So, you’re trying to get rid of centipedes around your home. You’re probably feeling like you can’t even sleep without thinking about this thing with 300 legs crawling on your bed!
In this guide, we’ll cover how you can set up traps, naturally repel, and various ways you can kill centipedes in your home.
We’ll even talk about how you can make your DIY centipede spray to protect yourself!
This comprehensive guide has everything you need to know all in one place. Feel free to bookmark this page to refer back to it during your journey to rid the pest!
If you have any questions, you can leave a comment and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
Sound good? Let’s go centipede free!
Last updated 11/12/19.
What’s a centipede?
A centipede literally means “100 legs.” Believe it or not, no centipede actually exists with exactly 100 legs, as they have only an odd number of body segments so it’s impossible to produce 100 legs.
They’re those crawling worm-like bugs with many legs and move extremely quickly.
- They can drop their legs and regenerate them when they’re in danger.
- Centipedes also have the ability to inject venom into their prey.
- They can climb your walls, ceilings, and your bed.
- And they come out at night to feed on other bugs and other (centipedes!). They seem like something out of a horror movie and you may have even seen them coming out of your drain!
In this DIY pest control tutorial, we’ll cover how to get rid of these centipedes naturally. The good part is that they’re solitary bugs, so you’ll only have a few to deal with as long as you know how to prevent more from coming into your home.
We’ll be focusing on the American house centipede, but these tips apply to the majority of them found in the US.
They’re also commonly found in Hawaii as it’s a humid area. So Hawaii has its own centipede problems. But the house centipede is the most common overall.
- Thousand leggers
- Hundred leggers
- Stone centipedes
- House centipedes
What do they look like?
They have a very distinct appearance and it’s hard to get them mixed up with any other pest out there. They have long bodies.
And they have hundreds of crawling legs with two large antennae in the front and a “tail” in the back. Make no mistake about it- it’s a centipede!
Their bodies are long, flat, and segmented into visible segments.
Each segment has one pair of legs on both sides. There are thousands of species and they range from 3 to 150mm in length.
They have a very sensitive pair of antennae at the head which they use to do most of the sensory details. A lot of species have very poor vision so they sense using their antennae.
However, other species can have hundreds of vision receptors.
There’s almost a centipede that contradicts another, so the possibilities are endless.
- For one that has no eyes, there’s another with over 200 optical receptors.
- For one that has only 17 legs, there can be another with 177.
No centipede has 100 legs as they always have an odd number of leg pairs. This number can range up to 354 legs. Talk about being leggy!
The segment right behind the head has two powerful legs which can inject venom. The last segment has bristles for more sensory detection, which are basically just backup antenna.
Centipedes from the Lithobiomorpha and Scutigeromorpha have 15 pairs exclusively. Other species can have way more.
Scutigera centipedes have multiarticulate legs which allow them to bend and they’re often covered with tiny hairs. On the other hand, geophilomorpha have up to 177 pairs of legs.
Scolopendromorpha can have 23 legs.
The house centipede (Scutigera coleopteran) has only a mere 4 pairs of legs after being born. When you see the fault form, it’ll have the full amount of 15 legs.
Each molt means more legs and segments.
They can also let go of their legs when they have to escape. And they can grow their legs back after dropping them.
There are over 8000 species proposed with 3000 described all over the world. Some even extend past the coldest parts of the world and others are found in the rainforest to deserts.
Because they don’t have the wax layer like other bugs, they dehydrate quickly and need a source of moisture or humidity. This explains why they’re often found under the soil, bark, and leaf litter outdoors.
Centipede life cycle
Centipedes have a simple molting life cycle.
This all starts with the eggs that the pregnant mature female lays. She’ll seek out a humid area to lay her eggs, typically hidden between cracks where they’re difficult to reach from predators.
Outdoors, this is usually in logs or holes directly in the soil. Females will usually watch over their eggs and baby centipedes by curling their elongated bodies around the young to protect them.
Once the baby nymphs emerge, they look like tiny versions of the adults. They have just a few body segments and fewer pairs of legs.
They get longer by molting
As they molt, they extend their body segments and legs every time. Their exoskeleton protects them from many dangers and thus they have to molt to grow.
The babies will eventually separate and do their own thing. Some males will deposit sperm directly into a silk pad which they weave for a female called a spermatophore. Females release pheromones which attract males.
The spermatophore will be discovered by female either by herself or some species do a mating dance.
