House Centipedes, Nature’s Pest Controller

February 29, 2016

Melinda's Blog is brought to you by American Transmission Company.

Think twice before smashing that centipede you find scurrying across the basement floor. It’s helping keep the bad bugs under control.  Centipedes usually hang out in damp places like the basement and bathroom. During the warmer months you’ll find them outside in cool moist locations dining on pests like grubs and cutworms. Although centipede means 100 legs they only have 30.  They use these to entangle their prey. Then use their two front fangs to inject their victims with venom. But don’t worry the fangs are too weak to break through human skin.

These fast moving predators are good at evading capture, as you probably discovered. But if trapped they are able to shed a leg or two to aid in their escape. If they still give you the creeps, keep them outside by sealing the cracks and crevices in your home’s foundation and gaps around your windows.

A bit more information: House centipedes are not true insects but relatives of spiders that can live up to seven years.  These Mediterranean natives came to the United States over 150 years ago and are now found throughout Europe, Asia and North America.

For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit