How to Control Centipedes in Your Home

Centipede infestations are rare but can be disconcerting, as centipedes can move quickly and can bite. Centipedes are not insects and in fact prey on several insect pests, so they can be beneficial, although you may prefer their benefit in your garden rather than inside your home. If you have centipedes in your home, you may have bigger bug problems. Centipedes prefer moist environments, so keeping your home clean and dry is an important factor in keeping them out.

Centipedes look creepy, but they can be more of a help than a pest.

Step 1

Spray insecticides at every entry point into your house, including doors, windows, cracks, baseboards and any ports in the walls or floor for wires or pipes. Spray the entire foundation and the sides of your home as well. While insecticides are not completely effective on centipedes, eliminating the presence of other bugs—upon which centipedes feed—will discourage their presence.

Step 2

Spray insecticides around dirt and all plants growing close to your house. Providing an insect-free barrier around your home will keep bugs out and discourage centipedes.

Step 3

Inspect your kitchen, bathrooms, utility room and basement for wet areas. If you have plumbing leaks, repair them. Wherever you find damp areas, use a hair drier or space heater to dry them.

Step 4

Kill spiders that may occupy your home. Spiders are not insects, and insecticides may not kill them. Use a product specifically made for them. Spiders are another food source for centipedes. If your home contains no centipede food, they will leave on their own.

Step 5

Learn to accept the presence of centipedes. Because they are voracious hunters of insects—including cockroaches—centipedes in your home may control your other pest problems. Once your home is completely free of insects, the centipedes will either die or leave on their own.