The sight of a centipede is enough to send many people running in the opposite direction. These pests with their many legs are intimidating and to make matters worse – quite fast when they want to be. To rid your home of this scurrying creature, consider home remedies for centipedes as your first line of defense.
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What are Centipedes?
It may seem that a centipede has a million legs, but in reality, the long bugs typically possess between 30 to 70 legs. The pest (which is classified as an arthropod) has received its nickname as the “thousand-legger” because they appear to have lots of legs as they quickly move across a floor or wall. Ranging in shades of tan, brown, and red, there are an estimated 8,000 species of centipedes around the world . Centipedes usually seek shelter in the outdoors under rocks, tree bark, and leaves, as well as indoors in basements and bathrooms.
Because a centipede is an arthropod, they have skeletons on the outside of their bodies and possess segmented, jointed legs. Interestingly, centipedes are carnivores – eating other insects considered pests in households, such as spiders, moths, common houseflies, and cockroaches. However, because of their appearance, they aren’t welcome guests in a home. Although centipedes avoid getting close to humans, they have the ability to deliver a bite with a painful sting. Centipedes usually bite humans when they feel threatened or hungry.
Other facts about centipedes include:
• Centipedes lay their eggs in the springtime.
• They can live a relatively long time – from 3 to 7 years.
• For most of the day, centipedes hide in dark places, and then come out at night to hunt for small prey.
• Centipedes require a damp environment to live or their bodies will dry out.
Centipede Home Remedies
Unfortunately because of its appearance, the centipede has a bad rap. In reality, they prey on the small insects, termites, larvae, and spiders you equally don’t want in your household. While they help get rid of indoor pests, some people simply cannot stand their sight. Home remedies for centipedes include:
a) A Dry House:
Centipedes require a moist environment to live or they will dry out and die. To make your home less attractive to a centipede – clean damp closets and basements.
Use dehumidifiers in rooms to keep the environment dry, which will repel centipedes. The pest needs moisture to live.
c) Seal Off Cracks:
Seal cracks around your house to cut down on the entrance points for a centipede. Repair cracks and holes in the foundation, concrete walls, doors, windows, and the basement floor. You should also cover basement floor drains with a window screen. Also, don’t forget to search for cracks or gaps in floorboards and under appliances.
d) Boric Acid:
Boric acid is a natural pesticide that can kill centipedes without harming humans or pets. Dust in areas you fear centipedes will visit.
When working in wood piles and other outdoor piles (such as grass clippings and leaves), wear gloves to protect your hands from unexpected centipede bites.
A humane way to rid your home of centipedes is to simply capture it in a jar and release far from your house.
g) Eliminate Other Pests:
If centipedes do not have anything to eat in your home, they will move on elsewhere. Rid your home of termites, spiders, silverfish, bedbugs and cockroaches to reduce the number of centipedes in your home.
h) De-Clutter Your Home:
Eliminate the places in your home that can serve as shelter for a centipede. Reducing clutter inside and outside the home is one place to start. For example, removing laundry from the floor takes one more hiding spot away from centipedes.
i) Tear Down Ivy:
Consider removing ivy growing on the side of your house, which is a favorite hiding place for centipedes.
j) Eliminate Hiding Places and Shelter:
If it seems centipedes are easily entering your home, it might be a good idea to remove the materials close to your home that attract centipedes in the first place. Rocks, boards, and any debris close to a home or garden will decrease the number of centipedes living near your home.
k) Lawn Care:
Centipedes also enjoy setting up shop in rotting logs and grass clippings. It is suggested to clear away these items from your yard and exterior of the home. You can also frequently mow your lawn to make the area drier and less appealing to a centipede.