Centipedes are not actually insects; they are arthropods and they have many legs, usually somewhere between 17 and 300 legs. There is one set of legs on each segment of their bodies and centipedes range in length from 1/8 of an inch to 6 inches long. They are yellow to dark brown in color and sometimes have darker markings along their bodies.
They resemble worms, but have one pair of antennae on their heads and a cluster of eyes on each side of their heads. Some species of centipedes are known to bite with a pair of legs that are behind their heads that are modified into claw-like poison jaws, or with two pairs of legs at the end of their bodies that look like long pincers.
Centipedes are found indoors in areas of high moisture, including basements, bathrooms and closets and can also be found in decaying vegetation, including potted plants. You may find them outdoors underneath stones, in rotting logs and in areas underneath porches, patios and decking. They can get into your home through sections of loose siding on your home and through gaps and spaces around cables or pipes that come into your home.
When they come into contact with humans, centipedes have been known to give a bite that can be quite painful. In nature, their poison jaws deliver a venomous injection that could knock out other insects, but if they are handled roughly or accidentally by a human, the sting can be compared to that of a wasp. Centipedes can also be a nuisance to humans when these pests start congregating in large numbers inside a home.
Getting rid of centipedes on your own can be difficult, especially if you have conditions they find favorable inside or around your property. Centipedes are looking for dark and moist areas that also provide a source of food (soft-bodied insects), so if there are places inside or outside your structure that provide these environments, you need to eliminate them to help keep centipedes from finding your property attractive.
Do-it-yourself centipede treatments aren’t often effective; especially if the conditions that attract them continue to be present in or around your property. A Guardian technician knows what to do to help eliminate these pests from your property and can give you suggestions on environmental modifications to keep these pests from returning.
Preventing centipedes from entering your property can be difficult, but it isn’t impossible. Eliminating damp areas in basements and bathrooms can be done through regular sanitation, effective ventilation and the use of a dehumidifier. You can also modify the environment around your home to keep these pests from being attracted to your property. This can be done by keeping lawns and grassy areas cut short to allow for quick drying and by removing thick mulch from your structure’s foundation.
After employing these prevention techniques, if you are still finding centipedes congregating on your property, contact Guardian Pest Solutions to discuss residential pest control programs that are available to you in Minnesota, Wisconsin and throughout our service area.