Centipedes are flat and have only one pair of legs per body segment. The body can measure between 25 and 38 mm in length and they possess very long legs. Centipedes are able to crawl along walls. Contrary to millipedes, they are all carnivores and possess venomous claws to paralyze their prey with. Centipedes do not eat wood; they mainly feed off small vertebrates, soft bodied insects, worms, and spiders. They are nocturnal and prefer damp, dark and undisturbed places. A nuisance across Tennessee and Kentucky, centipedes infest kitchens, bathrooms, closets, crawl spaces and basements. Centipedes lay eggs in moist soil during spring and summer time and are prone to enter the house when temperatures drop. Opposite to millipedes, centipedes are fast and agile. Like millipedes, centipedes have poor vision and locate their victims using haptic and olfactory senses. Their lifespan is up to 6 years.
To prevent and control a centipede infestation it is crucial to minimize other pests that serve as a food source. Centipedes might reduce flies and roaches but bites can cause inflammation, numbness, or pain. High moisture levels in the foundation and not properly vented crawl spaces encourage these pests to thrive. During our free inspection, our trained professionals often detect water leaks and other problematic moisture related issues. Installing a vapor or moisture barrier, temp vents and dehumidifiers can help control and manage dampness and therefore pests. Reducing hiding places by avoiding clutter is important. Strategically storing boxes and other items away from walls and off the ground is another tip to help control an infestation. Regularly pest control treatments and exclusion work and sealing entry points keep the food supply of centipedes to a minimum, in addition to keeping the house clean and using a vacuum to remove the critters inside.