Centipedes have a lengthy history of frightening home inhabitants when caught scurrying across the floor on their many legs. Creepy characteristics aside, centipede repellent or centipede killer spray is not often necessary if you find these predatory arthropods in your home or garden. They are beneficial creatures that can help manage other insects that are their prey, including cockroaches, spiders, and silverfish. If you do prefer to keep centipedes at bay, there are several ways to do so naturally.
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Managing Centipedes Inside the Home
Although centipedes cause no damage to the home and only rarely bite, it is understandable to want to keep these inch-plus creepy-crawlies outside rather than in the bedroom. If you do find a centipede hurrying around your home, the first step should be to eliminate its preferred habitat, which is most often damp, dark spots, like basements and bathrooms, as well as crawl spaces and around sump pumps.
Fixing poor drainage problems, repairing leaking pipes, and reducing humidity in moist areas can help rid your home of centipedes. While this might include making structural repairs as a safeguard, it can sometimes be as simple as running a dehumidifier to dry problem areas.
Eradicating the centipede's food source is another important step to get rid of centipedes inside your home. You can quickly reduce the population inside your home by exterminating other bugs, such as flies, cockroaches, and silverfish, which are favorites on the centipede menu. Another solution is to seal cracks, crevices, and other points of entry to ensure centipedes and other creatures remain outside.
Natural Centipede Repellent
Essential oils are often touted to repel insects inside the home, but tea tree oil specifically is a natural centipede repellent and is in fact toxic to them. Dilute a few drops of oil with water in a spray bottle to spritz on windows, doors, and baseboards to inhibit unwanted centipede guests.
You can also create a natural barrier around your home to repel centipedes and other insects. Diatomaceous earth and boric acid are both natural pesticides that can be dispersed around the perimeter of a dwelling, inhibiting centipedes from crossing and therefore entering your space.
Centipedes in the Garden
Outside, centipedes should be welcome as beneficial garden companions. With shorter legs and longer bodies, centipedes found in gardens can improve the growth and health of your plants by dining on garden pests and insects, such as grasshoppers, which are known to feed on garden flowers and crops. If you can get past their appearance, centipedes aren't all that bad, especially when you know how to keep them outside and out of your living space.