in North America, the Cryptopid centipede is not medically dangerous to people or pets.
So, if most of these centipedes prefer to live outdoors, why would you find centipedes in your house?
Let’s find out.
Why Do I Have A Centipede In My House?
Centipedes generally prefer to live outdoors but they can find their way inside through vulnerabilities around your home.
While it is true that most types of centipedes prefer to live outdoors, it is possible for them to get into your home.
The house centipede in particular is one such species of centipede that actually may prefer to live indoors, especially in environments that are ideal for it.
Some elements that may attract a centipede into your home and require you to hunt for the best centipede traps include:
Centipedes, like all animals, need water, food, and shelter, in order to survive. Above all, centipedes tend to seek out water. This is likely due to the fact that they do not have a unique type of moisture-preserving cuticle that helps retain water. As such, they are in a constant search for it.
For this reason, if there is a leak in your home like a runny faucet, or if your foundation or crawlspace, basement, or bathroom is extra humid, centipedes could be especially attracted to that space.
Centipedes have a carnivorous diet that includes an abundance of insects and even smaller mammals, including spiders, insects, lizards, and even mice and bats.
If you continue to find centipedes in your home, this could be a sign of a bigger problem like a pest infestation that is attracting them there.
Though centipedes do prey on other insects and animals, they are not the highest critter in the food chain. These arthropods are prey to a variety of other animals like birds, toads, badgers, and even shrews.
The weather can also impact a centipede and where it chooses to dwell. If the weather is especially cold or dry, centipedes may find their way indoors in search of warmth, water, and food.
When this happens, you’ll likely need to go about finding the best centipede traps for indoors to manage this issue.
How Do Centipede Traps Work?
Most centipede traps work by using a non-toxic type of glue or sticky trap to capture centipedes in the house.
The best way to use centipede traps is to place them around areas you have noticed centipede activity or signs.
Some centipede traps are foldable, so you can create a darker dwelling that centipedes may be attracted to and more likely to enter.
Other centipede traps simply lay flat and help to capture centipedes when they scurry by. Because centipedes are most active at night, you’re most likely to catch them after you set them the traps and go to sleep.
One of the great things about centipede traps is that, because they are glue traps, they are typically non-toxic and safe for people and pets.
However, because they are glue traps, it is possible for pets or curious children to get the traps stuck to them. Luckily, a bit of olive oil is all it takes to release yourself from the glue.
Centipede traps are especially useful indoors because they not only help capture centipedes inside, but they can help you monitor any other types of pests you may be dealing with at the same time.
With that noted, let’s go ahead and take a look at some of the best centipede traps for indoors, according to experts.
Best Centipede Traps For Indoors
Most centipede traps inside your home can also catch a number of other pests as well.
As we discussed above, most centipede traps are going to be glue traps or sticky traps designed to capture a number of pests, not just centipedes. When looking for the best centipede trap for your home, it’s important to consider where the centipede activity is occurring and to set the traps accordingly.
Remember, most centipede traps should be placed on the ground and can be placed below furniture, in crawl spaces, in the corners of basements, or near potted plants where you have noticed centipede activity. We also recommend that you place centipede traps below sinks, in bathrooms, and behind cabinets.
Check centipede traps once every few days to monitor pest activity. If you notice a multitude of entities being caught in these traps, it’s important to consider other pest control options like pest sprays that will not only control centipedes, but also the other insect pests that may be attracting them to your home.
We will talk more about these options further now, but for now, let’s take a look at the best centipede traps for indoors.
Catchmaster XL Centipede Trap
The Catchmaster Centipede Trap is a large centipede trap made for larger centipedes and house centipedes. It is designed with a unique pattern specifically created to trap insects and pests like centipedes.
It can also work to capture silverfish, millipedes, roaches, and even scorpions. While it is great for large centipedes, this trap can capture all types of centipedes. The product is safe for families, pets, and the environment as it is made free of any toxic poisons.
