How to get rid of house centipedes


If you’re seeing wispy creepy crawlers in your basement or skittering over the soil of your potted plants, it’s time to implement a few centipede control measures. Although they’re not harmful to humans, the presence of these arthropods is a sign that there are moisture problems in the building or that there are cracks and other entry points that need to be fixed. Elite Pest Control’s experts have come up with some tips to help you deal with this problem.

There are about 70 species of centipede in Quebec; their common feature is a long, flat body, longish antennae and multiple fragile legs. The body of a typical Canadian house centipede is made up of about 15 segments, each featuring its own pair of legs. This structure enables the centipede to move very quickly. The first pair of legs is in fact a set of poisonous claws which are used for self-defense and to capture and paralyze prey.

House centipedes range from light to dark brown, and they can grow up to 6 cm in length. Their wispy antennae may be as long as the body itself. Most of the centipedes found in Quebec are around 2.5 cm long. If a house centipede is disturbed, it will immediately scurry towards the closest dark corner.

The preferred food of centipedes is insects; they feed on spiders, ants, beetles and insect larvae. They will also sometimes cannibalize other centipedes. The female lays her eggs in sacs and stays close to her young for about two weeks. As hatchlings grow, they emerge from each moult with a new pair of legs.

As is the case with earwigs and spiders, centipedes are more unpleasant to look at than they are dangerous. It can be especially off-putting when they congregate in large numbers or if one drops on you from a ceiling crack overhead.

Keep in mind that some species of centipede can bite and inject a poisonous venom; however, the house centipede common to our province is usually unable to pierce the skin.

If you do get stung, there is no danger to your health, although you may experience some localized redness, swelling and pain. There’s no need to worry about your house pets either; if they’re bitten, there will be no lasting harm.

Like most living creatures, centipedes are mostly made up of water. But, unlike many insects that feature waxy coatings or tough exoskeletons, centipedes can quickly dehydrate from evaporation in dry environments. That’s why they seek out damp places in buildings, including:

  • Basements
  • Unfinished storage areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Closets with poor ventilation
  • Wall or ceiling voids where there has been water infiltration

Some experts go as far as suggesting that there are benefits to having centipedes around, as they can control the population of bed bugs, ants and other small pest insects. However, as most people are afraid of centipedes, we’ve developed a treatment plan that can help you get them out of your house.

You’re more likely to see centipedes in your house in summer, spring and fall, when the humidity indoors is higher. Let Elite Pest Control do a free assessment of the problem at the earliest opportunity. The sooner you deal with an infestation, the easier it is to control.

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If you want to get rid of an infestation, the first and most important step is to solve any humidity problems plaguing your house. Use a dehumidifier in the basement, whether it’s finished or unfinished, and repair all foundation fissures and broken or leaky pipes immediately.

Here are some other tips:

  • Seal up all entry points that insects and arthropods can use to gain access.
  • Run the vacuum cleaner over your carpets to remove any eggs the centipedes may have laid. We recommend you use a safety-approved insecticidal carpet shampoo.
  • Keep a clean house; don’t leave food crumbs and standing water laying around.

The insecticides available at hardware stores can solve urgent pest and insect problems, but a treatment by a professional pest control technician may be necessary for a long-term solution. Call us to learn more.

Sometimes the centipedes you find in your house are garden vermin that have wandered indoors. But that’s not always the case; true house centipedes can be tricky to get rid of. Our approach to having an insect- and pest-free house involves:

  • Inspection
  • Extermination
  • Home sealing
  • Prevention

To find an exterminator near you, contact us today. Our pest-control teams are ready at locations throughout Quebec, including Montreal, St-Jérôme, Laval, Terrebonne, Repentigny, Trois-Rivières, Gatineau, Longueuil and Quebec City.

The Best Way to Get Rid of Centipedes

Though we recommend calling in one of our professionals to eliminate these creatures from your home, there are some things you can do to prevent them coming in the first place and to get them to leave.

  • Keep damp spots in your home dry.
  • Keep wood piles and leaves away from your foundation.
  • Install a dehumidifier in moist areas.
  • Ventilate crawl spaces to ensure adequate air circulation.

Schedule Centipede Removal in Baltimore with Brody Brothers

When you see a centipede in your home, give our team at Brody Brothers a call immediately. We have the expertise needed to properly and safely eliminate these creatures from your home. We’ll:

  • Identify the sources of moisture to eliminate the damp spots where house centipedes like to live.
  • Treat your home for secondary infestations of spiders, ants, and other insects to remove centipedes’ food source.
  • Seal the cracks and crevices around the exterior of your home to prevent them from getting in, and treat the exterior walls to keep them away.

Don’t get surprised again by these multi-legged invaders. Call us today at 410-653-2121 or contact us online to send them packing!

What Can You Expect With Our Centipedes Service?

Centipedes are gross! Get rid of themYou may be wondering why you need an expert to get rid of your centipede problem when you can do-it-yourself. The truth is, even the bravest amongst are easily be cowed by a centipede. The creepy long legs and unpredictable lightning quick reflexes can be undeniably terrifying. Attempting to do-it-yourself can quickly become a daunting task, despite consulting various online guides and resources. So what sets Rainbow Pest Experts apart from do-it-yourself attempts and other pest control companies you may ask? With our services:

  • A thorough inspection is conducted to identify the source of infestation.
  • Our experts will identify possible barriers that will prevent the success of control.
  • A detailed control and prevention plan is created and tailored to your home’s needs.
  • Our experts only use an EPA approved, professional grade microencapsulated insecticide product designed to withstand a variety of weather elements such as wind, rain & cold. Once dry (about 45 minutes) the product is safe to the touch. It will not stain or damage your siding, paint or foliage.
  • We offer an optional Foundation Sealing Service to minimize the number of centipedes from enter into your home. The added benefit of this service is that it helps seal out other common insects as well.
  • We work with you to implement an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach combining education, cultural practices such as sanitation, altering the targeted pest’s habitat and chemical applications when necessary to achieve lasting results.
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Can I Get Rid Of Centipedes Myself?

