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Centipedes are flattened, elongated animals. They have many body segments, with one pair of legs attached to each segment. They are typically a reddish brown color. The legs of centipedes project laterally from the body, and the first pair of legs is modified into venomous fangs located immediately below the mouth. These fangs are used to kill insects and other small creatures that are used as food. Centipede populations usually do not build up to massive  numbers like the millipedes. However, they still may occasionally enter homes. They may be found crawling over the floor, in closets, storage rooms and other dark areas. They prefer moist areas and need a moisture source to avoid desiccation. However, they can obtain some moisture from their prey, which allows them to survive longer under drier conditions than millipedes, sowbugs, and pillbugs when prey items are available.

The common house centipede, is often not recognized as a centipede, due to its extremely long legs and antennae  This centipede's body is slightly over an inch long with 15 pairs of long legs. The antennae and the last pair of legs are nearly twice the body length. House centipedes are bluish gray, and the legs have a pattern of dark and light bands. They move quickly and are occasionally mistaken for long-legged spiders. Despite their appearance, they are very beneficial because they eat spiders and household insect pests. House centipedes usually are found in damp basements and other moist indoor areas. They are not a health threat to humans or pets.


Do It Yourself Pest Control measures for the control of Centipedes will require some manual labor.

Sanitation is the first step in managing infestations of sowbugs, pillbugs, millipedes and centipedes. Remove vegetation and other organic matter such as rotting wood or clippings from the soil surface around the foundation of your home. Minimize watering near the foundation as well. Removing debris and moisture will reduce the likelihood that sowbugs, pillbugs, millipedes and centipedes will enter the home. A program of continued sanitation close to the building, such as cleaning up or removing piles of rocks, boards, leaves, compost, and general refuse, will help reduce populations of these pests. Check the basement, foundation, and first-floor entrances for cracks and crevices and use caulking or other filling materials to minimize the number of entry points around doors, basement windows and other openings. In addition, reduce water seepage and ventilation problems so that damp hiding places are eliminated.If house centipedes are numerous, it may be useful to eliminate their food source through control of insect populations in the home.

Outdoor management: Pesticides may be used in areas where sowbugs, pillbugs, centipedes, and millipedes persist despite sanitary measures. To reduce migrations into homes, treat the outside foundation, window sills, door jams, and any entry point  with Cy-Kick cs, Demand cs, Demon WPSuspend sc, or Talstar P. Also treat the ground around your home 5 to 8 feet wide with Talstar PL granules. For homes in or near wooded areas that contain large amounts of organic matter and moisture, it may be necessary to treat a strip around lawn edges and adjacent to the woods. Talstar PL granules are the best choice in this case, being a sand based product it will get into the areas of infestation and has a long residual. Reapplication may be needed after a heavy rain.

Indoor management: In cases where centipede invasions are not solved by outdoor management strategies, you may choose to apply Demand cs, Cy-Kick cs, Suspend sc or Talstar P to  interior basement or ground floor areas. Areas where targeted applications are beneficial for these pests are points of entry from outdoors. These areas include window sills, door jams and casings and the junction of walls and floors. The use of glue boards placed at entry points will help control most mild invasion.

As the Do It Yourself Pest Control Person you are the one responsible for any Drift of Pesticide or contamination of waters in the area. So please read and follow the label very carefully.

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    A&E's Do It Yourself Pest Control    |    Winder, GA    |    1-800-607-0701    |

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