Aside from being alien-looking creatures with bizarre bodies and traits, centipedes are fascinating creatures that are important for our ecosystem. That said, they can also be household nuisances and unsightly pests to have hanging around your home or business. Knowing about these common invaders and what you can do about them is an essential part of existence in the South.
Centipedes: An Introduction
They come in many shapes and sizes, but centipedes are generally all long, many-legged insects that hunt other bugs. You probably already know that their name means “hundred legs”, so you can distinguish them from other bugs that have far fewer appendages or from legless worms.
Their length makes centipedes much larger than most of the other insects that they eat, so they are higher on the insect food chain, even surpassing venomous spiders. Their hard top shells protect them from many kinds of predators, and they can incapacitate their prey with their venom.
Because of their ability to outmatch most other insects, centipedes are essential for keeping other hazardous bug populations in check. Their frequent hunting of spiders and other predators, even other centipedes, promotes the survival of pollinators like butterflies and bumblebees, further benefiting the environment.
Are Centipedes Dangerous?
Despite how effective they are at killing other bugs, centipedes are pretty harmless to people. The venomous compound in their bites isn’t potent enough to cause serious reactions, and while bites to humans or pets aren’t unheard of, centipedes aren’t generally aggressive toward creatures that are much larger.
But just because centipedes can be useful for the environment and aren't generally hazardous for households, it doesn’t mean you want them around. For one, who can blame those that are creeped out by these leggy worm-like creatures? For another, centipedes inside of the home often act as an indicator of other pest problems.
Centipede Prevention Tips
As with most pest populations, centipedes often make their way inside after other pests move in. Since they prey exclusively on other bugs, centipedes are mostly driven inside because other pests are seeking shelter or food inside your home. Curbing the factors that attract centipedes and other bugs will protect your home from infestations:
Food waste: Sweeping up crumbs and cleaning spills, even under heavy appliances, will prevent the foraging insects that centipedes and other bugs eat, thus preventing populations from thriving.
Moisture control: Centipedes, and many insects, prefer warm and humid areas. Not only does the Charlotte climate provide this outside, but moisture buildup inside the home can contribute to the same kind of environment. Proper plumbing upkeep and ventilation are necessary.
Access points: Sealing up cracks in the walls or foundation of your home, blocking potential access points for flat centipedes or smaller bugs that might get in, is another good step. Proper window and screen maintenance is also important for pest management.
Professional Prevention Is A Call Away
As we’ve seen, one pest problem often makes way for another. That’s why even persistent and responsible homeowners can find themselves with a pest problem that leads to a centipede infestation. Luckily, you don’t have to go it alone. The experts at ProForce can provide you with more helpful prevention tips and tricks, not to mention provide a seasoned pair of eyes during an inspection of your home. Our professional solutions will not only drive out insect populations and the things that they feed on, but we will make sure that centipedes and other insects won’t move right back in.
If you notice centipedes or the signs of other insects in your Charlotte home, don’t panic, call ProForce right away and rest assured that we will handle your pest problem right away.