If a centipede zips across the floor of your home, you're going to have questions. Lots of questions. We understand. These are disgusting bugs. And their disgusting appearance has led to many misconceptions about these alien-looking bugs. Hopefully, the following five facts will help to dispel any myths you've heard. While we're probably not likely to bring you to a place of full acceptance, we hope to at least make it so you don't jump out of your skin every time you see one of these bugs appear in the most unexpected locations.
Fact 1: Not all centipedes are created equal
If you're wondering, "Are centipedes dangerous?" the answer is probably no. In Texas, we have more than one species of centipede. The centipede that generally gets into homes and makes itself a nuisance is Scutigera coleoptrata, also known as the house centipede. The house centipede is creepy looking and disturbing, but that is where the threat ends. Though this species of centipede has poison in its jaws, it isn't strong enough to bite through the skin of a human. There is, however, a centipede in Texas that can bite through the skin. It is Scolopendra heros--the Texas redheaded centipede. Fortunately, the Texas redheaded centipede is not a common household pest. You're most likely to find one of these centipedes crawling around in your yard.
Fact 2: Centipedes can be beneficial
While we definitely wouldn't suggest introducing centipedes into your home for pest control, they can be a little beneficial when they come into your home by accident. So don't be so quick to step on one those ugly, long-legged intruders. Centipedes may not be able to bite you but they're more than able to bite insects and spiders that are living in your home. They are even known to eat bed bugs. How great is that? But centipedes don't take their job seriously. They won't make sure all those carpenter ants and spiders are gone, the way a trained pest control technician will.
Fact 3: Centi means a hundred and pede means feet
First of all, centipedes don't have feet, despite what the animated movies would have you believe. Second, they don't have a hundred legs. A typical adult centipede will have 15 pairs of legs, the back two legs being nearly twice the length of the others, which makes it look as though they have antennae on both ends.
Fact 4: Centipedes are not insects
For most people, there are two kinds of bugs: arachnids and insects. But centipedes are neither. While there are many distinguishing characteristics for arachnids and insects, we'll stick to the one that is the most obvious. Arachnids have 8 legs and insects have 6. Obviously, the centipede doesn't fall into either of these two groups. So, what is a centipede? Do you know? While spiders and centipedes are both in the phylum arthropoda, centipedes are not arachnids; they are chilopods.
Fact 5: Centipedes are moisture pests
If you have moisture issues on the inside or outside of your home, those issues are likely why you have centipedes in your home. Correcting a centipede infestation is often a mix of professional pest control and the hiring of a handyman.
We hope the above facts have been helpful and informative. If you're seeing centipedes in your home, you don't have too much to worry about as far as bites, but it could be a warning sign that you have wood rot. You might want to consider hiring someone to do an inspection and assess the issue. Wood rot can cost you a lot in the long run if it goes unaddressed.
As for taking care of those centipedes, that is best done by a pest control company. Those bugs get into locations that are hard to get to. And the use of insecticides can be toxic to a family when improperly applied.
If you live in North Texas, find out if you're in our service area. The team here at Adams Exterminating Company uses advanced methods and products to control all of the household pests that invade our Texas homes, including centipedes. For more information about our residential pest control options, or to request a free home estimate, reach out to us today.
Request Your Free Estimate
Schedule Your No Obligation Estimate Today