If you love gardening, or grow plants and flowers, you are familiar with centipedes. These long, thin bugs, sporting 15 to 177 pairs of legs, enjoy moist soil, and hanging out in flowerbeds and gardens. These bugs are common for many homeowners, and the problem is even worse when the water table rises too high, or the ground begins to grow cold. Centipedes would much rather spend the winter in your warm home, rather than that cold earth.
Are they dangerous?
All centipedes have venom, but for most people the reaction to this venom is slight, because humans are a lot bigger than the prey a centipede is generally trying to take down. These bites can be painful, and some species can hurt as much as a bee sting, but for most, the reaction is mild. If you get bitten and experience swelling, chills, fever and weakness, seek medical attention immediately.
How do I keep centipedes out of my house?
Closely inspect your foundation walls, inside and outside. Some of the cracks centipedes exploit, can be hidden by soil and mulch. They will also climb in through rotted wood. Use a caulking gun to fill in these trouble spots, until you can have them repaired properly. All of your doors must have door sweeps. Door sweeps are great for keeping the heat in and the cold out, but they are also a great bug deterrent. If you already have sweeps installed, check them to make sure they make a good seal all the way across. It doesn't take much of a hole for a centipede to get in.
Get the assistance of a pest professional. Pest control has come a long way. The days of a pest company coming over and blanketing your home and yard with harmful insecticides are gone. Many companies now implement safer greener methods to protect your home, and only resort to pesticide if absolutely necessary. With their knowledge base of exclusion methods, they can help you find and seal entry points you missed. They can also inspect and do surveillance to detect centipede activity, and implement a baiting program to fully eradicate the problem. It isn't as expensive as you might think, and you'll be getting rid of a whole host of other bugs that like to infiltrate your home every fall.
You don't have to live with centipedes in your basement, closets, and kitchen. Start fighting back today. Get those holes and cracks sealed, and team up with a professional pest company, to learn how to keep bugs out of your house for good.