What Every Houston Resident Ought To Know About Centipedes

March 26, 2020


Spotting a bug with six or eight legs is enough to give us the creepy crawlies, but these many-legged insects can deliver even more of an unwelcome shock. 

a centipede crawling on a kicthen wall

Unlike other types of common household pests, centipedes have anywhere from approximately 31 to 355 legs in total. Although their name means ‘hundred foot,’ these bugs only have an odd number of legs. This means that they will never have exactly enough legs to justify their namesake. 
 
Centipedes are best described as a predatory arthropod, meaning that these carnivorous hunters have defined exoskeletons and segmented appendages. Many species of centipedes found in the house measure approximately 1/8-1 1/2” in total length. Wild species have been known to measure as long as 6”. Perhaps the most defining features of this insect are its long antennae and wispy rear appendages, used to hunt down prey even in difficult circumstances.  
 
Although centipedes may initially appear similar to millipedes, there are some important differences between millipedes and centipedes that all Houston residents should be familiar with.

  • Centipedes have one pair of legs per body segment, while millipedes have two. This results in millipedes having what appears to be a significantly larger number of legs.
  • Further, millipede legs are short and stocky in comparison to their long-legged centipede cousins. 
  • Centipedes are predatory by nature and actively seek out smaller insects to eat. In contrast, millipedes are peaceful herbivores that contribute to the breakdown of organic matter. 
  • Millipedes curl into a defensive (curled up) position when threatened. Centipedes do not.

Despite being small, house centipedes are mildly venomous and will bite if threatened. The venom is released after the skin is punctured, flooding the victim with a powerful mix of chemicals that induce a histamine reaction and painful swelling. Bites are not strong enough to be considered dangerous to humans and are simply a nuisance to unwitting receivers. However, it is not recommended that homeowners touch or interact with centipedes unless personal protection equipment is worn (such as gloves).

What Attracts Centipedes To Your Houston Home Or Business?

All pests are attracted to a specific set of elements that make them more likely to infest a home or business. In the wild, centipedes have three basic needs: adequate food, plentiful water, and a safe space in which to live. Homeowners should know that centipedes will be more attracted to a home that has the following attributes:

  • High levels of humidity or standing water 
  • Rotting or damp wooden structures 
  • Pest infestations which are food sources for centipedes

To prevent centipede infestations and reduce the threat of ongoing pest activity, homeowners are advised to take these preventative measures:

  • Reduce moisture in the home by running a dehumidifier around humid locations. 
  • Look for and seal up any cracks or splits around the home that could be allowing pests to come indoors. 
  • Investigate and eliminate potential pest infestations with regular pest control visits from a local pest technician.

If centipedes or other pests have begun to appear regularly on your property, active elimination efforts should be taken immediately.

Trust Romney Pest Control To Eliminate Your Centipede Concerns

While centipedes may not be the most dangerous species of pest, they certainly are a type of creepy-crawly that Houston residents would rather live without. Their predatory natures and painful bites are all the more reason why these insects should not be allowed to maintain a presence in your home for any length of time. 
 
Contact Romney Pest Control today for help in getting rid of centipedes at any stage of their infestation. Our professional technicians are standing by to serve your needs in the best possible way. Reach out to our main Houston office at 281-781-7650 now and experience the Romney difference in your residential pest control servicing today.




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