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How Do I Get Rid of Centipedes in My Building?

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The kind of centipedes that commonly enter New York’s buildings are house centipedes. House centipedes generally enter buildings in pursuit of their food sources, which are, unfortunately, other pests. By removing these pests from your building and cutting off their access points, you’ll help keep centipedes away, too.

Of course, “keep centipedes out by keeping other pests out” is easier said than done. First, you have to understand which kinds of pests you have to keep out and why they’re in your building in the first place. Here’s everything you should know about the house centipedes near you, including what they’re eating and how to make sure they don’t get it anymore:

What are house centipedes?

House centipedes (Scutigera coleoptrata) are half to one and half inch long, yellow or tan arthropods with black longitudinal stripes. They have small, black compound eyes and 15 long pairs of legs that are banded with dark striping. The centipedes’ antennae and legs are as long or longer than their bodies, which can make them look up to three or four inches long. These centipedes are nocturnal, primarily feed on other pests, and thrive in warm, dark, humid environments.

Why are there house centipedes in my building?

House centipedes are the only centipede species in New York that can survive and reproduce indoors. To do so effectively, they need a warm, sheltered area that is also unusually dark, humid. They also require their constant food source to be inside this environment. House centipedes are omnivorous, opportunistic predators, and this “food source” is almost certainly other pests. 

Unfortunately, all of this probably means the reason you have house centipedes is because you have some other pests in your basement, crawl spaces, or storage areas. House centipedes feed on a wide variety of common house and building pests, including:

  • Beetles
  • Spiders
  • Cockroaches
  • Silverfish
  • Stored product larvae
  • Bed bugs
  • Mites
  • and more

In fact, house centipedes are normally considered a beneficial pest because they help control more problematic pests like roaches or termites. That doesn’t mean you want them in your building, however!

Along with their food sources, house centipedes are attracted to darkness, warmth, and humidity. There’s probably a specific part of your building that’s attracting them, just like it attracts the pests they eat. Check your garden level, basement, boiler room, crawl spaces, and storage areas for signs of excess humidity.

How can I get rid of centipedes in my building?

As we’ve summarized, house centipedes come inside looking for food, humidity, and shelter. The best way to keep centipedes out, therefore, is to deprive them of those things. There are several ways to go about doing that. As a bonus, each of these projects will help keep other pests out of your building too--which is part of the point:

Seal entry points

Centipedes don’t need a lot of space to get inside. That’s why it’s important to seal cracks, holes, and gaps in your property right away. Start by looking for easy access points around the areas where your centipedes probably live indoors.

Check the windows, baseboard, concrete floors, and foundation of your garden level, basement, and storage areas. Seal up any gaps and cracks around utility lines, especially if they lead into your furnace or boiler room. Check for drafts, then try to locate the source of those drafts and correct it. Not only will this deprive pests of their ways in, but it will also help reduce humidity in your building, which attracts centipedes in the first place.

Clean the building

House centipedes spend most of their days hiding amongst clutter in moist parts of your building. The fewer hiding places they have, the less comfortable they’ll feel coming inside. To help ensure they feel as uncomfortable as possible, clean your building’s interior frequently. Pay special attention to the dark, less used areas where centipedes are particularly likely to move in.

Use a dehumidifier

Addressing the source of the humidity is a great first step, but it won’t always solve the whole problem. Some areas of your building might simply stay naturally humid. In those cases, we recommend using a dehumidifier.

Bringing humidity levels down to typical indoor levels will actually make it impossible for house centipedes to survive in your building for long periods of time. Overall, proper humidity control is one of the most crucial ways to prevent long term or ongoing centipede infestations. A dehumidifier is one of the easiest, fastest ways to make it happen.

Get in help from professional pest control

Our final tip is rather obvious: call a professional pest control service for help. Not only can the experts at Assured kick your centipedes out, but they can also wipe out the other pests inside, as well--which were, of course, the reason why you started getting centipedes in the first place!

If you want to put a stop to both your centipedes and their food sources in one fell swoop, get in touch with the pest experts at Assured today! We help make sure your centipedes can never find what they’re looking for in your building again.

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