Have you ever been startled by a furry-looking creature quickly scurrying across your floor or wall? You probably have centipedes in your home. Centipedes, which means 100-footed (misleadingly, since centipedes can have between 15 and 177 pairs of legs), are fast creatures who like to make their way into homes and feast on other pests. Because they like to eat spiders and other creepy crawlers, some homeowners leave centipedes alone, but others prefer not to have them in their home. If you are part of the latter group, here are some ways that you can get rid of your centipede problem.
1. Block Off Entrances to the Home
Not only can centipedes get into your home through small cracks and crevices, but their prey can also take advantage of these openings. Small gaps tend to be located around exits to your home (such as doors, windows, and pipes). Look around these exits and use caulk to seal up any gaps you might have. Make sure that you use screens on your doors, windows, and any other parts of your home that are kept open.
2. Use Floor-Based Sticky Traps
Once you locate a place that the centipedes in your home tend to congregate (usually a damp place such as a basement or a bathroom), you can use sticky traps to catch any that are running around. Place the sticky trap on the ground in the infested area. Any centipedes that try to run across it will get stuck. The sticky trap will also catch any pests that the centipede has been eating, removing its food source. Make sure that you dispose of the sticky traps and replace them regularly for best effectiveness.
3. Remove Excess Moisture
Centipedes flock to moisture, so an infestation of them might mean that your home has excess moisture. Examine the area where you have seen the centipedes for unusual damp places. You might have a pipe leak or a roof leak that is causing the problem. By removing this source of moisture, you make your home less desirable for centipedes.
4. Remove Hiding Places from Your Yard
When they are outside, centipedes like to hide in dark, secluded places such as under rocks, under boards, or in piles of leaves. By removing these hiding places from your yard, you discourage centipedes from entering your yard (and eventually entering your home). Remove all litter that is sitting around your yard and carefully dispose of it to keep the centipedes away.
5. Vacuum Them Up on Sight
Because centipedes are so fast, they can be very hard to catch or kill. One good way to get rid of any centipedes that you see is to use your vacuum. Simply add some pesticide to your vacuum bag and begin vacuuming up the pests. Remove the bag after a few hours and they should all be dead.
6. Hire an Exterminator
If you have done everything you can to get rid of your centipede problem and it still persists, it may be time to hire an exterminator from a site like http://desertpest.com. The exterminator has a lot of experience dealing with this type of problem, so he or she will know exactly what to do to remove the centipedes from your home. Make sure you let your exterminator know exactly where you have seen the centipedes and the steps that you have already tried.
A centipede infestation can be difficult to eradicate, but it is not impossible! Just make sure that you continue practicing prevention methods (such as clearing debris from your yard) even after your infestation seems to be cleared. Otherwise, you are just inviting the centipedes back to infest your home again!