How much does it cost to exterminate centipedes?
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Centipede Extermination Cost Guide
Updated: August 17, 2022
A centipede infestation is rare and difficult to discover since these strange looking creatures are nocturnal. Their looks may be off-putting with their worm-like body and large number of legs. However, these myriapods are predators, and having a few in your home can provide pest control. High numbers of centipedes in your home warrants centipede pest control. Centipedes need moisture to survive, so an increase in their numbers could mean that you have excess moisture in your home or a secondary infestation of a food source for centipedes. High numbers could also mean eggs have hatched in your home or that there are holes or cracks in your foundation or siding, allowing them to enter your home.
Centipede pest control cost depends on many factors, such as the size of your property, level of infestation, and the process needed to seal up entry points into the home. The average cost for a centipede extermination ranges from $300 to $500. The average cost is $400 for a basic consultation with a one-time chemical spray around the exterior of an average size home, plus a foundation inspection, help with sealing up entry points, and a return visit. The costs can be as low as $200 for a basic consultation with a one-time chemical spray around the exterior of an average-size home. On the high end, get all of these services plus the application of a powder to kill centipedes around the baseboards of your basement and in the kitchen for $600.
Centipede Pest Control
|Centipede Extermination Cost
|National average cost
Centipede Extermination Cost
Pest control companies generally do not need to work inside your home to exterminate centipedes. They work to find the sources of entry into your home, seal them off, and then treat the perimeter of your home with a liquid or granular product. It is possible to use a powder or spray inside the home to kill centipedes if the problem is severe. Most companies offer a no-cost consultation to evaluate the extent of the problem and formulate a plan. From here, applying a centipede insecticide around the perimeter of the home costs between $200 and $300.
Types of Centipedes
The method of extermination and the cost remain the same for the different types of centipedes. The house centipede is the most common type found in homes. Florida blue centipedes are the second most common type found in homes. It is rare to see any other type in a home, but one of any species can wander in on occasion.
Florida Blue Centipede
This type of centipede is bluish-gray. The Florida blue centipede can be frightening to see because they can grow up to three inches long. This is one of the more aggressive types of centipedes and has been known to bite if feeling threatened. If bitten, the sensation is similar to a bee sting. The Florida blue centipede is mostly found in the southeastern states. It prefers warmer weather and the rich, mulchy soil located there. It likes to live under logs, roots, and rocks. This type of centipede is likely to enter a house after a heavy rain to avoid the flooded soil. When you find one inside, you should look at the exterior of your home to find and seal any entry points.
House Centipede Extermination
The house centipede’s body only grows to about an inch in length, but its many legs make it appear much larger. These centipedes are black and yellow and are the most common type of centipede found inside houses. However, they can thrive outdoors. These creatures are nocturnal and move very quickly, scurrying away if you turn on a light in the middle of the night. House centipedes help control other pests in your home and are not necessarily bad unless you see several of them.
Where Do Centipedes Live in Houses
If you see centipedes in your home, there is good news. Centipedes will not cause damage and normally cannot live very long inside a house under normal circumstances. If you see centipedes often inside your home, this means that they are finding a way inside, and eggs may have hatched. Perhaps, there is excess moisture, or you might have a secondary infestation of a food source for the centipedes. You may have many centipedes on your property. It might be a good idea to control their numbers. You will never rid your property completely of centipedes, and you certainly don’t want to. These critters are an important part of the ecosystem of your property.
Centipedes in the Bathroom
Centipedes are commonly seen in the bathroom. If the bathroom is in a basement or on the main level, they may be getting in through a crack in the wall or foundation. It is also possible that they crawled up the plumbing pipes. Following the pipes to find the entry point is a good place to start. Powder or spray can be applied under and around cabinets to kill centipedes.
Centipedes in the Bedroom
Bedrooms located in the basement are a place where you are most likely to see centipedes. They could be coming in through a crack in the foundation. It would be rare to see a centipede in a bedroom on the second floor of a home. But, they can crawl in under entry doors or through cracks on the main level. Powder or spray can be applied around the baseboards, and all entry points should be sealed to control centipedes.
Get Rid of Centipedes in the Basement
The basement is the most common place to see centipedes in a home. Basements are the most humid part of the house and provide easy access for centipedes. Centipedes live in the soil, so if they find a crack or entrance into your house, they might come inside. Finding these areas of entry and sealing them is important. Powder or spray can be applied around the baseboards in the basement.
Centipede in the Kitchen
Just as with bathrooms, centipedes may come in through the pipes that travel under your home. Many kitchens also have exterior doors to the backyard providing an easy entry point for centipedes. Finding the entry points and sealing them off is important. Powder or spray can also be used under cabinets and behind appliances.
