How to Kill House Centipedes
What Is That Thing in My House?
Do you know what that alien thing is at the top of this page? If you've never seen it, then you will probably never know what it is. If you have seen it, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's what's known as a house centipede, or "scutigera coleoptrata" in the animal world.
To many people, this thing can be the bane of their existence! Many people are taken aback when they see it. The first thing out of their mouths is: "What the heck is that?" And rightfully so, because it does look alien in origin! However, it's definitely from this world, and I will provide you with some very valuable information about it.
If you want to know how to kill house centipedes, please keep reading!
How to Kill House Centipedes
How do you kill them completely? Well, there are a couple of ways to do this. Trying to squish each and every one you encounter won't work because:
- They hunt at night because they eyes are sensitive to light. You're probably encountering maybe one in a few hundred every time you see one!
- There are just too many of them! With the average female house centipede laying between 60 and 150 eggs at a time, you'll never be able to keep up!
Three Options to Kill House Centipedes
- Hire an Exterminator. This will probably be your best bet. An exterminator can kill the house centipede and the insect infestation that they are chasing after. One of the drawbacks to an exterminator is even they will tell you that it's going to take more than one visit to completely kill them all! That's going to cost you more money. Another drawback is most of us don't like the idea of someone spraying chemicals around the same house where our family lives. It's where our children play and sleep!
- Try Boric Acid. Boric acid has been the insecticide of choice for generations. It's that white powder that you saw along the woodwork in your Grandma's basement! Boric acid works on two levels. It acts as a stomach poison if the insect ingests it, and it is abrasive to their exoskeleton if they touch it!
- Dehumidifier. Another unconventional method is to use a dehumidifier. How does it work? Since the house centipede likes to hang out with moisture and high humidity, you can use a dehumidifier to dry up the moisture and humidity! This will make their stay in your home unpleasant. This method might not work completely, but it will slow them down.
Insects are smart, and they will always find a way to get to their food. Just like I said earlier, the house centipede has been seen in every room in the house!
House Centipedes!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Where Do House Centipedes Come From?
House centipedes originated in the Mediterranean region of the world. The earliest reported sighting in the United States was in 1849 when they were most likely transported here by some cargo ship. When you encounter a house centipede today, it will most likely be in the basement of your home.
These insects like to dwell in damp, humid environments. This is the best place for them because this environment protects them from the cold and dehydration. They breathe through small openings called spiracles, so a damp environment provides a steady stream of oxygen for them. Although you will most likely encounter them in the basement, they have been found all over the home: bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. They've even been known to be in the bed with people while they sleep! Whatever room you can think of, the house centipede can found in it.
- They run quickly and can climb walls as well as ceilings. As you can see, house centipedes can be quite bothersome if they are allowed to get out of hand.
Why Are House Centipedes in Your Home?
Contrary to popular belief, house centipedes are not to be kept as pets. They are some people out there who decide to keep them as pets. House centipedes have a real purpose and reason as to why they are in your home, and you won't like it when I tell you what it is.
House centipedes are one of the predators of the insect world. They are what is known as insectivores, meaning that they hunt and kill other insects. If you have seen the centipedes in your home, it means your home has the right conditions for house centipedes to hunt. You have an insect infestation somewhere in your home!
They are not in your home to be pets, and they are not in your home to live because they have nowhere else to go. They are there to hunt! House centipedes eat spiders, bedbugs, silverfish, termites, roaches, cockroaches, ants, and whatever insect that they can get their 15 pairs of long legs on.
- Did you notice anything about the list of bugs from above? Yes, these are the same bugs that plague your home if you're not careful! The house centipedes eat all of them.
- They are not harmful to humans. A sting from a house centipede is not uncommon. It leaves behind some swelling and redness. But is not altogether dangerous to people.
There are some among us that proclaim that because of the above facts, we should leave them alone. I don't agree with this. I've met none of these people in real life, and I'm pretty sure that if they woke up with a house centipede over their bed, or on their pillow inches away from their nose, that they would change their tune.
These things are insects, and, if left unchecked, they can be an infestation themselves! Instead of justifying why I should allow them to stay in my house, I'd rather kill them! I'd rather kill them and the insect infestation that they're after!
How Many House Centipedes Are There?
That is a great question. The answer is this: No one knows for sure. No one knows for sure how many house centipedes are in your home. But let's try to guess.
- The house centipede has a lifespan of about 3 to 7 years of age.
- The females begin to lay eggs at around the age of 3.
- The average female house centipede can lay between 60 to 150 eggs at a time.
- You do the math!
if you are always seeing these things, then it's a safe bet that they have been in your home for some time now. You'll most likely notice them at two different times of the year: spring and fall.
- They come out in the spring because of the warmer weather.
- During the fall, they seek shelter in our homes because of the cooler weather.
- Coincidentally, the spring is also when the rest of the insect world decides to wake up from their winter slumber.