🐛 Centipedes

Centipede Overview

Centipedes aren’t insects and they don’t have 100 legs. They’re more akin to spiders and can have as few as 30 or as many as 3000 legs.

Appearance

Most centipedes are yellowish-to dark brown in color and flatly elongated. They hunt at night and are most active in the summer. Centipedes, at least in North America, don’t hurt people. They feed on insects and so are uninterested in biting humans. Because of this, centipedes can be viewed as beneficial because they eat other insects. One exception is the Florida Blue Centipede, which can deliver a bite on par with a bee sting. All centipedes have fangs, and therefore, the capacity to sting, but most won’t unless provoked. Picking them up fits in that category.

Life-cycle

Females lay eggs in the summer. They can lay up to 35 eggs in a few days. The eggs develop for a few months before hatching. They have less legs when they are born. They add legs with each molting, of which they have several. Centipedes can live several years, even up to six years.

Habitat

They live in damp, dark, and secluded places. They move inside structures in the winter through plumbing, floor drains, and cracks. They are attracted primarily to food. Where there are insects, there the centipedes will be. After that shelter, especially in moist places. Too long in too dry and dehydrated a place will kill them. With the right environment, they can survive in human structures year-round.

Control

Prevention for centipedes is relatively easy. While centipedes can survive in human structures, they are classified more as occasional intruders to a home, so a few simple things can cause them to leave. First, remove hiding places. Centipedes will often hide under trash, leaves, or adjacent structures as a way into homes. Secondly, eliminate moisture. Eliminating leaks and damp places eliminates places for them to settle down.

Centipedes are often a symptom of a problem rather than the problem itself and pest control services will treat them as such. They eat insects, so if there were no insects around, they would have chosen somewhere else to be. Therefore, the basic solution is to take care of the underlying problem. More concrete treatments include plugging up holes and removing vegetation from around entrances. It’s best to have a pest control service take care of these things, as they are thorough and knowledgeable.

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