Centipedes are creepy crawlers. They are also frequently called hundred-leggers. Despite its nickname, however, they only have 25 pairs of legs or even lesser. Their average length is one inch. They have a flat body, which is usually brown or yellow. They have a long and segmented body, similar to the physical appearance of millipedes. In their head, centipedes have a pair of long antennae. Their mouth is small, but it has large claws, which are also venomous. These claws are what they use to paralyze insects that they will eat.
Temperate and moist climates are the most ideal for the survival of centipedes. They are common under logs, wood, or leaf litter, among other places that are moist. Because they like an environment that is damp, it is seldom that you will find them in regions that are hot. In houses, they can live even indoors, which can be scarier for most people, especially for those who will see them for the first time.
Identifying Centipede’s Damage
One of the most important things to note about centipedes is that they are purely carnivorous. They have powerful claws, making them controlling predators. Among others, some of their most common food include spiders, earthworms, and insects. With this, they will not eat or cause direct damage to garden plants and even to agricultural crops.
Results of Infestation
Centipedes can get around houseplants, but this does not mean that they will have a direct impact on its health and appearance. Moisture and organic matter are two of the things that make them surround plants. Their infestation can harm humans, as they can sting. Their sting, however, is not toxic. It is similar to what you can expect from a bee sting. Despite the lack of direct impacts in the garden and plants, they can be a nuisance and can be frightening, which is why many are interested to learn how to get rid of centipedes.
How to Get Rid of Centipedes
Natural and Organic Solutions
Below are some of the best ways to deal with centipedes without the need to resort to toxic solutions:
- The elimination of their food sources is one of the best ways to get rid of centipedes. Obviously, this will make them hungry and will force them to go somewhere else in search of their food. Spiders and bugs are some of the insects that they commonly eat. With this, getting rid of the latter will deprive them of their food.
- Keeping the garden clean will also be a big help. Make sure to eliminate any area that will provide them with a suitable breeding ground. Remove any possible habitat, such as rocks and logs. Leaf litter and old tires will also be a common place for them to survive. Through the reduction of clutter, your place will be unattractive for centipedes since there will be nowhere they can live.
- If centipedes are causing problems indoors, make sure to seal any hole that can be possible entry points for them. Caulking or the use of expanding foam will be a big help to prevent centipedes from being indoor invaders. It is also necessary to fix leaky pipes and problematic faucets. They are damp, and hence, can also be the habitat of centipedes.
- When mulching, make sure to do it in moderation. Over-mulching can make the surface soggy and moist. In turn, this will make it more attractive for centipedes.
- Using sticky traps will also offer a simple solution against centipedes, especially if they are indoors. Be sure to place the sticky traps in strategic locations. In the end, it will not just trap centipedes, but other annoying insects and pests as well.
- Instead of using chemical and toxic sprays, there are natural repellents that will offer the perfect alternatives. Cayenne pepper is a good example. A thin layer of cayenne pepper inside and outside the house will repel centipedes.
When it comes to centipede control, there are chemical methods that you might want to consider. As much as possible, stay away from such as they can be toxic. Nonetheless, if the infestation is severe or if the population is too much to control using natural methods, you have no choice but to use chemicals.
Among others, residual insecticides are some of the most common for the extermination of centipedes, including brands like Drione, Demon WP, and Talstar. To be effective in the use of these chemical methods, follow the instructions from the manufacturer, especially the frequency of application.