The Catchmaster Foldable Pest Trap
Another Catchmaster product that makes the ideal centipede trap is the above foldable board trap. This trap can come either flat or folded, but when it comes to centipede control we recommend the folded. The sheltered design helps to attract centipedes when placed correctly around your home.
It can also capture a wide variety of other pests like spiders, roaches, ants, earwigs, and millipedes.
GreenWay Centipede Traps
If you are looking for an environmentally friendly centipede trap, look no further than the GreenWay trap above. This is an eco-friendly centipede trap that is made with non-toxic ingredients and is safe for children and pets.
It also works to catch silverfish, spiders, ants, and more. It is user-friendly and lies flat, making it easy to place anywhere you have noticed pests.
The glue will continue to remain sticky for up to two months, at which point it will need to be replaced. Each order includes six centipede and insect traps ready for use.
Terro Spider and Insect Trap
The Terro Spider and insect Trap above works for a variety of pests including centipedes, spiders, crickets, roaches, ants, silverfish, and more.
We like that you can use these traps either folded or flat, and they are great for homes with curious pets, as the folded version allows for you to keep pets from getting caught in the sticky glue.
Other Products You Can Use To Get Rid Of Centipedes In Your Home
Most centipedes can be deterred using common pest control sprays and methods.
While centipede traps are useful when it comes to getting rid of a centipede or two in your home, they may not solve the problem if the reason centipedes are attracted to your home is due to other pests.
According to experts, the best way to manage a centipede problem is to use methods and products that will control and remove other pests as well, including insects that centipedes may prey on.
Along with using sticky glue centipede traps, we also suggest that you invest n some of the below products for centipede control and prevention.
Wondercide Indoor Pest Control Spray
Wondercide spray is a natural pest control spray that can help control not only centipedes but also the prey that may attract them to your house. The product is made using natural ingredients like essential oils including lemongrass oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, and more.
The spray is safe to use around children and pets and is even safe enough to use in areas where food is stored and prepared.
Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer is an all-natural product you can use to control centipedes, ants, roaches, and other hard-bodied invaders that get into your home.
The product is made from fossilized algae and works by penetrating the exoskeleton of pests. This dehydrates and kills them when they come into contact with it.
Ortho Home Defense Max
Ortho Home Defense Max is a well-known spray you can use to kill a variety of pests including centipedes, spiders, roaches, fleas, ticks, and more. It is designed to be used indoors and includes a spray wand for easy application beneath furniture, in crawl spaces, beneath sinks, and more.
The product does contain ingredients that could be harmful to people and pets if not used properly, so be sure to use this spray only as directed and keep it out of reach of children.
How To Make Your Own Centipede Traps For Indoors
You can make your own centipede trap at home using tape and other household ingredients
Buying glue traps is not expensive, and setting them is not difficult. However, you also have the option of making your own centipede traps for indoors by using a few household products.
Along with making your own centipede traps, we have some methods and recipes you can use to create a centipede repellent. If you’re into do-it-yourself pest control methods, then this is the section for you!
How To Make Your Own Cenitpede Trap:
There are a few methods you can use when it comes to making your own centipede trap indoors. One of the first and perhaps the easiest methods is to use petroleum jelly and cardboard.
Slather a thick layer of petroleum jelly over cardboard (or heavy construction paper), and lay the trap down in corners, beneath furniture, in the back of cabinets, below sinks, behind toilets in the bathroom, and in the basement.
The thick jelly will trap centipedes as they crawl by, allowing you to dispose of the pests once you’ve found them.
This trap will also work for other pests like insects, though it won’t work for larger pests like rodents.
Another option is to use double-sided tape on cardboard or heavy paper. Double-sided duct tape is best for larger centipedes in the house, though double-sided scotch tape can work if the pests are smaller.
When used appropriately, this method can be just as effective as storebought sticky glue traps, though it is likely to cost around the same amount if you need to go out and purchase it for use.
You can also try using a DIY Centipde Trap Recipe that uses corn syrup and water. Take a look:
- 1 quart of corn syrup
- 1 quart of water
- 1 piece of construction paper
- 1 saucepan
- 1 paintbrush
Boil the water and corn syrup together in the saucepan. While the mixture is boiling, you can cut your paper into several squares about two to three inches across. Allow the mixture to cool in the saucepan, then use your paintbrush to paint one side of the paper.
