They’re creepy. They’re crawly. And sometimes they deliver an extremely painful bite, which some compare to a burning match—only the pain can last for hours, even days.
However, apart from the rare cases when centipedes bite, these nocturnal arthropods are actually quite beneficial. They won’t harm your home or belongings, they won’t eat the food in your kitchen or the plants in your garden, but they will help rid your home and lawn of other unwanted pests, such as roaches, spiders, moths, flies, termites, ants, ticks, fleas, silverfish and more.
In fact, if you don’t mind seeing them around every now and then, you might consider leaving them to do their work. A few harmless house centipedes can be powerful allies in your battle to keep a bug-free home. But if you’re seeing too many centipedes for your own comfort, or you’re dealing with unusually large ones, like the giant desert centipede (which many consider the most painful bug bite in the world), it might be time to take action.
Here’s how to get rid of and prevent centipedes in 3 simple steps.
1. SEAL YOUR HOME
Apart from house centipedes, centipedes almost always stay outdoors. However, in the case of changing weather or lack of resources, centipedes will look to move inside your home in search of shelter, food, or water. Finding and sealing potential entryways is essential to prevent this from happening. Here’s how to do it:
Slowly inspect both inside and outside of your home, looking for any holes, cracks, or broken seals centipedes might use to enter your house. Pay special attention to windows, doorways, garages, foundations, and basements. Then, simply repair, replace or seal up any entry points you discover with an expanding foam sealant or another appropriate material.
If your doorways and garage don’t currently have strong weather seals or stripping, consider installing some—they will help control other, more harmful bugs from coming inside, too.
2. PREVENT CENTIPEDES
Preventing centipedes from taking up residence in your lawn or home is all about removing clutter, limiting moisture, and removing their food source, other bugs.
- Centipedes hide and breed in clutter like leaf litter, mulch, wood piles, clippings, dense vegetation, and under rocks, boards, boxes, and unused equipment. Removing these attractants is a must if you want to limit centipede populations in your yard.
- Lawn maintenance is also key. The shorter and less cluttered the grass and shrubbery in your lawn, the fewer centipedes you’re going to encounter.
- Do your best to eliminate excess moisture from your lawn, including leaky hoses, piping, sprinklers, clogged drainage areas, and anything that can collect rainwater.
- Similarly, you’ll want to decrease indoor moisture, too. That means repairing or replacing leaky plumbing, as well faulty bathroom and kitchen fixtures. For heavier centipede problems, consider investing in dehumidifiers and/or exhaust fans for rooms with poorer ventilation.
- Less indoor clutter means fewer centipedes in your home. Ideally, you want your home to look like it’s ready for an open house. Recycle or donate old clothing, equipment, toys, books, stacks of newspapers, unnecessary documents, etc. Pay special attention to those spaces most vulnerable to centipede infestation, such as basements, bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, and crawl spaces.
- Because they eat other bugs, practicing basic preventative pest control is arguably the most important step to deterring centipedes. Spray known trouble spots, entry points, and pet spaces weekly with Cedarcide Original to kill and repel bugs. To maintain a bug-free lawn, treat your entire outdoor space with the family-safe Bug-Free Lawn Kit monthly, or more often as needed.
- If you believe you may have a centipede problem but aren’t sure, give sticky traps a try. After purchasing a pack from your local hardware store or online, place them along the baseboards in the corners of your bathroom, kitchen, basement, or wherever you suspect centipedes could be hiding.
3. TREAT YOUR YARD & HOMETREAT YOUR LAWN
Now that your lawn is decluttered and free of debris, you’re ready to treat. Start by spraying your front, back and side yards—as well as all shrubbery, mulch beds, and bases of trees—with Cedarcide Outdoor Bug Control. Repeat this process again in two weeks, and then proceed to monthly applications after that. For best results, apply monthly until freezing temps return and start back up at the first signs of spring.
Next, broadcast Cedarcide Cedar Granules throughout your lawn, especially along your home’s foundation and inside mulch beds. Reapply every 4-6 weeks.
Traditional indoor bug sprays fill our homes with toxic chemicals that can do serious harm to the health of our families and pets. Instead, go with family-safe Cedarcide Original, which can be safely sprayed throughout your home.
To kill unwanted bugs you find inside, give them a quick spray with the above-mentioned Cedarcide Original. To help prevent them from coming back, spray known entry points, hiding spots, and trouble areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, attics, and crawl spaces weekly. Repeat as needed.