Centipedes are predatory arthropods which belong to the Chilopoda class. Centipedes are elongated metameric creatures which have one pair of legs per segment of the body. In general, most centipedes are venomous and can cause painful bites by injecting their venom through pincer-like appendages known as forcipules. Centipedes, despite the name, may have a varying number of legs, ranging from 30 to 354. Centipedes always have an odd number of pairs of legs. Therefore, no centipede has exactly 100 legs. Similar to spiders and scorpions, centipedes are predominantly carnivorous.
Centipedes have a rounded or flattened head, bearing at the forward margin a pair of antennae. The first pair of extremities stretches out from the body to cover the rest of the mouth. These limbs, or maxillipeds, end in sharp claws and include venom glands that help the animal to kill or paralyze its prey. Many centipede species lack eyes but some have a variable number of ocelli, sometimes clustered together to form true compound eyes. However, these eyes are only capable of discerning light and dark, and have no true vision.
The common house centipede has a long, flat body and may be 1 to 1 1⁄2 inches long. The flattened body is composed of 15 segments each with one pair of legs in each segment. The color is a yellow-brown with three darker streaks running down the body’s edges. These common house centipedes can normally be seen in kitchens and bathrooms as well as basements and garages. The same type of centipede will often be seen outdoors.
Centipedes are predatory, and can be venomous depending on the centipede species. Some species become quite large and stay outside, like the desert centipede, while others are small and are often found inside homes.
Normally, the smaller variety of centipedes can create little more than a stinging reaction, a little like a bee sting. Even then, a bite of a centipede normally only happens when it is picked up or stepped on. One that get bitten in areas with heavier infestations while coming into contact with them when putting on clothes. The larger species will give a bite that is more venomous and can become extremely painful. They are seldom ever known to be fatal to humans, even then. Centipedes should not be dealt as with other animals of this kind. After experiencing a centipede bite, small children or anyone susceptible to allergies should be looked at closely.
Although not life-threatening, other symptoms may include headaches, nausea , vomiting, anxiety, etc. Occasionally, lymph nodes can get swollen and painful in the bite areas and bites can even cause heart rate or palpitations to increase.
- Reduce moisture around your foundation
Centipedes are often attracted to damp or wet areas. Therefore, one of the best ways to discourage centipedes from coming near your home is to reduce the moisture content around your house and its foundation.
- Seal Cracks
Next, look for any cracks in your foundation, where centipedes could enter. These small insects can maneuver through tiny spaces. Repair cracks with caulking to prevent them from coming inside. Also check for any areas already inside your home they could be coming through.
- Keep Doors Closed
Keep your doors closed at all times to keep centipedes out. In addition, check to see if you have any cracks in or around your door that a centipede could squirm through. Use a door-sealing product underneath the door.
- Capture Centipedes
If you see any centipedes in your home, catch and release them far away from your home, where they won’t come back. However, be careful if you try to capture them, as centipedes are quick and can bite.
- Use Pesticides
Do not apply your own chemical pesticides unless they are for personal, home use and you follow all of the product’s safety directions.
If the above tips haven’t prevented all centipedes from entering, consider hiring Advance Pest Control service around your home’s foundation.
What should you do?
This is probably the best bet you can make. An exterminator can kill centipedes in the house and guide you regarding future precautions that you may need. Our team of professionals at Advance Pest Control offers reliable and long term solutions that are easy on the pocket. Whereas DIY methods end up costing much more. We carry out thorough examination of your property and create customized packages for all our clients, which makes our services stand out. Call today for a free consultation.