While house centipedes may look frightening and can run really fast, steer away from killing them when you find these creatures in your home. House centipedes are actually beneficial in that they eat smaller insects in and around your home, including spiders, flies, and in some cases even roaches. They're also harmless: They don't bite or sting.
Where House Centipedes Are Found
It's not so common for homeowners to see these little creatures, as they live in hidden (preferably damp) spots like the basement, closets, bathrooms and crawlspaces, coming out mostly at night. They do not live in drains or pipes, but are often seen crawling in and around these areas.
Identifying House Centipedes
House centipedes are generally no longer than about 1 1/2 inches. They have 15 pairs of long legs which enable them to run quickly. They are grayish and yellow in color.
Prevent House Centipedes
As mentioned, house centipedes are harmless to you and your home. However, if centipedes really bother you, prevent them (or at least reduce their numbers) by taking the following steps:
- Improve the ventilation in your home by checking the humidity setting on your furnace to make sure it is adjusted to the proper level.
- For an extreme moisture situation, you may want to purchase a dehumidifier to keep in your basement to decrease the moisture and humidity levels.
- Move all woodpiles or compost heaps away from your home by at least a few feet.
- Hire a plumber to fix any plumbing leaks around the home.
- If you are experiencing a rare house centipede infestation, contact a professional exterminator.
Updated July 4, 2018.
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