House centipedes, while mostly harmless to humans, can be creepy and unwanted in your house. These creatures seek shelter in your house for warmth, food, and water, so keeping them out means making sure your house is clean, dry, and properly sealed.
Keep Things Dry
House centipedes thrive in damp environments, and this can include everything from basement rooms to bathrooms or even leaky pipes and dripping faucets. Your house as a whole may become a target if you live in a humid area and don't do anything that reduces that humidity indoors, like run your air conditioner.
There are a few ways to make sure you don't have any unwanted moisture attracting these centipedes. First, check your house from the top to the bottom to make sure you don't have any leaks; it's possible that leaks can be inside walls as well, so use your water meter to test this. You can also purchase a dehumidifier to make the inside of your house more dry, or put it in specific rooms where centipedes seem to congregate. Check for leaky faucets or anything that may supply a constant stream of water for pests. If you have house plants inside that you water regularly, you can move them to be more inaccessible.
Seal Your House
Dissuading pests can only go so far; sometimes you need to block them more directly. The best way to do this is by trying to block off as many entry points as possible, such as gaps in door and window frames, cracks in your baseboard, floor, and walls, holes in the ceiling, gaps in your roof tiles or flashing, or cracks along the outside base of your house. You can use caulk for most outdoor gaps, framing gaps, and most things in attics and basements. Finally, if you're concerned they may come inside through vents, you can use grilles with more narrow slats or holes so large ones can't fit.
Beyond re-sealing all the major entry points like doors and windows, you can do a more thorough check for holes and gaps by using a flashlight at night. With someone standing outside and waving the flashlight over your house, you can see where light shines through – often where it shouldn't.
Keep Your House's Surroundings Clear
Even if you keep a clean and dry house, the area directly surrounding your house is important, too. Grass clippings, piles of wood or leaves, and other debris can become damp easily, and subsequently become a breeding ground for house centipedes. With centipedes breeding so near your home, some may inevitably end up wandering in to seek shelter from the cold or look for food.
Do your best to keep any patios clear of piles of wood, and rake away any leaves or weeds. If you have a compost pile nearby, look into moving it as far away from your house as possible. Finally, make sure your gutters are clean of debris. The same end principle applies here: keep things clear and dry.
Get Rid of Food Sources
It's often suggested that you let house centipedes be because they eat all sorts of other household pests like ants and spiders. A more ideal solution might be to simply get rid of all these pests yourself.
The first step is to figure out what pests could be in your home that house centipedes are feeding on. This will affect how you go about getting rid of them. Unless you have an infestation, getting rid of most other household pests should be relatively easy. You can use baits and traps to catch many pests, or sprays around the outside of your house to keep out common invaders like ants.
Pest control services can also help you by inspecting your house and figuring out what other problems you might be dealing with, then helping you get rid of them. The reason you may want to start with smaller pests is because if you simply get rid of the centipedes themselves, more may simply come. If you get rid of their food source, however, they'll have no reason to come back.
After living with a pest problem in our home for years, I kind of figured the bugs were there to stay. I had tried just about every kind of at-home treatment that I could think of, but nothing was working. It was frustrating, but I knew that there had to be something that could help. After failing for what seemed like the millionth time, I finally decided to work with a professional exterminator. The expert was incredibly proficient and knowledgeable about pest problems, and remarkably, he removed all of the pests from our house that day. This blog is all about working with a pro to eliminate pest problems.