Seeing a house centipede may be unnerving, especially considering the bad reputation centipedes have in general. However, did you know that house centipedes, a common insect known for invading homes and living in small, damp spaces, can be quite beneficial?
In fact, many homeowners opt to let these insects stick around in their homes once they find out what wonderful pest control experts they are. That said, house centipedes can get out of control. In fact, female centipedes can lay as many as 150 eggs at a time, which can lead to a house overrun with these creepy, albeit beneficial, bugs.
Are you wondering how to get rid of a house centipede problem in your home? Then join us as we go over all the dos and don’ts of house centipede control.
Identifying A Centipede Problem In Your House
The first sign of a house centipede infestation is usually the sighting of one.
House centipedes are generally reclusive insects. They prefer dark, damp spaces like underneath sinks, behind cabinets, beneath appliances, in basements, cellars, attics, and crawl spaces.
That said, you may not know you even have a house centipede problem. However, chances are if you do see a house centipede in your home, there could be hundreds more hiding out.
What are some other common signs of a house centipede in your home? Let’s take a look.
Some common signs of a house centipede infestation include:
- Noticing an infestation of other insects
House centipedes feed on other bugs like spiders, silverfish, ants, and bedbugs. If you have an infestation of any of these insects, you may also have an infestation of house centipedes.
- Seeing a house centipede
It’s tough to know how to get rid of a house centipede if you don’t even know it’s there. House centipedes are nocturnal, and even if you have hundreds of them in your home you may not see them out and about. That said, if you do happen to see a house centipede, you probably have many more lurking around somewhere.
- Finding holes in your floors, walls, or baseboards during colder months
In the colder months, house centipedes keep warm by burrowing small holes in our flooring, in the baseboards, in walls, and other cracks and crevices. They do this to seek shelter and stay warm.
- Feeling something crawling on you at night
This is horrible, I know, but it is one of the signs of a house centipede infestation. House centipedes don’t have a favorite room, and they prefer the dark. It’s not uncommon to find house centipedes in your bed at night, and this is a sure sign of an infestation. And on that happy note, let’s find out how to get rid of a house centipede infestation pronto.
What Attracts House Centipedes to Some Homes?
House centipedes like dark, damp spaces, which is why many people find them in their tub or near a drain. (Photo credit: Photo https://snappygoat.com/s/?q=drain#074e2a05a0aaa628684c5d22b5f727f4026c3adc,0,36.)
You want to know how to get rid of a house centipede infestation Right? But in order to get rid of these creepy crawlies, you must first know what brought them around in the first place.
House centipedes are generally attracted to homes with an abundant food source. Unfortunately, this means homes that may already be infested with other bugs like bed bugs, spiders, or ants.
House centipedes are also attracted to homes with water leaks or homes with clogged gutters, damp wood piles or debris near the perimeter of their home, and homes with lots of tight, damp, dark spaces to hide.
House centipedes are also attracted to water. Many people report finding a house centipede in their bathroom in the middle of the night. This is no surprise, as these guys are nocturnal and many of them prefer to hang around tub drains and beneath sinks.
So, how do you get rid of a house centipede infestation? Let’s take a look at some of the best treatment methods below.
How To Get Rid Of A House Centipede – Best Treatment Methods
There are a few remedies experts use when controlling a house centipede infestation.
If you’re looking into how to get rid of a house centipede problem, you are probably also looking into how to get rid of other insects, since other insects are likely what attracted a house centipede to your house in the first place.
This is why insect repellents and insecticides are so effective for those working on how to get rid of a house centipede infestation.
Below is a full list of methods you can use to take care of these insects:
- Natural Repellents
- Home Remedies
The below video goes into more detail of how to get rid of a house centipede problem with some tried and tested methods
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Need more details? Let’s talk about how to get rid of a house centipede problem using natural repellents below.
How To Get Rid Of A House Centipede Using Natural Repellents
There are many natural repellents you can use to effectively remove unwanted pests like house centipedes.
Natural insect repellents are highly effective for those looking into how to get rid of a house centipede problem. The best part about using natural repellents is that they are human and pet friendly, and also safe for the environment.
The list of insect repellents below will also help you not only get rid of house centipedes, but also the insects they feed on.
Mighty Mint Peppermint Oil Insect Repellent
One of our favorite natural remedies for how to get rid of a house centipede is this peppermint oil spray by Mighty Mint. House centipedes hate the smell of peppermint oil, and so do many other pests that centipedes feed on.
The spray uses all natural ingredients including peppermint oil to help repel house centipedes and keep them from returning to your house. Because it uses non-toxic ingredients, this spray is safe to use around children and pets. You can also use it on plants.
Brison Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
We are big fans of ultrasonic pest repellent plug-ins like the one above made by Brison. This is a great tool you can use when working on how to get rid of a house centipede problem because it not only deteres these insects, but it also repels the insects they prey on like bed bugs, spiders, roaches, mosquitoes, fleas and more.
