Centipedes have often been viewed as dreadful creatures. It is said that, centipedes are beneficial, as they feed on other household pests, like termites, silverfish, moths, and roaches. They also feed on the root-feeding insect grubs in the garden, and save our valuable plants. However, all these benefits never made centipedes a welcome guest in households. In fact, most of the centipede species live outdoors, especially in damp areas, like tree barks, mulch, beneath stones, and in the foundation of buildings. Only a few species are really dangerous, and can inflict harmful bites.
House centipedes (Scutigera coleoptrata) are an exception to this, as they spend most of their life inside buildings. They are commonly seen in some regions as a household pest. House centipedes are not considered harmful; but are beneficial, as they feed on many pests. While most people detest house centipedes, there are some, who are afraid of these creatures.
Tips to Get Rid of House Centipedes
Unlike the harmful types, house centipedes have yellowish-gray bodies and long, fragile legs. Usually, they have a body length of around 1½ to 2 inches. Here are some tips to get rid of these centipedes.
- Dampness is one of the important elements needed by house centipedes for survival. So, keep your house free of dampness, by cleaning damp areas with baking soda. You can also use a dehumidifier for this purpose.
- Get rid of the pests, as centipedes in the house feed on them. They are normally found in places with abundant food sources, like pests and left over food. Apart from eliminating pests, like moths, termites, and roaches; make sure to vacuum the interior daily, so as to eliminate these centipedes.
- You have to ensure that the cracks and crevices are sealed properly, so that they do not have enough hiding places. Even the entry points, like gaps in and around the doors and windows, must be sealed. You may also use screens on windows.
- You can use traps and other chemicals for getting rid of centipedes. The most commonly used one is the sticky trap. Place those sticky flypaper traps along the corners and other areas frequented by house centipedes.
- Even some of the commonly used insecticides and boric acid are said to be useful in eliminating them.