This mixture will be a non-drying centipede trap that can help capture centipedes and other small invaders like ants, spiders, roaches, and earwigs.
Place this homemade trap around your home in areas where you have previously noticed pest activity.
Other Household Products That Repel Centipedes:
If you prefer to use other methods for centipede control, there are several ingredients in the home that can repel or even kill centipedes on contact. Some of these ingredients and products are listed below:
- Eucalyptus oil
- Peppermint oil
- Lavender oil
- And Tea tree oil
- Liquid Dish Soap
- Vegetable Oil
- And Alcohol
How To Make Your Own Centipede Repellent Using The Above Ingredients
Essential oils are a natural and safe way to go about repelling centipedes and a number of other pests from rodents to insects to arachnids.
You can make your own essential oil spray by combining 20 to 25 drops of the above essential oil of your choice in two cups of water. Spray this solution around your home and in areas you have noticed centipede activity.
You may also choose to saturate cotton balls in the essential oils of your choice and leave them in areas of your home you have noticed the pests. For best results, it’s wise to replace the saturated cotton balls once every two to three days.
Another option is to make a DIY soap spray using several drops of liquid dish soap, water, and a few drops of essential oil. This spray will saturate pests on contact, often suffocating them and killing them. Vegetable oil can also have this effect.
Alcohol can kill centipedes thanks to its dehydrating properties, as can cinnamon. Spray alcohol on the centipede directly to kill it or sprinkle cinnamon around areas you have noticed centipede activity. Centipedes will be repulsed by the strong smell of the cinnamon and will also avoid going through it, as it will dry them out.
Keeping Centipedes Out Of Your Home – Tips From Experts
Practicing routine home maintenance can help reduce the number of pests that get into your home.
Using centipede traps is an effective way of monitoring and removing centipedes and other pests when they get inside your home, but they won’t help prevent future problems.
In order to get rid of centipedes for good, it’s best to use preventative measures like those listed below.
Use A Form Of Quality Pest Control Both Inside And Outside Of Your House
Getting rid of centipedes means getting rid of anything that may attract them to your home. Since their diet revolves around insects, other arthropods, spiders, and sometimes rodents, it’s best to use a quality pest control product that repels those types of pests.
We suggest a product that can be used both indoors and outdoors to keep both centipedes and their prey out of your home.
Fix Leaky Drains or Pipes, and Consider a Dehumidifier
Since centipedes are so highly attracted to moisture, you’ll want to make sure you keep your home free of any leaks or excess humidity. Use fans when you take a shower and consider investing in a dehumidifier if you live in a region that is particularly humid.
Repair leaks as soon as possible to keep centipedes at bay and remove excess water sources around your property.
Clean Often, Especially Below Furniture and Beneath Sinks
Cleaning often helps to not only reduce centipede activity inside but can also help you monitor your home for other pests. Be sure to pay special attention to areas below furniture, in crawl spaces or basements, beneath sinks, and in bathrooms.
Repair Cracks or Vulnerabliieets Around Your Home
Centipedes are small and flat, and their flexible bodies allow them to slip into very tight cracks around your home. To best prevent centipedes and other pests from getting inside, keep up with routine home maintenance. Use caulking around your home, keep doors and windows shut, and seal up cracks you find around your foundation.
Keep Up With Landscaping And Remove Debris Around Your Property
Last, to keep centipedes out of your house you must work to keep them out of your yard. Keeping up with routine landscaping can help, as can removing excess debris around your home like unused potted plants, garden decorations, bird fountains, large stones, woodpiles, and leaf litter.
And remember, centipedes are not necessarily bad. Still, their presence can be an indication of other pests in your area or home. If you have used the above methods to get rid of centipedes and you continue to see an influx in centipede activity, it may be time to contact professional pest control experts in your area.
Best of luck and thanks for reading!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.