They mate during the warmer season and stay dormant during the colder months. They’ll seek out shelter when it’s cold outside.
Each clutch of eggs usually results in about 35 eggs total. Some species will lay more. Some will lay fewer. Others even give birth to live babies.
Some species are born with a complete set of legs and body segments such as Scolopendromorphae and Geophilomorphae. Other species will eat or abandon their young also. The species vary all over in terms of what they do and how they act.
But the most common spices you’ll be dealing with would be the house centipedes.
What attracts centipedes in your house?
Centipedes are attracted to two things:
- Moisture and humidity
- Other bugs
With these two things provided, they’ll gladly take shelter wherever they please. In this case, they probably took place in your home!
The reason why you have centipedes in your home is that your house has enough humidity for them to survive. They need a constant source of moisture to properly function. Without this humidity, they’ll shrivel up.
You may not think of your home’s humidity, but there are certain areas where they get just enough moisture to live.
This is probably areas such as:
Or it could just be your overall humidity. It’s very possible that the bug came from the outdoors where it was humid and then got trapped in your home.
What do they eat?
The other thing that attracts them is a source of food. For centipedes, they eat other bugs. Your home probably has a food source where they can keep eating more and more bugs.
They’ll eat anything:
As long as you have other bugs roaming your home, they’ll be something that the centipedes will eat. This is what causes them.
Colder temperatures mean cenetipedes
Centipedes prefer warmer temperatures.
During the wintertime, they’ll migrate into your home because it’s cold outside. The warmth of your house provides a nice place for them to feel warm from the colder season outdoors.
How do you know if you have a centipede infestation?
There are many obvious signs that you have a centipede infestation. Here are some of the most common signs that you have centipedes. Let’s start with the indoor signs.
You have other bugs
If you have other bugs crawling around your home, you may have a centipede problem. As we already discussed, they eat other bugs.
So if you have plenty of worms, cockroaches, termites, silverfish, ants, spiders, drain flies, and even other centipedes, you may have an infestation. Any insect that’s small enough will make a good meal for them.
You find them in your drains
Centipedes may live in your drain if you have enough moisture there.
Or they may have fallen into your drain and can’t get out. There are many reports from concerned homeowners that they have these bugs coming out of their drains.
This is usually backward. Centipedes enter the drain and come out during the night to feed. They like the water and bathe in it to keep themselves hydrated.
You have moist areas
Humid areas in your home attract centipedes. This is usually the basement or bathroom where there are plenty of places to hide and lay eggs.
They seek out moist areas with plenty of clutter.
You see one
If you see one, that’s a pretty sure sign you have centipedes, no?
And if you see one, you probably have a lot more because they can lay clutches of eggs.
You find holes all over your home
Did you see holes in your wood, stucco, or other materials?
Centipedes can dig out holes in soft materials like wood or stucco. They can even damage wooden floors and foundations by burrowing through the cracks and crevices.
Where do house centipedes hide?
The easiest answer? Somewhere humid and moist. This typically would be your basement.
But if you don’t have one, it could be your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or anywhere else that has higher humidity. The water from your sink or toilet raises humidity. Fish tanks raise humidity.
Even the water after you shower will raise humidity and spread to other rooms. They need moisture to do their thing, do house centipedes will hang out when moisture gets trapped.
Places such as your cellars, basements, bathrooms, kitchens, closets, attics, bedroom, outhouse, houseplants, or even your bed all can be places where the centipedes hide. This doesn’t only apply to the house centipede.
Different centipedes require slightly different environments. But they all do prefer moisture and humidity where they live so they can keep hydrated.
Where do centipedes lay their eggs?
They also lay their eggs only in damp places to ensure survival.
You’ll often centipede eggs in areas like baseboards, firewood, houseplants, outdoor plants, tree bark, basements, storage containers, closets, or cellars.
Outdoors, the female will lay her eggs directly into holes in the ground.
Indoors, centipedes will lay eggs wherever they find a nice crevice. They’ll seek out moisture so the eggs will hatch properly other than drying up.
Are house centipedes dangerous?
Centipedes do release a venom that they use to overtake and kill their prey. They’ll also bite humans and use this same venom.
Although it’s rarely enough to do any damage to a human, the bite usually will be very painful.
Also, people who are sensitive or have allergies should be wanted. Centipede bites can be helped with ice packs, topical creams, and general cleanliness.