Best of all, this is an all natural, kid and pet friendly way to help keep house centipedes and other home invaders at bay. Simply plug it into your wall and it uses ultrasonic sound frequencies that irritate insects and even rodents like mice.
The order above includes two Brison plug-ins and each plug-in reaches approxomatley 1,100 square feet.
Wondercide Natural Indoor Pest Control Spray
Wondercide is another one of our favorite all natural pest control sprays and it works well for those of you looking for how to get rid of a house centipede infestation naturally.
The spray uses kid and pet safe ingredients and leaves behind a pleasant smell as well. You can even order it in a few different scents like lemongrass, cedar, peppermint, or rosemary.
For the specific removal of house centipedes, we recommend ordering this spray in the peppermint scent.
Diatomaceous Earth is a popular, all natural insect control remedy used by experts, and we highly recommend it to you if you are wondering how to get rid of a house centipede quickly and effectively.
This is a human and pet friendly powder that acts as a natural insecticide. It uses fossilized algae to penetrate the exoskeleton of insects like house centipedes, roaches, spiders, ants, and more, dehydrating them from the inside.
You can use this as a powder and sprinkle it along the perimeter of your home, near entry and exit points, around windows, and along baseboards where house centipedes like to hide.
Similar to Diatomaceous Earth, Boric Acid is a natural insecticide found in minerals like rocks and in other natural sources including water and plants. However, Boric Acid can cause irritation to humans and pets if ingested in large doses. That said, it is still relatively safe to use in homes with kids and pets and is an effective tool for those of you looking for how to get rid of a house centipede problem.
Boric Acid works like a poison when a pest walks through it and ingests it. It is a popular and natural insecticide that works best when sprinkled along baseboards, entry and exit points, and anywhere else you notice insect activity.
Terro Spider And Insect Trap
If you don’t want to use insecticides with toxic chemicals, you can always try a crawling insect trap for how to get rid of a house centipede. This trap by Terro is specifically designed to trap and kill crawling insects like centipedes, spiders, roaches, and ants.
It uses a non toxic formula and catches and kills insects using glue. It is even good for catching poisonous spiders like brown recluses and black widows.
All-N-One Natural Insect Spray
Because house centipedes are attracted to homes that are crawling with other insects, this all in one spray by Exterminator’s Choice may be your best bet. We like this spray because it will not only help you when you’re looking for how to get rid of a house centipede, but it will also help eliminate other insects centipedes are attracted to like spiders, ants, roaches, beetles, felas, ticks, and silverfish.
The spray uses no harsh chemicals and is safe to use around children and pets. It kills and repels insects and can be used for both indoor and outdoor applications.
How To Get Rid Of A House Centipede Using Insecticides
Insecticides help to keep centipedes and other pests at bay, but they can also be toxic to humans and pets.
For a very severe infestation, you may need to turn to using insecticides for the best method of how to get rid of a house centipede.
We recommend using insecticides if you also have a severe insect infestation as well, or if you are dealing with poisonous spiders. We have listed some of the best insecticides for how to get rid of a house centipede and other insects they feed on below.
Ortho Home Defense Max
If you are looking for a powerful insecticide for how to get rid of a house centipede problem quickly, we recommend Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer. This is a powerful insecticide that won’t stain your furniture or carpeting and doesn’t leave behind an unpleasant odor.
It also works to get rid of spiders, fleas, ticks, roaches, and ants, which are all insects house centipedes feed on. The order above includes a spray wand for hard-to-reach places, making application easier.
However, the active ingredient is bifenthrin, which is a powerful insecticide that is toxic to humans and pets, so make sure you read the directions and use this product with caution.
Raid Max Bug Barrier
Another insecticide we recommend for how to get rid of a house centipede infestation is Raid Max Bug Barrier. This spray insecticide can be used both indoors and outs and helps not only get rid of house centipedes but also their prey, including roaches, spiders, and ants.
The active ingredient in this insecticide is deltamethrin, which again is a highly toxic insecticide that is poisonous to pets and people and should be used with caution.
Ortho Home Defense Cracks And Crevices
Because house centipedes are nocturnal and like dark, damp spaces, it may be difficult to find them where they hide. For this reason, we recommend a spray like Ortho Home Defense for how to get rid of a house centipede because it includes a small wand to help you reach small, tight spaces.
It uses the active ingredient deltamethrin, which is of course toxic to humans and pets and should be used with care.
How To Get Rid Of A House Centipede Using Home Remedies
House centipedes are repelled by some essential oils like tea tree oil and peppermint.
House centipedes may be beneficial insects, but that doesn’t mean you want them in your home. Are you wondering how to get rid of a house centipede using home remedies? Luckily, there are a few things you may already have in your home that you can use to get rid of these creepy pests.
Let’s take a look at some of the best home remedies for how to get rid of a house centipede in your home.
Because house centipedes are attracted to damp, moist areas, you can help repel them by getting a dehumidifier. Getting rid of any humidity in the air and in your home will make the atmosphere less hospitable for these insects, which means you are less likely to see them crawling around.
