Are House Centipedes Dangerous?

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If you see a tan bug in your home that has a lot of thin legs shooting out from its sides, you're looking at a centipede. And, since it is in your house, it stands to reason that we should call it a house centipede. This may seem like a simple description, but when it comes to these creepy bugs getting into your home, you probably are not interested in knowing that centipedes belong to a class called Chilopoda or that they are in the subphylum Myriapoda. You want to know how dangerous they are and how to keep them out. Here's what you need to know most about house centipedes.

So are these creatures dangerous? The not-so-quick answer to this question is yes and no.

centipede in ny home bathtub

Yes, Centipedes Are Dangerous

Yes, because if any creepy-crawly, alien-looking creature startles you, you could react and slip in the shower or on some other, unstable surface. And these are just about the creepiest, crawliest household pests you will ever get inside your home. They are downright scary looking, especially if you are not expecting an encounter. 

A centipede can also bite--although a bite from a centipede is actually more of a pinch. And that pinch can be described as a sting. This is because the front two, hollow legs the centipede uses to pinch with can inject venom. 

Most of the time, this venom is only enough to produce a small red bump. But, if someone is allergic to a centipede's venom, it can be dangerous. And if you, or anyone in your family, has never been stung by a centipede before, then you will not know if you are allergic until it happens. This can be especially troubling if you have small children in the home who are prone to exploring new, interesting things--since a child's behavior is likely to scare a centipede into stinging.

 However, it is worth mentioning that even if the person bitten is not allergic to centipede venom; a sting can still be extremely painful. Like a bee, a centipede will sting and then hang on. This causes a burning sensation that slowly grows to an area as 3 or 4 inches in diameter. It can be excruciating if the sting occurs in an area with an abundance of nerve endings, such as on the fingers or the toes.

No, Centipedes Are Not Dangerous

These creatures do not pose the same issues as many other household pests. They are not known to spread or carry diseases and harmful bacteria the way cockroaches do. They don't eat away at the structure of your home for years, undetected, the way termites do. And they don't have life-threatening venom like some spiders or mercilessly keep you awake all hours of the night, like crickets or mice in your wall voids. But still, centipedes are not something you want lurking in the shadows of your laundry room or basement.

Why are centipedes getting into your home?

Centipedes are moisture pests; if you are seeing them, you likely have moisture issues. Check and see if the following conditions pertain to your home: 

  • Are there shady areas around your foundation that do not dry out after it rains?

  • Do you have obstructed gutters that keep water in? This will not only encourage centipedes but is also a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

  • Do you have any leaky spigots that create a pool of water or damp area?

  • Is your basement wet, or does it have a lot of humidity?

  • Are any of your pipes or bathroom fixtures weepy? Do they have a lot of condensation built up on them?

If your home has wet, moist, or humid conditions, then it will be a centipede magnet. Simply drying things out and keeping them dry will go a long way in deterring these and other moisture-loving pests from settling in. But getting pests out can be a bit more tricky than keeping them out in the first place. That's where Parkway Pest Services can help.

Talk To A Centipede Control Professional

If you need assistance in getting rid of centipedes in your home, or other, more dangerous pests, you can trust Parkway. We have been serving customers since 1932, and we have the knowledge and tools to make centipedes in your home a mere memory. Reach out to Parkway Pest Services for immediate assistance.


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