Be sure to always disinfect the bite right after you get bitten! This will prevent an infection from a centipede bite. Use warm water, soap, and rubbing alcohol.
Do they only come out at night?
Yes. Centipedes are nocturnal pests and only come out at night.
They don’t roam or hunt during the day. This is why you’ll likely never see them unless they’ve been disturbed or resources are limited and they need food.
This is also why you need to lay down traps or pesticides to kill them, as you can’t stay up all night waiting for them unless you’re a night owl.
Will house centipedes crawl in your bed?
Centipedes will crawl around in your bed as they please. They’re mostly just looking for food, but they have no hesitation to search your bed for additional pests to eat.
Since they eat bugs, they’re constantly on the hunt for other spiders and arthropods to eat. They don’t care if the bugs are on your floor, walls, or bed- centipedes will crawl everywhere to seek out food and moisture.
So yes, they’ll crawl on your bed.
But it’s not like there’s any specific reason for this. They just go anywhere there’s food.
Can centipedes climb?
As you know, with so many legs, they can run very quickly. They can also climb up walls, ceilings, furniture, and even your bed while you sleep.
You can’t hide from them. As long as it’s a rough surface, they can probably climb it. Some species are better at climbing than others. But most of them can climb walls and ceilings without hesitation.
Some centipedes can climb walls at 180 degrees, which means literally vertical. Just like other pests (spiders, ratsnakes, silverfish), they can climb up vertical walls.
They’re very flexible and agile as invertebrates and very fast. They can often climb trees right into your home.
As long as the wall isn’t completely smooth, they can climb it. And most walls have some form of irregularity unless you have stainless steel walls or something.
How to get rid of centipedes in drains
If you have centipedes in your drains, this section will answer your questions.
Do centipedes come up through drains?
Not really. If you see centipedes in your drains, they probably climbed down your drain rather than up your drain. As you probably know by now, they really do like moisture. They need humidity to survive.
Why the love drains
The drain has plenty of water and offers a humid environment, so why wouldn’t they check it out? Sometimes they actually fall into your drain and can’t get back out.
However, you can verify that you’re not getting centipedes coming from outdoors by checking for external drain pipes. Are they accessible? Do they have a bunch of crap covering them? Are the vents and filters damaged?
How to stop them from getting into your drains
Debris, wood, and leaf litter will attract pests to your external drain, which will then attract centipedes. Clean it up.
Also make sure your sinks and drains aren’t clogged with debris, which may block the water and thus centipedes will come out and feed on the water.
Did you have any leaks or floods lately? Leaking water and damaged areas which are soaked with water will attract centipedes. This means pipes, flooring, wall voids, and even under your floors.
Make sure you check these areas out, or higher a professional plumber to check it for you. If you have leaking areas, this means centipedes and other pests will be present.
How to get rid of centipedes naturally
Here are some natural ways you can get rid of centipedes.
You should use these methods first before resorting to commercial traps or pesticides, as those are often harmful to the environment (and yourself!).
And if you have pets, that’s all the more reason to avoid them.
The key to making this approach work: Don’t just stick to one method. Use a combination of them and see which one works best for your situation.
Most centipedes are solitary creatures, so you won’t have to deal with more than one at a time.
But if you have an infestation, you’ll want to keep trying to get rid of them until they’re all gone. Using a bunch of methods helps you determine what’s effective and what’s not.
The is probably the most primitive method, but there’s nothing wrong with it.
The next time you come across a centipede in your home- remove it! They’re very fast, so you’ll have to act quickly to catch them.
You can catch them using a broom and dustpan. Use the broom as leverage and scoop the bug into the dustpan. Then dump it into a box or other secure container. After that, you can release it outdoors- far away from your home.
If you think that’s a lot of work, you can also just kill it on the spot. Stomp on it. Use a shoe. Squish it. Spray it. Do whatever you can do kill it immediately.
The only drawback with this is that you’ll have to clean up centipede remains, so if you’re easily grossed-out, you should probably avoid doing this.
Be sure to wear gloves when trying to handle or killing a centipede. The venom they release can hurt your skin. If you plan on squishing it or grabbing it, use gloves.
Always avoid touching the pest directly. It may bite to defend itself.
Here are some other things you can use to kill it:
- Rolled-up newspaper
- Vacuum cleaner
- Fly swatter
- DIY centipede spray
You can use baking soda as a way to kill centipedes in your drains. The baking soda will produce a steady stream of carbon dioxide (CO2), which will drown the centipedes in the drain.