Attempting to get rid of centipedes is a terrifying thought in of itself. Getting rid of them can be difficult as they can enter into your home through holes and openings around the foundation of your home, windows and doors. In the spring, centipedes move into your home due to excessive rainfall or ground moisture forces them to seek drier shelter. However in the fall, centipedes will come into your home seeking warm as they look for a protected area to over winter. As with all do-it-yourself project there are always draw backs, some more significant than others. They are often time consuming, ineffective, and potentially expensive. There is also the added concern of mishandling or misapplication when insecticides are involved, which can have negative repercussions such as putting the health of not only you but also the health of your family in danger.

However, with Rainbow Pest Experts, our experts can easily take care of these common concerns. Our experts:

  • Use a professional high grade product that not only takes care of your current infestation, but also prevents future infestations.
  • Have extensive experience, as they know where to look for possible entrances and how to do it correctly, saving you time and money.
  • Provide you with excellent service from the moment you pick up the phone to the moment your service is completed.

Additional Centipedes Facts

  • They always have odd numbering pairs of legs
  • Centipedes can regenerate any lost legs
  • Over 8000 species in the world, house centipede the most common in Minnesota

Schedule your service today!

Contact the Experts

Centipede Control: Protect Your Home


What Do Centipedes Look Like?centipedeSize: The house centipede ranges from 1 to 1 1/2 inches (25 to 38 mm) in length. Including the length of their antennae and hind legs, centipedes may appear as long as 3 or 4 inches (76 to 102 mm).

Color: House centipedes are dark yellow in color with a trio of dark, longitudinal stripes on the body. Their legs are patterned with alternating dark and light stripes.

Characteristics: In general, centipedes are easily identified by their long, flat bodies and numerous legs. The black lines that run down the back of the house centipede also serve as a distinguishing characteristic. Additionally, the last pair of hind legs on an adult female are approximately twice the length of the body.

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  • Though their name implies that they have 100 legs, centipedes actually only possess a pair of legs per body segment for an approximate total of 30.
  • While thousands of species exist, only the house centipede tends to wander into homes.
  • Even though centipedes are not particularly destructive, many people fear the fast-moving and intimidating-looking creatures. As such, centipedes are considered a nuisance pest.


What Do Centipedes Eat?Centipedes feed on a range of pest insects. Their diet consists of:

  • Silverfish
  • Firebrats
  • Flies
  • Carpet beetle larvae
  • Spiders
  • Various small arthropods


LifespanAdult centipedes live for approximately one year. In their lifetime, female house centipedes will lay a maximum of 150 eggs in damp soil during the spring and summer.

Stages of LifeDeveloping by way of complete metamorphosis, the arthropods pass through an egg, larval and nymphal stage before reaching adulthood.

Immature centipedes undergo 10 instars that cause their bodies to grow to accommodate additional pairs of legs. Adults overwinter in warm, moist places.


  • Vegetation: May notice adult centipedes in gardens, around house plants or near other sources of vegetation.
  • Darkness: Often found in basements and other dark areas.
  • Moisture: Look for centipedes around sources of moisture, such as leaky pipes, drains and bathrooms.

Problems Caused by Centipedes

  • Panic: Despite the ecological benefits they provide by preying on insects and other pests, centipedes often cause psychological distress for the occupants of the homes they invade due to their disturbing appearance and darting motions.
  • Nuisance: For this reason, pest control professionals regard the arthropod as a nuisance pest and will take action to remove the creature from homes, if necessary.

Signs of Infestation

  • Food Sources: Centipedes are solitary creatures that rarely invade homes in large numbers unless the structure is already infested with other pests that the arthropods typically prey upon.
  • Moisture: Therefore, if several adult centipedes are spotted around house plants or in basements, crawl spaces and other moist locations, a different and more pressing infestation usually exists somewhere in the home.

Prevention Tips

Since centipedes are secondary pests that enter structures to pursue sources of food, prevention should center on making homes and buildings less favorable to prey like carpet beetles, flies, cockroaches and similar insects.

  • Traps: Sticky traps can help determine which pests are attracting the invading centipedes.
  • Habitats: Any sites that make ideal centipede habitats should be modified or eliminated.
  • Exclusion: Caulk cracks in concrete slabs and block walls. Seal the covers to sump pumps.
  • Moisture: Reduce humidity levels by grading the soil around the building to facilitate water movement. In particularly dire situations, the use of dehumidifiers may prove helpful.

Tips for Removal from Home

Should they be removed?While centipedes in yards or gardens should be left alone, the ones that move indoors may require the attention of a professional pest management specialist.

Call an expertPest management professionals have the appropriate certifications and licenses to apply all the necessary pesticide sprays and dusts. Homeowners unfamiliar with pest management processes should not attempt to apply over-the-counter products without proper training or assistance.

Learn more about Western’s comprehensive Home Pest Control Plans.

Call for service: (877) 250-3857

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