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Centipede Identification & Prevention

(Chilopoda)

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What are centipedes?

Centipedes are carnivorous arthropods that prey on crawling invertebrates that they catch and incapacitate with their venom. Their name means "a hundred legs," but centipedes can have anywhere from 10 to 300 legs. They have one pair of legs per body segment, so the number of legs they have depends on how wide their body segments are and the overall length of their bodies. 

a centipede on a moist log

Are centipedes dangerous?

All centipedes have venomous forelegs they use to break the skin and inject venom. So their "bite" isn't exactly a bite, but the result is the same. Your skin gets punctured, and venom goes inside. Unless you're allergic, being bitten by a centipede won't kill you. However, a centipede bite is still a painful and unpleasant experience.

Why do I have a centipede problem?

By their nature centipedes are drawn to dark and damp areas. Within our homes these areas usually include basements, crawl spaces or anywhere that is secluded from general foot traffic. Centipedes are also drawn into homes by the food they hunt. This happens at night when centipedes will emerge from hiding to search for insects such as silverfish, cockroaches, or carpet beetles.

Where will I find centipedes?

Centipedes like to hide in tight spaces. In the wild, that might mean hiding under rocks or inside rotting logs, or even beneath leaf litter. In your house, it might mean hiding under heavy appliances or beneath the furniture. Centipedes also love to hide inside shoes that rarely get worn.

How do I get rid of centipedes?

If you already have a centipede infestation, there may not be much you can do on your own. Sprays and foggers don't really work because it's so tough to locate and hit centipedes with these products. The best thing you can do is contact the pros here at Preferred Termite and Pest Control for home pest control or commercial pest management in Salem County. Our experts can not only help you get rid of centipedes; we can also help you eliminate the infestations attracting them!

How can I prevent centipedes in the future?

Your best chance of preventing a centipede infestation is to seal up your home against them. Close all cracks and holes these tiny creatures could use to enter. You should also take steps to ensure centipede prey does not infest your home. That means avoiding infestations of cockroaches, silverfish, and other crawling pests. 

Reach out to us today for effective Salem County pest control.

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