Here’s what you’ll need to make the mixture:
- 1 cup of baking soda
- 2 cups of pure white vinegar
First, pour the baking soda down the drain where you suspect the centipede to be hiding. Pour it slowly.
Next, pour the vinegar over the baking soda slowly. The vinegar will help “push” the baking soda down the drain and create a reaction as soon as they combine.
Once the baking soda and vinegar mix, they’ll react and produce many bubbles. These bubbles will kill and centipede assuming that it hangs around long enough.
Set up DIY centipede traps
The most effective traps you can use at home are sticky traps.
Because they have so many legs and such an elongated body, they have a lot of surface area to get stuck.
How to make a sticky trap
What you’ll need:
- Get a paper lunch bag
- Get ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup corn syrup
- 4 tablespoons water
How to make it:
- Take the lunch bag and cut it into various strips. These will be the trap.
- Mix the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large container.
- Put the lunch bag strips into the mixture.
- Let them sit and completely soak for a few minutes.
- Take them out and hang them on a clothesline until they’re dry.
- When they’re dry, you can stick them onto any surface.
- Centipedes that walk over them will get stuck.
- Dispose of the trap and centipede as needed.
- You can make as many as you want.
- Be sure to exterminate the pest as soon as it gets trapped, or else it can escape!
Some larger species of centipedes can actually escape by dropping off some of their legs. DIY sticky traps are best suited for smaller ones.
Just something to keep in mind when you see a bunch of random centipede legs just sitting there but no actual centipede body.
Finding where they’re hiding
You’ll want to place them around the home in key locations to see where the centipedes are hiding. Be sure to check your traps daily to see which ones have activity.
Once you find out the exact place where they hang out, make more traps and place them around that area to ensure a catch.
You can use diatomaceous earth (DE) as a natural centipede killer.
Buy a food-grade bag of DE and sprinkle it around your home. Think of it as a barrier. Any centipede that walks over it will get poisoned over time.
Although it’s not 100% effective, DE can still kill them or poison them slowly.
You’ll want to sprinkle diatomaceous earth where you suspect the centipedes to be active:
- Under appliances
- Around furniture
- Around the edges of your home
- Next to doors and windows
- Patio doors
Check daily to see the DE’s placement. If it’s been disturbed or looks like something crawled through it- may be a centipede or some other pest like cockroaches or silverfish.
Reapply as needed.
Boric acid can also be used around the home just like DE.
Buy pure boric acid and sprinkle it around your home. You can find it in the laundry aisle at any department store. Borax is a natural pesticide that’ll kill centipedes over time. It won’t kill them right away, but they’ll slowly become poisoned by it.
This stuff proves to be safe for humans and pets, but you should vacuum it up and dispose of it as soon the centipede infestation is cleared out.
Kill all other pests
This may be obvious, but killing all the other pests in your house will also eventually reduce the centipede population.
Since they feed on other bugs, they’re crawling around your home hunting for them.
Spiders, ants, and even millipedes all make a meal for what they eat.
So if you keep your home pest-free, there won’t be anything left for centipedes to eat anymore. Thus, you’ll be able to prevent and control them for good!
No bugs to eat means no more centipedes.
Of course, this may not be possible for you. Maybe you have a ton of pests. Or you live somewhere that’s native to lots of outdoor bugs.
You may want to consider getting some professional help at this point, assuming you’ve already tried everything else on this list.
Does peppermint oil repel centipedes?
Yes. Peppermint is very effective against centipedes. They absolutely despise the scent of fresh peppermint, which means you can make peppermint oil traps and sprays to keep them out.
The peppermint oil also is strong enough to burn them, so you can actually use it to kill them over time.
Here are some ways you can use peppermint oil to keep centipedes out:
Make a peppermint rag
Just grab an old cloth and soak the entire thing in peppermint oil. Once it’s entirely soaked in the stuff, wring it out so it doesn’t drip.
Then place the rag directly onto the floor where think the centipede may be. They’ll avoid it like the plague. You can also use it in your room, bathroom, or kitchen to keep them out as a natural repellent.
DIY centipede repellent
Take some peppermint oil and water and mix them together. One cup of water only needs about 12 drops of peppermint oil.
Mix together in a spray bottle. Spray it directly onto surfaces where you want to either provoke the centipede to move or repel.
