Here’s Why You Should Never Kill a House Centipede

Before you squish that creepy centipede, find out why it actually might be a useful house guest.

centipedeJon Osumi/Shutterstock

There’s nothing more terrifying than watching a house centipede shoot across your floor and under your couch. It’s safe to say that most people are positively terrified of those creepy, crawling, uninvited guests. House centipedes typically have 15 pairs of legs and can travel 1.3 feet-per-second, which explains why catching one is nearly impossible.

Never Kill a House Centipede

The typical response to a house centipede probably involves a shoe to squash the intruder immediately. But like almost every other bug out there, a centipede does have a purpose. Read on to find out why you actually might want to keep them around.

What Do Centipedes Eat?

House centipedes are known for killing the most unwelcome pests in your house — roaches, moths, flies, silverfish and termites. Centipedes use the two legs right near their head, which carries venom, and their other legs to scoop up the bug. This is called a “lassoing” technique where centipede jumps on its prey and wraps it up with their many legs.

Not only are house centipedes killing the bugs you really don’t want in your house, they also don’t create any nests or webs. They are considered active hunters and are constantly looking for their next prey. Centipedes aren’t eating your wood or carrying a fatal disease. House centipedes just want to go after the bugs.

How to Get Rid of Centipedes in Your Home

  • If you want to get rid of house centipedes for good, the trick is to eliminate their food.
  • Try to get rid of the household pests that they prey on. You can do this by making sure there isn’t extra moisture in your walls by using a dehumidifier or installing a fan in the bathroom.
  • Seal off any cracks entering the house so pests don’t have places to lay eggs.
  • Make sure to clear your house of any debris that is causing unnecessary moisture to leak into your walls.

How to Prevent Centipedes From Coming Back

Once you’ve made these changes to get rid of centipedes, implement these 26 tips for controlling pests in and around your home so you never come across one of those scary looking house centipedes again.