Get Rid of Centipedes in the Drains
If you see centipedes in your drains, it is a good idea to follow the pipes to see where they come into your house. Perhaps a gap is allowing them entry. Any gaps should be sealed up. Since centipedes need moisture to survive, they will be drawn to drains and other damp locations.
Get Rid of Centipedes in the Garden
Getting rid of centipedes in your garden is unnecessary. In fact, they may be beneficial because they eat pests that may damage your garden. Many people get centipedes confused with millipedes, which can damage your plants. Millipedes eat decaying plant material and can damage seedlings, carrots, bedding plants, and others.
Centipede Extermination Cost Factors
Centipede removal costs depend on several factors, including the size of the property, the process to locate and seal off entry points, number of centipedes, and level of infestation. If the insecticide only needs to be applied around the perimeter of the house, a treatment will cost between $200 and $300. If that treatment needs to spread to other parts of your property, this adds extra cost. Be sure to ask if this price includes a follow-up visit if needed. In many cases, a company will include a follow-up visit in the price, but if not, it should be less than the initial visit.
Common ingredients in centipede pesticide products include carbaryl, cyfluthrin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin, bifenthrin, and permethrin. If granules or spray need to be used inside the home, this will cost $100 to $200 depending on the extent of the area that needs treatment. Help in locating and sealing off entry points to the home where centipedes are getting in should cost between $100 and $200.
Signs of Centipede Infestation
The most common sign of a centipede infestation is seeing centipedes in your home. It is most common to see them at night, as this is when they are the most active. The most common places to see centipedes are basements, sinks, drains, and garages. They like dark, damp places with small crevices and cracks. Basements are typically more humid than the rest of the house. These areas of the home are also the best places for them to find food.
If you notice more centipedes than usual, it may be because your home has a secondary infestation of a different type of insect or arachnid that is a food source to the centipede. You may find molded exoskeletons in addition to seeing centipedes, but this is rarely the case since they are so small. Keep in mind that centipedes do not contaminate food or damage buildings, so infestations are likely to go unnoticed for some time.
All About Centipedes
There are about 8,000 species of centipedes in the world. These interesting creatures live all over the world, even near the Arctic Circle. They live in many different habitats, from tropical rainforests to deserts. There are six North American centipede species. These include the Florida blue centipede, stone centipede, house centipede, Sonoran Desert centipede, soil centipede, and bark centipede. The two types of centipedes found in homes are the house centipede and the Florida blue centipede. Other types may come inside occasionally, but they can’t survive inside a house for long.
Centipedes are predatory arthropods, which is an animal that is an invertebrate with an exoskeleton and a segmented body. Centipedes have small mouths and claw-like structures that contain venom that is used to kill prey. Centipedes have compound eyes, which contain up to 200 optical units. However, most have poor eyesight and usually track their prey by using smell and touch. Centipedes do not normally bite humans but may do so if you pick one up and startle it. A bite would typically only cause minor swelling in a human. Centipedes are in the same phylum as insects, arachnids, myriapods, and crustaceans.
Centipedes need to live in a moist microhabitat because they do not have the waxy cuticle that many insects and arachnids have. Because of this, they lose water rapidly. For this reason, they are most often found under stones, in leaf piles and soil, in caves, and inside logs. Centipedes generally lay eggs underground, with the average number of eggs being 63. The mother stays with the eggs until they hatch to protect them.
What Do Centipedes Look Like?
Centipedes have a worm-like body and many legs. They can have anywhere from 15 to 177 pairs of legs, depending on the species. Each segment of their body has a pair of legs, and each pair of legs is slightly longer than the pair that comes before it. This unique body structure allows a centipede to move quickly. Throughout the centipede life cycle, it adds more body segments and more pairs of legs as it grows. Centipedes usually live for around three years, with some centipedes living as many as six years. The larger the centipede, the older it is. Centipedes have two antennae, flattened bodies, and a bristly appearance. They typically measure from 2.5 cm to 15 cm long. Centipedes can regenerate their legs if something happens to them, and they molt several times in the journey to adulthood.
What Color Are Centipedes?
Centipedes can be dark brown, gray, bluish, or tan. Some may also look red or yellow, with many having darker stripes or markings. The house centipede, the type most commonly found in homes, is usually yellowish gray with darker markings on its back.
What Do Centipedes Eat?
A centipede eats other arthropods, typically insects and arachnids. They eat spiders, beetles, worms, ants, moth larvae, and other centipedes. Generally, centipedes eat other pests in your house that you prefer not to have around. Centipedes use their venom to paralyze and kill their prey. They do not eat wood or anything else that might damage your home.
