Because of the many pairs of legs they have, house centipedes are sometime referenced to as “hundred-leggers”. Not only are they widely distributed throughout Philly, but across the U.S. and the world. Due to their nocturnal activity and high-speed they move; centipedes are not often seen by people. Centipedes live for usually at least six months and more than a year. Today, we at Stewart Termite & Pest Control would like to share some of the basics concerning house centipedes.
Hairy House Centipede Identification
House centipedes range from yellowish to dark brown in color and sometimes bear darker stripes or markings. Depending on the species, house centipedes can have between 115 and 177 pairs of legs. These insects have a flattened, elongated, worm-like body with a pair of sensitive antennae that are covered with dense hair. With large, claw-like structures that contain a venom gland, their mouths are small. Depending on species, some centipedes have compound eyes containing as many as 200 optical units, where others may have no eyes or a cluster of simple eyes on each side. The common house centipede species grow to -1 1/2” in length and average 15 pairs of legs.
Signs of a House Centipede Infestation
If you have a centipede infestation there is little evidence an infestation exists, which is seeing the pest firsthand. Reducing the moisture in your home can help prevent an infestation. Along the exterior of your house, remove debris including logs, stones, rocks, piles of leaves and grass clippings. Be sure any firewood is stored at least 18 inches above the ground as from the home’s structure as possible. Ensure there is adequate ventilation in basements, attics and crawl spaces. Be sure that seal holes, cracks and gaps to help prevent outdoor centipedes to get inside a home.
Where Do House Centipedes Live?
Some larger species can inflict a painful bite if they are handled roughly, which can break the skin, leading to swelling and pain; it is often compared to a bee sting. Centipedes will generally overwinter and lay their eggs in the summer in or within the soil. Over a period of days, females will produce over 35 eggs. Centipedes are drawn to high-moisture areas like rotting logs, loose bark, beneath stone, or in piles of trash, leaves, and grass. Once inside homes, they look for damp places like crawlspaces, basements, potted plants, and bathrooms.
What Do House Centipedes Eat?
Through the use of touch and smell, all centipedes have very poor eyesight and track their prey. They get most of their liquids through their prey as they are primarily carnivorous. As mentioned, most centipedes are nocturnal and will feed on spiders, flies, and some plant tissue which causes injury. Centipedes are more of a nuisance pest than considered a harm to health or property damage. Most house centipedes do however have poison jaws with which they inject venom into their prey.
If you discover centipedes in your Greater Pittsburgh home, call Stewart Termite & Pest Control today and let our qualified experts eliminate the pests that are invading your home. We will take care of them quickly and efficiently. Call us today to get started!