Imagine that you’re walking into the bathroom after midnight. Something small and fuzzy-looking zips past your foot. Whatever kind of pest it is, it’s too fast for you to identify it.
You’ve just met your first house centipede. These inch-long pests don’t pose much of a threat to humans. But their presence does startle homeowners.
A house centipede infestation suggests there are problems around the house. This type of centipede is opportunistic. They live in any warm, damp place they find. To keep them out of your home, you have to make it less inviting.
Grab your tool kit. It’s time to repair these 7 household issues and get rid of house centipedes.
1. Cracked or Clogged Gutters
When thinking about the drainage system on a house, most ignore the gutters. Roof gutters are a vital part of keeping your home dry. They redirect rainwater away from your home’s foundation.
Even though foundations are made from concrete, they still crack in certain conditions. The foundation absorbs excess water. When warm weather arrives, the water expands and creates cracks.
These cracks are perfect freeways for house centipedes. If house centipedes can get in, then other pests can as well. Unlike house centipedes, the other pests may spread harmful diseases.
Keep your foundation crack-free by maintaining your home’s gutters. If you live in a place with a lot of rain, as a professional how to keep the foundation dry.
2. Leaky Water Fixtures
Winter temperatures that reach below freezing may burst water pipes around your property. It could take days or weeks to notice the leaks.
By the time you fix the leak, the ground beside your home is soaked. Bugs of all kinds flock to moist, dark areas around your home.
Some pests, like house centipedes, won’t stay out in the cold. Once they’re drawn to your property by the easy water supply, they’ll head inside.
Leaks in warm water pipes make the perfect home for house centipedes. Twice a year, check your water heater for leaks. At least once a year, have a professional inspect the house for leaks.
3. Toilet with a Bad Seal
Plumbing fixtures need to be water and airtight to work right. Each system uses a balance of air and water pressure to push used water to the sewer line.
When a plumber installs a toilet, they use a wax seal to keep it airtight. As the wax seal ages, it degrades and develops a small leak.
The leak invites pests like house centipedes and roaches into your bathroom. If you don’t do regular plumbing maintenance, you won’t see the leak for over a year. That is a long time for a house centipede infestation to take hold in your home.
Write down a list of potential plumbing problems. Grab a calendar and schedule at least one hour of plumbing repairs a week.
Put all the big repairs on a separate list. Give that list to a professional for your annual inspection visit.
4. Using Cardboard Boxes as Long-Term Storage
Cardboard fibers absorb moisture, making them an ideal home for house centipedes. Boxes left in the basement aren’t disturbed often, so the pests feel comfortable. This is the perfect place for a house centipede infestation.
The first step to getting rid of house centipedes is to ditch the cardboard. Take everything out of them and bag up the infested boxes.
If the infestation is bad, bring in a pest control expert to get rid of the house centipedes. Don’t repack your stuff until you’re sure there are no centipedes left.
Buy clear plastic bins to store your keepsakes. Pests aren’t attracted to the plastic. The clear sides also make it easier to find the box you’re looking for.
5. Uncovered Basement Drain Pipe
Standard drain systems have a U-shaped part that seals off the drain with water. The water keeps sewer gasses and pests out of your home.
Basement drain pipes often connect to a sump pump system. These drains don’t use a P-trap to block out pests. Any crack between the drain and the pump becomes a door for house centipedes.
There are two ways to fix the problem. The easiest way is to cap off the basement floor drain with a mesh screen. Make sure the screen is fine enough to block centipedes.
If you find new centipedes after blocking the drain, there’s an infestation. Schedule a visit from a pest control company to find the house centipede hideout.
6. Arthropod Invasion
House centipedes don’t look like ferocious killers. The fuzzy creatures seem like something that would eat decaying plants or bugs.
The truth is, house centipedes are savage hunters. Their diet includes fellow arthropods and beetle larvae.
On the rare occasion, you find them in the open, they’re probably hunting. A house centipede infestation is a good sign that you have other pest invaders. Centipedes don’t settle in one place unless they have a steady food source.
Contact a pest control company to take care of your arthropod invasion. Many companies now offer pet-safe options.
7. Small Cracks or Holes Around the Home
It takes years for your home to settle after it’s built. As your home ages, the building materials naturally expand and contract. All that movement leaves little doorways for house centipedes.
Older homes are more likely to develop this problem. Check for cracks around:
- Door frames
- Window frames
- Seals on outside plumbing fixtures
- The base of the outside walls
Sealing the cracks will keep centipedes and their cousins outside. Treating the location of the crack will stop them from trying to get back inside. The two-step process banishes house centipedes for good.
Need Help Controlling a House Centipede Infestation?
It’s never fun to find a bug crawling around your bathroom. House centipedes, in particular, look dangerous. Luckily for you, they only hurt other bugs.
Don’t ignore a house centipede infestation, even if they’re harmless to humans. Their arrival is a signal that something isn’t right in your home.
This guide gives you a good place to start when dealing with house centipedes. When you’re ready to make sure they’re gone for good, contact Pointe Pest Control. Our experts are ready to help our neighbors in Eastern Pennsylvania.