Centipedes have a colorful, sometimes fearsome, appearance, and they can make themselves at home inside your house. Despite their appearance, these arthropods rarely bite people and inflict only mild, centralized pain when they do bite. Centipedes spend most of their time in outdoor gardens, but they can retreat to indoor locations when rain overwaters the garden's soil. There are several safe ways you can eliminate centipedes that have infiltrated your home.
Unlike insecticide sprays, powder insecticides do not release fumes into your home. Apply powder insecticide in wall cracks, in bathrooms, under furniture or anywhere centipedes roam. When centipedes walk through the insecticide, the powder catches on them and drains the moisture from their bodies. The powder insecticide has a similar effect on any insect or centipede into which the centipede comes into contact. Powder insecticide kills the centipedes within a matter of hours.
Although you might not want to spray Insecticide throughout your home, insecticide sprays can be effective if you apply them to the foundation of your house. Centipedes often enter your home through cracks in the foundation. According to the University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, you should spray insecticide near the house's foundation on a monthly basis if centipede infestations are abundant. Wear gloves and goggles while spraying. Insecticide products with bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, deltamethrin, gamma cyhalothrin, permethrin are effective for killing centipedes.
Sticky traps underneath furniture and in the corners of rooms can capture centipedes that unwittingly walk onto the trap. A sticky trap, which is also called a monitor, also can catch other insects, which then might serve as bait for centipedes. Once they are caught on the trap, centipedes cannot move and eventually die. Monitors are not as effective as insecticides in killing large amounts of centipedes, but these traps do not emit poisonous fumes like insecticides. You can buy these traps at a hardware or home improvement store or from a local pest control company.
Perhaps the most inexpensive method of eliminating centipedes is physically removing specimens from your home. The University of Idaho suggests methods such as vacuuming and squashing centipedes to kill them. If you squash centipedes, be sure to wear shoes to avoid being bit by their poisonous pincers. Physically removing centipedes can work if you only see one or two at a time. However, infestations require more drastic measures.