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How to Control & Prevent Centipedes In Your Home

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how to get rid of house centipedes

Have you noticed house centipedes scurrying across your floor or hiding beneath your furniture?

Don’t worry – we’re here to help.

At Pest Dude, we have more than 20 years of pest control experience, and we specialize in helping people learn to get rid of pests (including house centipedes) on their own.

In this blog, we’ll share our top tips for removing these creepy crawlies and reclaiming your home.

Before You Get Started

Before you start your efforts to get rid of house centipedes, follow these safety tips:

  • Read pesticide labels. If you plan to use pesticides, read all label directions carefully and follow them strictly.
  • ALWAYS wear PPE, including goggles, gloves, long sleeves, and long pants, whenever you handle pesticides.
  • Contact a pest management professional for more comprehensive extermination services. If you have severe pest problems, including spider or cockroach problems, which may contribute to house centipede infestations, a professional exterminator can help you get rid of them quickly, safely, and responsibly.

5 Ways to Remove House Centipedes Fast

how to remove house centipedes fast

1. Seal gaps and cracks

House centipedes use gaps and cracks as harborage areas and ways to enter your home. With this in mind, seal up all gaps and cracks to keep house centipedes out.

How to do this:

  • Seal cracks and crevices in caulk concrete slabs, block walls, and similar areas with caulk or other fillers
  • Seal the covers to any sump pumps in your basement with a fine mesh screen and caulk, and install window screen in your basement floor drains to keep house centipedes from getting into your dry sump pumps.

Replace or repair torn window or door screens and add weather-stripping to your doors and windows to keep centipedes from accessing your home.

2. Apply pesticides

Today, there are a variety of pesticides approved for the treatment of house centipedes.

Residual pesticides containing pyrethroids are effective treatments for house centipedes.

While dusts provide excellent long-term residual control, contact sprays made of synergized pyrethrins and non-residual pyrethroids are ideal for rapidly killing house centipedes.

How to do this:

  • Apply Chlorfenapyr, boric acid, and silica aerogel to centipede hiding places, like cracks and crevices in concrete slabs and walls.
  • Apply synthetic pyrethroids like cyfluthrin, permethrin, or tralomethrin to hard-to-reach areas, like the space behind baseboards.
  • For an added layer of protection, apply a perimeter insecticide to the outside of your home, around doors, windows, utility entry points, and any other gap or crack centipedes could be using to access your house.
  • To use pesticides safely, be sure to follow all label directions carefully.

3. Dry damp areas

House centipedes need moisture to survive. With this in mind, start getting rid of them by removing their habitats.

How to do this:

  • We recommend repairing water leaks under sinks, around bathtubs and toilets, and in cabinets and placing dehumidifiers in areas like basements and crawl spaces.
  • Run the exhaust fans in your bathroom, attic, and kitchen to prevent moisture build-up.

4. Get rid of clutter

House centipedes don’t build nests. Instead, they find a new hiding place each day. Because of this, you can get rid of them by removing their available shelter and decluttering your space.

How to do this:

  • Remove clutter in areas like basements, attics, and crawl spaces, where house centipedes like to hide.
  • To prevent outdoor centipedes from coming inside, remove natural clutter like piles of leaves, grass clippings, and firewood away from your home.

5. Eliminate centipede food sources

House centipedes eat pests like silverfish, ticks, carpet beetle larvae, cockroaches, spiders, earwigs, and other small arthropods. If any of these pests are present in your house, centipedes will likely be, too.

How to do this:

  • Set out sticky traps to monitor arthropod populations.
  • Once you know what the house centipedes are feasting on, invest in a professional pest treatment that targets those pests, reduces centipede food sources, and eliminates the centipedes.

