Killing Centipedes Is Not The Way To Get Rid Of Pests

It’s actually the opposite!

I know it may be seem counter-intuitive, but squishing centipedes is not the way to go if your house is more infested with pests than you would like.

You may see centipedes every now and then, but it’s important to resist the urge to stomp them. They may be creepier than most insects, but they come with their own benefits.

Many of us who are used to spiders and insects can still get creeped out by a centipede’s myriad of segmented legs.

It even gets a bit more shiver-inducing when you realize what a centipede’s optimal habitat is. They like to live in moist, damp spaces. You might even find them hanging out in your toilet if you’re not careful enough.

In this case, obviously you’d like to extract the centipede from your toilet, but we would advise against it. The reason for that is that this centipede might be the reason your house only has one weird insect inside instead of 20 different ones.

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This is a house centipede. It looks more scary than creepy to be honest, but there is still a very good reason not to end this monstrosity by squishing it.

Flickr / Greg Mote

While panic-inducing, the centipedes are the lesser of two evils. They have huge appetites and can eat spiders, silverfish, ants, cockroaches and bedbugs. They basically do the exterminator’s work for free.

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The most pertinent of all of the aforementioned victims are silverfish. They like the same moist conditions that centipedes do, making these two species more likely to bump into each other. This makes for efficient disposal.

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This, however, doesn’t mean you have to let your defenses down entirely. Centipedes often fall out of their hiding spots before moving rapidly in one direction or another. An entomologist with the USDA once said:

It may often be seen darting across floors with very great speed, occasionally stopping suddenly and remaining absolutely motionless, presently to resume its rapid movements, often darting directly at inmates of the house… thus creating much consternation.

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What you can do other than killing the centipede is trapping it in a jar and releasing it outside, somewhere damp preferably. Check the damp spaces in your house routinely to make sure there isn’t an excess of centipedes.

If, however, the number of centipedes is below 3 or 4, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to offer them shelter. They don’t bother you if you don’t bother them.

A fact worth remembering is that squishing a spider can release around 100 eggs in each direction so the best idea would be to just let the centipede have a crack at it.

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Centipedes are harmless creatures, at least to us, and they’re also cleaner than their food is, as they devote hours to cleaning themselves.

However, it is still a good idea to have them stick around in low quantities because they do so much, for free.

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