This is handy in the case that you’re trying to hunt down a centipede that’s running away from you and it runs into a crack. You can spray this stuff directly into the crack to make it run or kill it.
Peppermint oil will burn the centipede.
You can spray the oil directly onto their body to severely harm them.
Note that this will kill them after some time, but it’s not right away. Only use this when you have them trapped and you’re too afraid to squish them.
You can add some water, but you want to keep the oil concentration as high as possible for maximum effect.
Just get mason jars and fill them up with some peppermint oil and water.
Place them near your home’s entryways to keep them out. The scent will repel them as they absolute hate peppermint oil.
What scent keeps centipedes away?
Because they have a very sensitive antenna, they’re easily repulsed by strong-scented herbs or essential oils. This means you can use a variety of things to keep them away.
Here are some essential oils you can use that centipedes hate:
- Peppermint oil
- Vanilla oil
- Tea tree oil
- Citrus oil
- Thyme oil
- Lavender oil
- Eucalyptus oil
And here are some herbs/plants:
Any of these can be effective against them. Try using a variety of them by spraying them to areas where you think they may be active. You can also just add a few drops of each oil into a mason jar and mix with water.
Be sure to avoid your pets from coming into contact with these herbs and oils and any people who may have allergies or sensitive.
Use them as repellent stations around your home’s windows and doors. You can use them all over moist or humid areas, such as your basement or bathroom to get rid of them there.
Note that this stuff does smell. So if you hate the smell, don’t use it!
Does cayenne pepper repel centipedes?
Cayenne pepper does work against centipedes as a natural repellent.
This stuff won’t kill them, but it does help keep them out of your home. You can buy cayenne pepper at any grocery store.
Sprinkle it around your home’s entryways, such as around doors, windows, and patio doors.
You can also use the pepper throughout the home to form a barrier. Cayenne pepper is safe for dogs and cats because they tend to avoid it anyway (don’t let them eat it)- but you should probably keep your kids away from it.
Pets are naturally repelled by cayenne’s strong scent, so that shouldn’t be a problem for them.
Does cinnamon keep centipedes away?
Cinnamon does repel centipedes. The thing you need to remember is that cinnamon’s scent proves to be very strong. So if you don’t like the smell or you get nauseous, don’t use it.
Otherwise, you can sprinkle cinnamon or use cinnamon sticks around your home. Place them where you think the centipedes are. Place them around doors and windows and patios.
Does tea tree oil kill centipedes?
Yes. this stuff is powerful to centipedes and will drive them away. You can buy tea tree oil at any grocery store or apothecary. Add about 20 drops of it to a ½ of water.
Pour mixture into a spray bottle and spray it directly onto the centipede the next time you see it. You can use it as a DIY pesticide to burn the thing up.
How to make your own centipede killer spray
This section covers how you make your own spray at home.
Dish soap spray
You can use any dish soap to dry out centipedes. The nice part about dish soap is that this stuff works immediately.
The bug will start to dehydrate as soon as you spray some on it. They’ll slowly dry out over time. Make you spay a lot- as much as you can.
What you’ll need:
- Dish soap (2 tbsp.)
- 3 quarts of water
- Spray bottle
How to make it:
- To make it, all you need to do is mix 2 tablespoons of soap with 3 quarts of water.
- Mix the solution and then pour it into a spray bottle.
Does dish soap kill centipedes?
Yes. Dish soap proves to be an effective home remedy for centipedes provided that the soap is used correctly.
You can use hydrogen peroxide and pour the stuff into a spray bottle, then spray it directly onto a centipede to burn it.
Some H2O2 already comes in a spray bottle, so you don’t even need to transfer it.
Be sure to watch out where you spray it.
Will hydrogen peroxide kill centipedes?
Yes. It’ll burn them and can kill them depending on how much you spray and what potency the spray is.
A higher concentration will be much more effective against them than a lower percentage (70% peroxide).
Vegetable oil spray
You can make a spray out of pure vegetable oil to remove centipedes from your houseplants (or plants outdoors).
This mixture works best for centipedes that you think are living on your indoor plants and will get rid of them over time.
What you’ll need:
- 1 tablespoon of dish soap
- 3/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 3 cups water
- Spray bottle
- Small container
- Saran wrap (cling film)
How to make it:
Mix the dish soap and vegetable oil in a container. Leave this container with a saran wrap cover when you’re not using it.
Add 3 cups of water to a spray bottle. Add 2 tablespoons of the soap/vegetable oil mixture.
