What has uncountable legs and a nasty bite? The ‘humble’ centipede, an invertebrate that looks as if it came straight from your nightmares!
What Are Centipedes?
Contrary to popular belief, centipedes are not insects – they are closely related to lobsters and crayfish. Depending on the species, a centipede can grow anywhere from 1 to 12 inches or more (Source).
Also known as a ‘hundred legger,’ a centipede is easy to spot with its long and elongated body and the dozens of tiny legs it has. Contrary to popular belief, it can have anywhere from 15 to 77 pairs of legs rather than a hundred. Depending on the species, the body is typically dark brown or yellowish in color and some also have dark stripes and markings (Source).
Most centipedes live in soil and leaf litter, while the nocturnal ones spend their days hiding under logs and stones to remain moist. You can find them under rocks, large debris, and even in burrows. Their jaws contain poisonous glands which start from the first segment that is behind the head. However, if one bites you, you will only feel a minor sting. If you are allergic to insect bites, you may get a nasty reaction.
How to kill centipedes? Read on to find out.
Getting Rid of Centipedes
How do you get rid of centipedes? No need to evacuate if these pesky critters invade your home. Here are a few preventative tips that can help you see the last of them:
1. Preventative Measures Against Centipedes
This is one of the best answers on how to keep centipedes away. Figure out what kind of anthropods are their main food source in your home by setting out sticky insect traps. The pests will die out when they starve (Source).
Use cayenne pepper
The capsaicin in cayenne pepper is a natural insect repellant. Sprinkle it at entry points within and outside your home to prevent centipedes from invading. That is the best answer to how to keep centipedes out of your house.
2. How to Get Rid Of Centipedes in Your House or Apartment
Centipedes have to remain moist to survive. Use dehumidifiers to dry out areas where the pests are concentrated and grade the soil around the building to ensure proper drainage. This is one of the popular home remedies for centipedes.
Centipedes love small and dark spaces. Remove clutter from your home to eliminate their hiding spots and to shake some loose (Source).
3. How to Get Rid Of Centipedes in Drains or Basements
Fill up cracks and crevices in walls and concrete slabs to block their exits and entrances. Seal with sump pumps using screen and caulk and install window screens in the basement floor drains to prevent the centipedes from re-entering.
Like most pests, centipedes thrive on mold which may be aplenty in your basement and around drains (Source). Clean those out to keep them out.