Centipede literally means “100 legs,” but these pests don’t have that many because each bug has an odd number of leg pairs.
There are many species of centipedes throughout the country. Most of them live outside and like damp, dark spaces, such as under a stone, in logs, or around leaf litter. However, house centipedes like to invade the homes of Mississippi residents.
It’s important to learn how to identify these pets, what they do, control/eradicate them, and prevent house centipedes from getting inside.
What Is a Centipede?
A centipede has an elongated, flat body and can range in size from ¼-inch to 6.5 inches long. Some of them are even longer! While the name translates to mean 100 legs, these pests can have 15 to 177 leg pairs, depending on the species. Each segment of their bodies contains a pair of legs.
You can find centipedes in different colors, too. However, the most common patterns are reddish-orange or brown.
The US has many different centipede species. For example, the Cryptopid is common along the west coast, while Florida has a blue centipede that’s more aggressive. It can also creep up into Mississippi, and it can be a hazard for homeowners.
Another common type includes house centipedes. They’re often found indoors.
What Are House Centipedes?
Typically, house centipedes are a lot smaller and only grow to be 1 to 1.5 inches long. They have a grayish-yellow appearance with three stripes along their backs. The body features 15 segments, each with a pair of legs banded in white.
Often, these centipedes are solitary, so it’s rare to have an infestation. However, large Mississippi homes could have multiple centipedes within.
They’re often found in damp areas within the house, such as bathrooms, basements, or closets. Some people even notice them in sinks and bathtubs. In the warmer months, they may creep into the crawl spaces and attics, too.
With that, they can be quick, even though they have so many legs. Many Mississippi homeowners don’t want to deal with them, but they are harmless for the most part. In fact, they can be helpful, but they’re not fun to look at, especially in your home.
What Do Centipedes Eat?
House centipedes don’t damage the furniture, siding, or foundation and rarely want to eat your pantry food. Plus, they’re only out at night and eat the annoying bugs you don’t want in your house. These include bed bugs, roaches, moths, and termites.
In fact, most people consider them beneficial inside the house because they kill and eat those unwelcome pests. Therefore, if you’ve got centipedes in your home, you may actually have a bigger insect problem than you imagine. Since these bugs eat other pests, chances are, roaches, silverfish, and others might already be inside.
Getting Rid of House Centipedes
It’s often hard to determine if you have centipedes because they don’t leave evidence that they’re there. They don’t build a nest and instead find a new hiding spot every day. Therefore, you accidentally find them on the wall, zipping around the house, or trapped in a tub or sink.
While many homeowners don’t believe in killing centipedes, they can be a nuisance. With that, you may want to call a pest control company to inspect your property.
Tell the professionals that you have house centipedes so that they know to look for insects that they normally eat.
Alternatively, you might want to clean your house thoroughly, especially the damp areas. Remove the hiding spots for house centipedes from the attic, bathroom, and basement. That way, they have nowhere to go.
Likewise, you can get rid of the pests they’re eating to eradicate house centipedes, too. This means identifying the insects and using the right methods to kill them.
If you plan to spray insecticides throughout the house, consider a product that works on various insects. That way, you kill whatever the house centipedes eat.
Another option is to step on the centipedes when they come out, but this is often hard to do. They’re quick and wiry. Pay attention to where they come from or go into and seal those areas off so that they can’t get back in.
Insecticides for Centipedes
Using insecticides can be dangerous; your children or pets might get a dose of the chemicals, too. Therefore, most people prefer not to use sprays around their homes. You may also find insecticide dust. As the pest runs across it, they get a dose of the chemical, which ultimately kills them.
Centipedes are quick, but they don’t usually come in large numbers. If you trap the ones you notice and relocate them outside, you can control the problem. Just take a cup or jar to isolate the bug, slide paper underneath the container, and take it outside.
Make sure it’s far away from your home. Don’t touch house centipedes with your hands because they can bite. Though they don’t often attack humans, it could be a self-defense mechanism.
Sticky traps are often used to catch centipedes. Buy some at a local home center; they’re usually inexpensive. Put them around your baseboards or in the corners of your room.
With this approach, you can capture the centipedes, but you also nab any other pests in your Mississippi home. This can also be a way to figure out what pest problem you actually have. It might not be welcome news, but it’s good to know.
Here are a few ways to prevent house centipedes from living in your home:
- Keep out moisture – Centipedes like high-humidity and moist environments. Eliminate those areas, repair any water leaks, and use dehumidifiers to keep areas dry.
- Remove clutter – Centipedes like protection from their spaces.
- Eliminate the food source – Get rid of the other pests that the centipedes are eating.
If you notice house centipedes in your home, it’s time to figure out why. Consider hiring a pest control company to inspect your Mississippi property to determine what pests you have. From there, they can use sprays and other methods to get rid of them all so that you can have a pest-free home.
Feel free to read more about us and decide if Synergy² is the right company for you. We have over 270 Five-Star Google reviews for pest control service in the Jackson metro area (Jackson/Madison/Brandon/Ridgeland). Check out our newest location reviews for pest control service in Jackson, MS here at Synergy² Jackson Pest Control!