- Essential Oils
Essential oils are a wonderful method you can use if you are looking for how to get rid of a house centipede naturally. House centipedes are repulsed by heavy, overwhelming odors many humans love like peppermint oil and tea tree oil.
Experts recommend soaking cotton balls in your oil of choice and leaving them in areas you have noticed house centipede activity. For most people, this will include underneath kitchen sinks and in bathrooms, basements, cellars, crawlspaces and attics.
You can also make your own essential oil spray to help you when looking for how to get rid of a house centipede by mixing water in a spray bottle and dropping 15 or so drops of the oil of your choice in as well. Mix the concoction well and spray around the perimeter of your home and near all entry and exit points.
- Mint Leaves
Wondering how to get rid of a house centipede using plants? Since house centipedes are repulsed by overpowering smells, it’s no surprise they wouldn’t like the smell of mint.
If you have a greenthumb, why not try your hand at growing some fresh mint indoors and out? You can place these small potted plants around windows and even in bathrooms, and you can grow mint around the perimeter of your home to help keep house centipedes from ever entering in the first place.
- Cayenne Pepper
Many pests are repelled by cayenne pepper and the house centipede is no different. Cayenne pepper can cause irritation to insects and can keep them from wanting to enter your home.
If you are wondering how to get rid of a house centipede using cayenne pepper, there are a few methods. You can simply sprinkle it in it’s spice form along the perimeter of your home to keep them from entering, or you can strategically place it near entry and exit points. You can also sprinkle cayenne pepper anywhere you have noticed insects or house centipedes activity.
That said, cayenne pepper can also cause irritation to children and pets, especially if it is sniffed or if it gets into the eyes, so use it carefully.
House Centipede Habitat And Facts
House centipedes feed on a number of other pests and insects, including spiders and bed bugs.
We’ll be honest – house centipedes are kind of horrifying to look at. However, they are also extremely beneficial insects. They are carnivores that feed on plenty of other pests, like termites, spiders, bed bugs, silverfish, wasps, and more.
Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about house centipedes you should know.
- The House Centipede Has 15 Legs
House centipedes are crazy fast, and it’s no wonder when you look at all those legs! In fact, they can move as quickly as 1.3 feet per second. This is one of the main reasons they are such wonderful hunters.
- A House Centipede’s Eyes Are Super Sensitive To Light
This is one of the reasons house centipedes prefer being in the dark. Their eyes are equipped for nocturnal hunting and they will hide out during the day in dark, damp cracks and crevices, then emerge at night to feast.
- House Centipedes Have A Pretty Decent Lifespan
When it comes to the insect world, a house centipede lives for a relatively long time. In fact, female house centipedes can live as long as three years.
- House Centipedes Use Venom To Catch Their Prey
Don’t worry. House centipedes are not poisonous to humans. To other insects, however, their venom is deadly. That said, house centipedes do sting, and they can sting people and pets. But are they dangerous to people and pets? Let’s take a look.
Are House Centipedes Dangerous To People And Pets?
While they are frightful looking, house centipedes are generally harmless to people and pets.
The good news is that house centipedes, while absolutely terrifying looking, are completely harmless. In fact, some people (who are much more brave than I), are fine with having these guys hanging around in their homes.
That said, house centipedes do reproduce very quickly and I don’t think many of us want hundreds of house centipedes running around our house. I should also note that they can sting if provoked. While their sting does hurt, it is generally not harmful to humans unless a person is particularly sensitive or allergic.
Pets are safe from a house centipede’s venom too, although smaller pets like rodents and snakes could (although this is rare) fall victim to a house centipede bite.
Tips On Preventing Future House Centipede Problems
Clean and vacuum often and make sure to caulk and seal entryways and exit points.
Keeping your home free and clear of house centipedes may be easier than you think. So, now that you know how to get rid of a house centipede, let’s go over how to keep them gone.
Here is how to get rid of a house centipede for good:
- Keep Your Home Clean And Dry
Clean your home often. This includes gutters and the outside perimeter of your home. Remove wood piles and excess debris, especially anything moist or anything that attracts other insects, which house centipedes feed on.
- Seal and Caulk Entry And Exit Points
Seal and caulk around your home often to ensure house centipedes and other pests can’t make their way in. Pay special attention to baseboards, cracks and crevices, and ripped screens.
- Repair Leaks ASAP
Leaky pipes, damp basements, cellars, and attics are prime real estate for house centipedes. If you do have a leak, make sure it is repaired and dired as soon as possible to ensure a house centipede doesn’t move in.
- Vacuum Often
Vacuuming often will help get rid of other pests like ants, bed bugs, spiders, and more. Making sure you keep these pests out of your house will help reduce the chances of having a house centipede infestation.
- Keep Up On Routine Pest Control
Since house centipedes feed on other insects, one of the best ways to keep them from coming into your home is to make sure they don’t have a food source there. Keep other pests at bay using home remedies, natural repellents, or insecticides.
So, what do you think? Knowing that a house centipede is harmless to people and pets and even beneficial, would you let them stay in your home? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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.