How to Prevent House Centipedes

how to prevent house centipedes

  • Vacuum regularly. Vacuuming your carpet and floors removes adult house centipedes and their larvae. To kill any house centipedes you suck up, empty your vacuum canister into a garbage bag, seal it, and dispose of it in an outdoor trash can.
  • Create a barrier of diatomaceous earth. For a non-toxic approach to preventing house centipedes, pick up some diatomaceous earth (DE) from your local home store. DE is made from fossilized diatoms and contains tiny, razor-sharp silica fragments. When centipedes crawl through DE powder, it pierces their bodies and kills them via dehydration. To use DE effectively, sprinkle it in cracks, door thresholds, corners, and damp areas where centipedes congregate. Leave it for a few days and vacuum it up. Reapply liberally whenever you notice house centipede activity.
  • Clean your drains regularly. House centipedes tend to congregate in or near kitchen drains. To keep them out, pour one-half cup of white vinegar down the drain. Wait an hour, and follow it with another half cup of vinegar. Wait 30 minutes, and then flush the drain with hot water. Do this a few times a month to keep drains clean and centipede-free.

DIY vs Professional Pest Control

While getting rid of house centipedes on your own is possible, you can also hire a professional pest management company for assistance. Of course, both approaches have their perks.

While you’ll save some money if you opt for DIY pest control, you’ll likely get faster, longer-lasting, and more comprehensive results if you hire a professional pest management team to take care of the house centipedes for you.

Plus, a professional pest management team can work with you to keep house centipedes from returning, so you won’t have to deal with a frustrating recurring pest problem.

Need a Professional Exterminator? We Can Help!

Hiring a professional pest management company is a smart idea if your DIY methods have failed or you want more help getting rid of house centipedes.

At Pest Dude, we work with a comprehensive network of pest control specialists nationwide. Want to find someone in your area?

Contact us at (844) 532-0076, and we’ll connect you with a local exterminator!


The house centipede belongs to the arthropod genus, which includes insects, centipedes, millipedes, arachnids (spiders), and crustaceans (such as lobsters). 

Originally from the Mediterranean, house centipedes can now be found across Europe, Asia, and North America. In fact, they’re one of the most common pests in the United States. 

Because house centipedes eat other insects, like spiders and small arthropods, they are often considered beneficial from an entomological point of view as long as their numbers don’t grow out of control. 

Adult house centipedes have 15 pairs of legs, with the last pair being almost twice their body length. Because their legs are long and delicate, house centipedes often look larger than they are. Their bodies are gray-yellow with three dark strips that run along the length of their backs and alternating light and dark bands that run around the body.

These pests undergo six larval and four adult molts before reaching maturity. The average house centipede has a lifespan of several years, and females can produce more than 150 offspring within that time. They tend to hide during the day and come out to hunt for prey at night.

The most common sign of a house centipede infestation is seeing the pests around your home. House centipedes tend to be nocturnal and are usually found in damp areas of homes or trapped in bathtubs and sinks. Centipede infestations are most common in the spring and fall. 

Other signs of house centipede infestation include seeing other pests, like ants, spiders, roaches, bed bugs, and silverfish in your home. 

While house centipedes can bite, they have weak jaws that usually can’t break human skin. If a house centipede bites a person, there are usually no side effects except slight swelling and redness in the bite area. 

House centipedes are attracted to areas with plenty of food, shelter, and moisture. Unlike many other pests, house centipedes tend to live their entire lives within buildings. 

House centipedes like to live and lay their eggs in warm, damp, quiet areas like closets, bathrooms, attics, cellars, behind baseboards, and crawl spaces. They feed on pests like cockroaches and spiders. 

Sure, but this won’t get rid of the house centipede infestation. Usually, a single centipede sighting is an indication that there are dozens more hiding in the gaps, cracks, and nooks of your home.

To treat the infestation at its source, focus on drying and dehumidifying damp areas, reducing clutter, sealing gaps and cracks, and using pesticides to kill the centipedes and their larvae.

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Author Bio: Zachary Smith

Zachary Smith is the founder of Zachary is a licensed pest control professional with 20+ years of hands on experience eradicating pests from homes and businesses. Zachary earned his Bachelor of Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2002. He specializes in rodent and insect infestation management of structures and landscapes. His passion is to share his extensive knowledge with the world.

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