How to use it:
- Use the water and soap/veggie oil mixture directly on your plant. Be sure to shake the spray bottle well before you apply.
- Start with a small spot on the plant to see how the plant reacts.
- Allow at least 2 days to see how the plant responds.
- If it’s OK, then apply to the rest of the plant. When you run out of the mixture, fill up the bottle with 3 cups of water and 2 more tablespoons of the oil mixture.
- Repeat daily on the houseplant to repel the centipede.
Rubbing alcohol spray
You can safely use rubbing alcohol directly on centipedes to kill them.
All you need is a few things you probably already have lying around the home. The mixture varies depending on the location of the centipede.
For indoor infestations
Add 1 cup of 70% isopropyl alcohol to 1 quart of water.
Pour together in a spray bottle. Spray directly onto the centipede when you see it.
This doesn’t make an effective repellent because rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly, so you can only this as a pesticide.
For outdoor infestations
Add 1 cup of rubbing alcohol to 1 quart of water. Add some vegetable oil (1 tablespoon). Mix all of them together using spray bottle. You can spray this on houseplants or outdoor plants.
Most plants can handle the spray, but you’ll want to test before you cover the entire plant with the spray. This should get rid of centipedes on your plants.
You can make a variety of sprays at home that’ll kill or repel centipedes at home. Try a few of them and see which one works best for you.
Other commercial pesticides
Here are two of the most common commercial home remedies for centipedes.
Does raid kill centipedes?
Raid will kill most bugs, including invertebrates such as millipedes and centipedes. The spray will kill them nearly instantly upon contact.
However, this approach would be using a non-natural remedy, so use it as directed. This isn’t safe for pets or humans, so be careful.
Will Windex kill centipedes?
Windex is an ammonia-based cleaner, so it’ll slowly hurt them over time.
You’ll need to use a lot of Windex to damage their exoskeleton and you just may end up pissing it off. You’ll have to spray enough to make any dent to the exoskeleton.
However, if you spray enough, you can kill the centipede using Windex. You can even use pure ammonia for faster results.
How to get rid of baby centipedes
You can kill baby centipedes the same way you kill adult ones. Use traps, DIY sprays, and natural repellents. Smush them. Smack them.
Do whatever it takes so it doesn’t grow up into a giant centipede adult!
If you’re referring to the centipede eggs, you’ll have to find them first. This is difficult as the female will lay the eggs in hard to reach areas. Usually, they’re where the moisture is really high and wet.
And she’ll deposit them between cracks like floorboards, so it’s hard to find. But if you really want to look, grab a light and poke around.
Once you find the centipede eggs, you can scrape them off and dispose of them by burning them safely or soaking them in rubbing alcohol.
Keep centipedes out of your room and bed
To keep them out of your room, I’d suggest setting up a line of boric acid or DE to prevent them from crawling into your room.
After that, you can set up sticky tape on the floor around the door and doorframe to stick them. I’d also suggest using some essential oils to help prevent them since they hate the smell of peppermint and herbs.
You can read the previous sections above for details on all this.
Basically, you want to use a combination of different approaches (trap, repellent, and spray) to keep them from entering your room and bed.
Exterminate centipedes in the bathroom
The bathroom may be a common area where you’ll find them.
They like the moisture and probably the drain also. The approach is no different.
- Set up a trap.
- Use a repellent.
- Make a spray and spray the pest when you see it. Use herbs or essential oils to keep them away from the bathroom.
Get rid of centipedes in the basement
To get rid of them in your basement, you’d want to use a combination of all the methods outlined above.
- Use some natural essential oils to repel them.
- Set up sticky traps around the basement.
- Use borax or DE to lay down a foundation barrier they can’t cross.
- Make a centipede spray to spray directly onto them when you see one.
You pretty much need these areas covered:
- A way to trap centipedes
- A natural centipede repellent
- A way to kill them
You can accomplish each of those three steps using many different methods. Read the above section on “how to get rid of centipedes naturally.”
Keeping centipedes away from the garden
You can get rid of centipedes in your yard or garden by first clearing it up.
Remember, they seek out debris and litter and need places to hide and crawl around to protect themselves.
Read the section “How to prevent centipedes” next for tips.
The basic approach would be to clean up your garden by practicing basic attendance (cleaning up leaf litter, debris, woodpiles, pruning trees and plants, killing pests, etc.).
