Frequently Asked Questions About Centipedes
What are centipedes?
Centipedes are arthropods that enter our Virginia homes and businesses when outside conditions become too uncomfortable for them. Aside from seeking harborage, they also gravitate to moisture and food inside your structure.
Here are some more basics to get you more familiar with these nuisance pests:
- They have flattened, elongated bodies that are yellowish-gray, brown, or red.
- They measure anywhere from one to six inches long.
- They have one pair of legs per body segment.
- They are known for always having an odd pair of legs.
- Their individual leg count can range anywhere from 30 to 354 legs.
- They have elongated mandibles and two pairs of maxillae.
- They move very slowly by making wave-like motions with their legs.
- They curl into little balls when disturbed.
Where do centipedes live?
Centipedes gravitate to humid habitats and moisture-rich areas. Outside, pest are often found in Fairfax, VA forests and gardens, living amongst rotten plants, logs, and rocks. Inside, you'll find them in remote areas like basements, floor drains, sinks, bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, attics, and crawl spaces.
Are centipedes dangerous?
While centipedes are venomous, the good news is that they aren't really harmful to humans. They use their venomous glands to paralyze their prey, such as insects and worms, not humans or pets. If they do bite you, it is certainly unpleasant, but it's not a life-threatening occurrence. Just don't provoke a centipede, as this can potentially trigger them to sting. Reactions may include redness, swelling, itching, pain, and sometimes an allergic response.
What do centipedes eat?
Centipedes are carnivorous predators that mostly eat insects, spiders, worms, and other invertebrates. Because their eyesight is weak, they use their antennae to locate their next meal. They sting their prey to paralyze them and then feed on their body. They use their mandibles, which are like their teeth, to eat their prey. Some other insects centipedes eat include beetles, moths, mites, bed bugs, crickets, silverfish, and flies. Depending on the species, if a centipede is large enough, it can even attack and kill small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds.
How to protect your property from centipedes
Even though centipedes don't pose a serious threat to humans, they're still unwelcome pests. As a local property owner, you should be proactive, doing everything you can to keep centipedes away from your property. Here are some useful preventative methods to help you minimize your exposure to centipedes and avoid the occurrence of infestation:
- Address any moisture issues around the property and be sure to correct any drainage and plumbing problems.
- Create a protective perimeter around your home or business to keep centipedes away.
- Get rid of any yard and garden debris around your property and eliminate decaying wood.
- Inspect door and window frames for potential entry points and gaps or openings.
- Maintain a neatly cut lawn and keep the landscaping around your property well-trimmed.
- Put a dehumidifier in the damp areas of your house to minimize levels of moisture.
- Remove cobwebs around the home to help get rid of spiders and insects, removing a centipede's prey.
- Remove extra boxes and clutter around your home to remove potential harborage areas.
- Seal cracks and crevices around your foundation and block off any potential entry points.
- Store firewood off the ground and away from the foundation of the house.
While these preventative tips can certainly help keep centipedes off your property, the truth is that none of them are entirely effective on their own. The best way to deal with centipede activity is to reach out to your local pest experts and secure dependable centipedes control services. Contact the team at SPRK Pest Solutions to learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control services.