House centipedes are actually beneficial to you and your home in that they eat smaller insects in and around your home, including spidersand flies and in some cases even roaches.They are also harmless: They don't bite or sting. While they look frightening and can run really fast, you should steer away from killing them when you see them. It's not so common that homeowners see these little creatures, as they come out mostly at night and live inhidden spots like the basement, damp closets, bathrooms and crawlspaces. They do not live in drains or pipes, but are often seen crawling in and around these areas. If you suspect that you have a true house centipede infestation then you should call an exterminator to help you get rid of them. You may even want to try some do-it-yourself extermination with some of these pest control products that work well against centipedes.
House centipedes are generally no longer than about 1 1/2 inches. They have 15 pairs of long legs which enable them to run quickly. They are grayish and yellow in color. Anther type of centipede, simply known as a centipede, should not be confused with house centipedes. They live mostly outside and are brownish-orange and can grow up to 6 inches in desert areas like Texas. House centipedes do not grow that large.
If centipedes really bother you then consider taking some steps to limit the moisture level in your home, which will in turn decrease the amount of centipedes. Improve the ventilationand humidity levels in your home by checking the humidity setting on your furnace to make sure it is set to the proper level. For an extreme moisture situation, you may want to purchase a dehumidifier to keep in your basement to decrease the moisture and humiditylevels. Other tips for limiting centipedes include: moving woodpiles and compost piles away from your home by at least a few feet and fixing any plumbing leaks around the home.
House centipedes are found most frequently in the following states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan,Illinois,Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Minnesota, Iowa. (Source: insectidentification.org)
If you are experiencing a rare house centipede infestation, contact a professional exterminator.