Combat

Insect Guide

Your Go-To Guide for Other Household Pests

Centipedes

Adult House Centipede

Combat Insect Guide Centipede Map

Most Common Types

 

The most common type of centipede found in United States is the house centipede. They originated in the Mediterranean region and migrated to Mexico and southern U.S.  Centipedes might look scary, but they can be actually helpful by capturing other critters.

 

What They Look Like

 

House centipede adults are about 4 inches long – including their antennae. Centipedes overall are a brownish color with 15 pairs of legs – one of these pairs is nearly twice the length of their body.

Young centipedes are similar to adults, but are a pale purplish color with only 5 pairs of legs. They acquire 2 pairs of legs during each molt. 

 

Where They Live

 

House centipedes cannot survive cold temperatures and can be found in homes in the northern half of the United States.

 

Where They Nest

 

Centipedes prefer to live in cool, damp locations like the inside of concrete block wall cavities and under cement slabs. However, they will travel up and down inside of the walls in search of food. 

They do not nest but they can be found clustered together in those favorable habitats. They eat many different types of bugs including cockroaches, beetles, and spiders.

 

Steps to Prevent

 

The best way to get rid of centipedes is to reduce or eliminate their food source(s).

 

Are They Harmful

 

Centipedes are known to bite humans on occasion. There is a poison in their glands which can cause their bites to produce a moderate reaction similar to a bee sting.