House centipedes scurrying around your floor and walls? Could be Scutigera coleoptrata. Find out about this insect and what to do.
What is it?
Scutigera coleoptrata are found indoors and outdoors and unlike other centipedes can reproduce indoors. They prey on other insects and will multiply quickly where a large amount of insects is present to feed on.
What do they look like?
They are thin with long legs and grow up to 1.5 inches long with legs and antennae that are extremely long in comparison to its body. House centipede legs can be more than twice the length of their bodies. They run quickly, making sudden stops and can be found on floors and walls.
How do they manifest?
They prefer moist areas such as cellars and basements and love dampness. You’ll often find them in bathrooms and closets. Outdoors they reside in piles of compost and other debris. They seldom bite humans, and when they do it is about as painful as a bee sting and rarely dangerous. They tend to be most active at night.
What can you do about them?
To reduce the amount of house centipedes and the insects they feed on, spray indoor areas with a chemical containing allethrin or tetramethrin. Make sure you get areas like baseboard cracks and beneath cabinets. An alternative is to fog the area with a pyrethrins containing fogger. Eliminating moist areas around the home and outdoors will also discourage these centipedes.