Photo Credit: Island Scene

There are three main species of centipede that you’ll encounter in Hawaii: Scolopendra, Mecistocephalus, and Lethobius. All of these large centipedes are never something that you’d like to encounter. Some are dangerous and can bite, whereas some are harmless even if they make you squeamish. They prefer to hide in moist environments like damp crawl spaces, basements, sheds, and bathrooms. Centipedes are most active at night, hunting for small insects as their diet. For that reason, they are actually beneficial if you are okay with cohabitation.

What attracts centipedes to my home?

Centipedes like moist environments and enter structures to seek shelter. Their diet includes insects and spiders, so if there is an infestation of another pest, centipedes may follow. Their flat bodies allow them to slip through small, cracks and crevices on the exterior of your home serve as easy entry points for centipedes to find their way indoors. Once they find a suitable environment with food, moisture, shelter, and little foot traffic from humans in areas such as garages, sheds, bathrooms, and crawlspaces, centipedes can live. It’s not uncommon to find centipedes in other room with moisture such as bathrooms and under dishwashers or sinks.

Why should I be worried about centipedes in my home?

Many centipedes pose a danger to humans and pets when they travel indoors. Scolopendra in particular are known to bite and cause short-term, localized pain.

Pictured Above: Scolopendra Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Most other centipedes are harmless and more of a nuisance than anything else. They move quickly and can appear seemingly out of nowhere, which is why many find their presence distressing. It all depends on your personal level of tolerance.

How can I prevent centipedes from getting into my home?

You may reduce the number of centipedes in your home by making sure that there is as little moisture around your home as possible since it creates a good environment for centipedes. Also, make sure that as many that you seal as many cracks and crevices on the exterior of you home as you can and fill gaps around doors and windows.

Make sure to remove all organic materials near your home, like wood chips, ground cover, and mulch. Keep all firewood and woodpiles away from your home. Centipedes like to hide amongst these areas that are less likely to be disturbed. Make sure your doors and windows are sealed. Some other steps you can take to prevent centipedes from getting into your home include:

  • Keep your gutters clean
  • Move mulch away from the exterior of your home
  • Avoid over-watering your lawn
  • Repair leaks around your home

How can I get rid of centipedes?

Centipedes can be controlled by sealing entry points like cracks around the exterior of your home, especially where the structure meets the ground. Centipedes can squeeze through small openings on the exterior of your home, as well as through torn window screening, broken dryer or crawlspace vents, and gaps under windows and doors. Centipedes are drawn to moisture that an uncontrolled space in your home can provide. Try using a dehumidifier in your basement to create an environment that not only centipedes find displeasing, but also crickets, millipedes, spiders, and other common household pests.

Are you finding centipedes in your home? Contact Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions for quick and effective centipede control and removal services. Call us or fill out the contact form on this page to get started!

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