10 Useful Tips To Get Rid of Centipedes

There are over 2,000 species of centipedes in the world with most of them living outdoors but you can also find house centipede. Centipedes are arthropods just like insects but they are not insects nor are they arachnids since they have more than six legs.

They often lay 50 to 100 eggs in spring and can live between 3-7 years. Centipedes are usually nocturnal in the sense they spend most of their daytime hiding but come out to hunt at night. They are also carnivorous and mostly hunt spider mites and other small insects.

Where to Centipedes Live?

They live outdoors in a moist microhabitat such as under barks of trees and leaves since they lack the waxy cuticle found on insects and arachnids hence loose water fast through their cuticle. However, sometimes they decide to venture inside especially during the cold season.


Centipedes are usually harmless and in fact, sometimes, their jaws are not even strong enough to pierce human skin in self defense. However, these pests have a venomous bite making them dangerous especially in our households. Therefore, the best thing to do once you start spotting them around your house is to get rid of them.

How To Kill Centipedes

The following are some of the ways you can get rid of them.

1. Kill Them with Bug Spray Whenever You See Them

House centipedes prefer inhabiting damp areas like closets, bathrooms and closets and sometimes in attics or unexcavated areas under a building during warmer months. And since they have freakishly long legs, they’re agile and move very fast, so it requires you to be quick in stomping on or bug-spraying them.

If you don’t have a spray to help you kill it, you can alternatively catch it in jar and then release it by the outside. Once they come on sight, take immediate action as you might end up losing them to the cracks or closet, something which might give lots of creeps and a hard time searching to find them.


2. Use Branded Insecticides

Pesticide spray
Use Good Insecticides

While using an insecticide might be a temporary solution, it can be helpful in eradicating these naughty animals from your house. You can use recommended insecticide products to spray along cracks and crevices, baseboards and entry points just to discourage their activities.

While applying the spray, ensure the product covers at least 3 to 10 foot band around the perimeter of the area, around potential entry points and into harborage sites. Liquid and dust applications can be helpful if applied on voids, along baseboards, cracks and crevices among other potential hiding places.

Products containing plant-derived pyrethrum are highly effective and can exterminate centipedes immediately upon contact. And if you want to kill them instantly without poisoning the earth, humans or pets, be sure to use natural pesticides such as food grade (diatomaceous earth) or boric acid.

3. Set up Sticky Traps in Key Areas

Place sticky traps in corners, cracks and crevices where centipedes hide or hunt in most cases. That can not only help you catch the creepy centipedes but can also help trap sneakily crawling insects in your house.

Sticky traps can be great in alerting you of heavy traffic areas for centipedes, allowing you to fog spray or even place more sticky traps. However, larger centipedes might sometimes escape the sticky or glue traps by simply leaving a few legs behind so this methods can be very effective in catching smaller centipedes.

4. Remove All Organic Material from the Side of Your House

This is one of the natural ways of eradicating centipedes which has proven to be effective after all. For you to reduce chances of attracting centipedes or providing a breeding ground for them, place firewood, tarpaulins, grass clippings, compost and mulch away from the perimeter of the house.

If you really hate these creepy animals, you can go as far as tearing down any ivy that’s growing on the side of your house because centipedes love to hide in it.

5. Seal All Potential Entry Points

Closing any cracks and entry points will reduce the chances of them entering your home in the first place. Try caulking any holes or spaces between walls or around doors and windows and seal any cracks in the concrete foundation in your house.

Clear gutters and downspouts containing leaves, branches or any other material that may be blocking the natural flow of water down the gutter. Such areas are a potential home for centipedes, so you need to look out.


6. Keep Your Home Dry

Since centipedes can dry out and die if they aren’t staying in a moist environment, it can be prudent if you keep the inside of your house dry. Reduce clutter by ensuring there’s no laundry on the floor, cleanup the closets, basements and all damp areas using a dehumidifier.

If can’t use dehumidifier, then place silica packets in the damp areas in your house. Silica wicks away moisture from the air and even ground so it can serve as the best absorbent in that regard. You can buy some silica from shops or find silica packets in new shoes to help keep your home dry.

7. Put Cayenne Pepper at the Entry Points

 Cayenne Pepper
Place Cayenne Pepper at the Entry Points

This is another natural way of discouraging centipedes from making a home in your house. Lay a thin layer of cayenne pepper at major entry both from the outside and inside.

Ensure pets stay away from the pepper because they might be hurt a little if they get curious about it. You can purchase the pepper powder from the stores and apply it all round the house to create a barrier to centipede entry.

8. Get Rid Of Other Pests

Since centipedes are attracted by other pests which they feed on, getting rid of all the spiders and insects in your house will greatly reduce the chances of them inhabiting the inside. Ideally, a centipede without any food is as good as dead or can be considered a moving-out centipede.

This means you have to spray off all the flies, spiders and other insects that roam around the house in order to reduce the centipede population within the house or even deter those intending to make entry.

9. Get a professional help

If you have tried everything to get rid of these crawling pests but nothing seems to work, it is high time you hire an exterminator. Exterminators do a perfect job when it comes to getting rid of pests around your home.

These people will take care of the entrance points to your home, they will locate and destroy any centipede eggs and also spray parts of your home with pesticides to ensure that these pests are go rid of for good. In as much as these people do the same job that we can do but they do it better.

You can always found a local exterminator near you. Contact their offices and they will be quick t help.

10. Reduce clutter

This is both inside and outside the house. You will come to realize that in case your laundry is not found on the floor, centipedes will be forced to find another place to hide and this place might be outside your home, under leaves and stones.

You can even go ahead and keep your compound litter free, get rid of grass clippings, firewood compost and any other building materials lying around the house.

Final Words

The bottom line remains, centipedes just like other pests are not the most elegant of our household’s guests and we should try as much as possible to keep them away from our homes. Ensure you follow some of the tips given above.

Some of them are more effective than others but most of all, if the centipede problem is getting out of hand, contact a professional. I have to admit these people always do a better job than us.

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