Centipedes

Identification

  • Colour Dark brown, grey, or tan
  • Size From 2.5 cm up to 5 cm long.
  • Description Have one pair of long, thin, very fast legs per body segment. Also have two antennae, flattened bodies and a bristly appearance. The body sometimes has darker strips or markings on the back.
  • Notes Most centipedes found in Canada have about 15 pairs of legs, while others in the tropics can have hundreds.

General Facts

Why do I have centipedes?

There are more than 70 species of centipedes in Canada, and while most do not interact with humans, house centipedes commonly invade homes to escape dry conditions outdoors or cold weather. Centipedes congregate where there are large amounts of insects and seek out dark, damp places with plenty of small crevices and cracks, like basements, garages, and mulched gardens. They prey on other household pests, including spiders, beetles, moth larvae, ants, and worms, but will also prey on other centipedes. As predators, they ambush and then disable their prey by catching them in poisonous claws.

How worried should I be about centipedes?

Although they possess venom potent enough to paralyze and kill insects, centipedes do not bite humans unless grabbed or accidentally stepped on, and their venom is not toxic enough to be dangerous. However, their presence is unsightly and they are considered a nuisance. Due to the persistent nature of centipedes, their ability to navigate very small cracks, and the fact their presence may indicate an insect problem, it is essential to get the help of a professional pest control service to eradicate them and any other infestations.

How can I prevent centipedes invading?

Look for molted exoskeletons, Prevent other insects invading, Keep your home clean and sanitary, Cover exterior vents and holes, Seal cracked pipes and loose/worn outdoor seals, Seal crevices and cracks in walls, Remove brush, firewood, and mulch, Keep mulch and flower beds free of weeds, well aerated and do not overwater

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