Causes of Centipedes in House: What Attract Centipedes?
While I have faced different types of infestation, the one I dread the most is centipedes in my house. They are these long and creepy crawling insects with lots and lots of legs that are just horrible to look at.
And although centipedes mainly live outside, there are house centipedes that live inside your home as well. And while they are not fatal to humans, houses infested with centipedes can become a nuisance if they are not dealt with on time.
Let’s find out more about why we get them and what can we do to keep them away.
What Causes Centipedes in House
Now if there is a centipedes’ infestation in your house, these are probably some of the reasons why:
House Centipedes are pests that need moisture, they cannot live in dry areas for long, that is why you will mostly see them in the shower and sink drains. If your house has dampness near or surrounding it, then the chances of an infestation are higher.
House centipede require a very humid environment to go hunting and stay active, so if you spot them in your house, it is mostly because some part of your house has high moisture availability, now this can happen for a lot of reasons like leak pipes, open drain, standing water, puddles after snow or rain, etc.
Availability of Shelter
House Centipedes are nocturnal pests, so even if you have an infestation, it can take a little while for you to figure that out since they mostly come out during the night. Also, they are foragers, which mean that they like to live in dark and damp places with confined and close shelter.
So if your house is cluttered or provides places to hide like even small cracks and openings in walls, cardboard boxes left in the basement, construction materials or woodpiles left in your yard, etc. then this gives them a good place to dwell.
House Centipedes come in search of harborage and will live anywhere they get enough darkness and moisture.
Access to Food Source
Now, if you have a centipede’s infestation then I have some more bad news for you! This just means that there might be other pests in your house as well.
Centipedes are a carnivore hunter which means that they feed on arthropod smaller than them in size like spiders, flies, silverfish, ants, earthworms, etc. So if your house gives access to any of these other bugs, then you are indirectly feeding the centipedes, thus helping them thrive.
How to Keep Centipedes Away from your House
Dealing with the centipedes’ infestation is all together with a different ball game which we will talk about after this, but there are certain measures that you will need to take to keep them away from ever entering your house again.
I have mentioned some of the most common and useful ways of how you can keep house centipedes away from invading your house:
Seal Cracks & Cervices
This is the first step you need to take to avoid any chances of infestation in the future. Seal all the crevices and cracks around your house, in the attic, in your basement s, etc. to keep them from entering your house or even worse, laying eggs and reproducing. The reduction of possible harborages has to be the first step you need to undertake to avoid them from getting in.
Use Essential Oils
Centipedes have a strong sense of smell and there are many essential oils like Lavender oil, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, etc. are natural pest repeller that keeps these pests away. All you need to do is create a solution (a mixture of essential oil and water) in a spray bottle and spray it all around your house, especially the commonplaces of infestation.
Do this twice a week and this will not only keep them away but also keep your house fresh and fragrant.
Keep your House Dry & Clean
Many people forget how important this basic step is to avoid infestation. You need to keep the foundation, the perimeters and the inside of your house dry with sufficient light available to avoid these pests from dwelling and making their homes.
It is also important to do away with clutter and keep your house dirt-free to avoid any places for them to hide.
Fix Drainage Openings & Leaking Pipes
Access to moisture is one major reason why these pests invade your house. Open drains and leaking pipes are how you find small centipedes in the house. They dwell in your drains and pipes which do not have a constant flow of water and then enter your house at night.
Therefore you need to fix and seal all your leaking pipes and drainage systems, you also need to de-clog your drains from time to time to allow free flowing of water.
Remove Rotting Log & Woods from your Yards
Normally, tiny centipedes are always found living underwoods and rotten logs so if you have any log of woods lying in your yard or adjacent to your house, then that will surely attract an infestation.
Woods and other organic debris are a very common breeding ground for house centipedes therefore you need to keep this organic debris clean and at least 20 feet away from the walls adjoining your house.
How to Get Rid of Centipedes from your House
Like I mentioned above, keeping the centipedes away and dealing with an infestation in your house requires a different set of steps, and to deal with the latter, here are some of the things you should do:
Get Rid of Other Pests in your Home
Like I highlighted before, centipedes feed on other smaller bugs like spiders, flies, earthworms, etc. So you need to get rid of these pests to remove centipedes.
A centipede without food will either starve and die or vacate your house and move to someplace where he can get access to these bugs. So getting rid of their food source is very important.
Use Sticky Traps
Sticky traps are traps that are glue-based and are used to capture pests the moment they walk on it. Usually, these traps are used for rats and lizards but they are equally useful for detection and trapping of house centipedes.
Place these traps in areas which are more prone to centipedes like bathrooms and kitchen floor etc.Sticky traps will also help you to catch other pests that may be roaming in your house.
Use Diatomaceous Earth
This white powder can be of great use to kill a variety of pests in your house which includes centipedes. Get some diatomaceous earth and sprinkle a layer of it around the common and frequent visiting places of centipedes.
You can also use boric powder for the same purpose. The chances of finding centipedes are higher in humid areas, so make sure that you sprinkle the powder in dry places so that they are effective.
Insecticide and Pesticides
There is an insecticide available for every pest and centipedes are no different. There are many chemicals available in the market which can be used to kill centipedes. These insecticides also have residual properties that avoid further infestation after killing them.
However, if you have children and pets in your house, you need to be careful while using them since they can be harmful if not used with precaution.
Get Professional Help
There are many DIY solutions available for you to try and get rid of the centipedes all by yourself. However, if you are facing an infestation, it means that the problem is bigger than you anticipated and in such cases, it is always beneficial to take the help of a professional exterminator.
They are trained to eliminate such infestations with utmost care and efficiency. They also help you to take important steps to avoid such situations in the future.
FAQ about Centipedes Infestation in House
What attracts centipedes?
Centipedes are attracted to cool, damp and dark places where they can live during the day since centipedes are nocturnal pests. They come out during the night to hunt and eat other smaller pests like spiders, flies, etc.
Why are there centipedes in my house?
Since house centipedes are moisture pests, there is a very good chance that some areas of your house provide excess moisture which is a very favorable place for them to dwell.
Also, centipedes in the house are a sign of proximity of other pests in your home since centipedes feed on smaller bugs to survive.
Where do centipedes come from?
Centipedes can be found in many environments ranging from rain forests to mountain areas etc. They usually live outside where there are enough moisture and darkness like under rotting logs, a pile of leaves, under stones, in the trash, etc.
How do centipedes come to my house?
There are a lot of entry points for centipedes to get inside your house like cracks and holes in your foundation wall, open drains, leaking pipes, openings between doors and windows, etc.
Therefore it is very important to seal all the crevices and openings in your house to avoid an invasion of these pests.
No doubt it’s frightening to see a centipede shooting across the floor in your house and if you find out that there is an infestation then it only gets worse but the good news is that centipedes are not fatal to humans and there are many methods available to get rid of them.
You can always try the non-toxic methods first to avoid any use of the chemical in your house, however, in case of serious infestation, there is always professional help available for you to utilize.