After that, you’d want to set up centipede traps, such as sticky tape. Then you’d want to use natural repellents, such as essential oils, borax, diatomaceous earth, or even herbs.
Lastly, you’d want to make a plant-safe spray for your garden plants to protect them from centipedes and exterminate any centipedes crawling on them.
You can learn how to make the spray by reading the section above “how to get rid of centipedes naturally” for more details.
Preventing future infestations
Centipedes seek out homes with lots of humidity and moisture.
This means you’ll want to keep your home dry as you possibly can.
Homes with a dry environment rarely have centipede problems because they dry out. This is actually why borax and diatomaceous earth are so effective- they dry out the pest until it dehydrates.
Similarly, if you keep your home free of moisture, centipedes will dehydrate or have to leave your home and migrate. This means constantly doing some basic household practices.
You can prevent centipedes from coming into your home by reducing moisture.
Follow these tips:
- Repair all water and plumbing problems
- Clean up the water after washing your hands
- Dry out your shower after each time you use it
- Drain your sinks
- Dry your floors from any water source
- Clean up basements, attics, or closets that may have humid environments
- Use dehumidifiers to keep moisture levels down
- Use fans to help evaporate excess water
- Place silica packets around areas that are hard to keep dry (between crevices, enclosed areas, containers, etc.)
Clean up clutter and organic materials
Centipedes are solitary pests and will look for areas to hide for protection. This means they’ll look for cracks and crevices to hide between.
You’ll want to do a complete cleaning of the room where you notice them- not just for centipedes but for a bunch of bugs like midge bugs, mealybugs, cicadas. If you have a specific area of your house where you notice activity, clean it up!
This means reducing areas they can hide.
Maintain your home and reduce clutter:
- Dispose of or sell old furniture
- Throw away all unnecessary materials
- Get rid of or relocate things that are just taking up space
- Pack up unused materials neatly and seal the cardboard completely
- Toss out old books, clothing, shoes, and other goods
- Reorganize the infested room and clean it up
- Vacuum up any debris, dust, food, or pests
- Get rid of any bugs that are currently in the room
- Set up traps and natural repellents
This should help reduce the number of hiding places for the centipedes. Following this, they’ll be easier to catch and kill, or they’ll have to migrate elsewhere.
Keeping your home clean and using a variety of DIY solutions can help keep centipedes out of your house.
Use some natural repellents and make some centipede killer. Both of these are outlined above. This will help you keep centipedes away from your home.
Remove organic food sources
If you have a lot of organic materials around your home, you’ll want to remove them as they’re an attractant for centipedes.
They provide a source of constant food because they attract other pests to your garden and home. As other pests come into your house, so will the centipedes.
Or if their food source stays outdoors, then the centipedes will follow. This is why sometimes you have centipedes indoors and other times outdoors. They just go following their food.
Dispose of, secure, or remove the following organics from your yard to reduce centipedes:
- Leaf litter
- Compost bins
- Garbage bins
- Livestock food
- Pet food
- Grass clippings
Seal up your home
The next step would be to take measures to seal up all the possibly entryways into your home.
Without a way to enter, you can effectively stop all centipedes (and other pests) from coming through. If you have a lot of other pests alongside centipede infestations, you probably have a “leaky” home.
This means that there are plenty of cracks, crevices, and other entry points where bugs are coming into your house!
This step will take time depending on the condition of your home, but you’ll need to do this if you really want to stop them for good.
Here are some basic household maintenance tips:
- Seal up any cracks or holes in your foundation
- Repair any damaged window or door screening
- Repair or replace any damaged weatherstripping
- Caulk any crevices between walls
- Seal up any gaps between moving doors or windows
- Use putty to plug holes
- Clear up any downspouts, gutters, and sewerage
If you don’t have the time or resources to do all this, then your next best option is to set up a bunch of DIY traps and repellents around your home.
These can be made for cheap and also prevent future centipedes from taking shelter.
Did you get rid of your centipede problem?
That’s all I’ve got!
You should now have everything you need at your disposal to exterminate the centipedes from your home or garden completely.
If you have any other questions, leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
Found this page helpful? Let me know also =]!
Consider telling a friend about this guide. You’re probably not the only one dealing with these pests.
Thanks for reading.
Currently an active researcher in the pest control industry for the past 8 years- with a focus on using natural and organic methods to eliminate pest problems.
I share handy DIY pest techniques I come across here to help out others (and possibly save them from a mental breakdown).
Fight nature with nature.