Are Centipedes Dangerous?
Centipedes are not dangerous to humans or pets. They do not transmit diseases. Their venom is toxic enough to kill their prey, yet only causes minor swelling in a human or pet. They do not typically bite. This may only happen if stepped on or grabbed.
What Attracts Centipede in Your House?
Three things attract centipedes--moisture, food, and shelter. Leaking or clogged gutters, dripping spigots, and moisture sitting around the foundation of your home can initially attract centipedes. If centipedes also find food around your home, such as spiders, worms, and other insects, they may wander inside. Stacking wood or leaving other objects around your home attracts centipedes. If they find any favorable conditions near your home and then find a hole or crack leading inside, they will likely choose to enter.
Once inside, moisture and food keep the centipede alive and thriving. Often, a centipede infestation points to a secondary infestation of a food source. Centipedes need moist environments in which to live. This is why they are most often found near pipes or drains and in basements.
How to Prevent Centipedes
If you see a centipede or two and are not comfortable sharing your living space with them, catch them and put them outside. Centipedes will not hurt you or damage your home. They will help control other pests inside your home. If you are concerned about the number of centipedes you are seeing, other preventative measures can be taken.
First of all, investigate to see if you have an infestation of other pests that are a food source to centipedes. You may need to put out sticky traps or use a pesticide to eliminate these other pests. It is also important to reduce moisture in your home. Investigate any leaking pipes or appliances that may not be working properly. Run your fan for five minutes after taking a shower to reduce moisture in the bathroom. Use a dehumidifier in moist areas of your home, such as the basement.
Also, seal up any cracks or holes on the exterior of your home that may allow centipedes to gain entry. Remove any piles of sticks or other rubbish from the exterior of your home. These piles could harbor centipedes close to your house and give them a gateway to come inside. Consider having a pest control company make bi-monthly or quarterly visits to spray around the exterior of your home. These services cost between $100 and $200 per visit.
Centipede vs Millipede
Although they often get confused with one another, many differences exist between centipedes and millipedes. A millipede has two pairs of legs on each body segment, making a millipede able to have many more legs than a centipede, up to 750. Millipedes have a tube-shaped body, unlike a centipede, which has a flat body. Millipedes are brown with darker colored accents. Millipedes also have a different diet than centipedes. While centipedes eat other pests, millipedes eat decaying leaves and plant materials and damp or decaying wood. If conditions are dry, millipedes may also eat living plants. Millipedes can damage your garden and your home if they find damp wood.
Silverfish vs Centipede
The easiest way to tell a silverfish and centipede apart is by looking at the number of legs. A silverfish only has six legs, while centipedes usually have at least 30. Silverfish are grayish silver and will always appear darker than centipedes. The length is another clue, with silverfish usually being less than an inch in length. Silverfish do not bite and eat paper, crumbs, dried up food, and natural fibers. Centipedes eat other pests, including silverfish.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Be sure to confirm that the pest control company you are working with is licensed. This ensures that their methods will be safe, and the company knows what they are doing.
- Ask for details about any chemicals the company is using on your property. You may have some doubts about whether chemicals are safe for humans and pets or whether you need to leave the house while being treated. Each company is different and uses different products, so the best choice is to ask them and follow their recommendations.
- Homeowners can purchase chemicals at a local hardware store and apply it themselves. They would not be as strong or effective as professional sprays. Homeowners can also try putting down sticky traps to catch centipedes inside the home.
- If you would like to try some natural methods for controlling centipedes, try planting mint or using essential oils with vanilla, cloves, rosemary, thyme, sesame, or tea tree oil. These strong smells can overwhelm insects. Place these oils near areas you feel centipedes may be getting into your home.
- Contrary to belief, centipedes will not cause any damage to your home and are very unlikely to crawl into your ear or bother you in any way unless you try to pick them up.
- Centipedes can never have 100 legs exactly.
- Do centipedes lay eggs?
Yes, centipedes generally lay their eggs in the soil. An average mother lays 63 eggs at a time and stays with them until they hatch to ensure they remain safe.
- How much does an exterminator cost for centipedes?
A one-time application of centipede insecticide around the exterior of your home will cost between $200 and $300.
- What causes centipedes in the house?
Centipedes come into the house if they are looking for shelter, food, or moisture. Small cracks create a pathway for them to get inside.
- Should I kill centipedes?
Unless there is a large infestation, it is unnecessary to kill centipedes. They can be good to have around for pest control.
- Are centipedes a bad sign?
A large number of centipedes can be a bad sign that you have a secondary infestation of a different pest, which is a food source for centipedes, or a problem with moisture in your home. One or two centipedes in your home is not a bad sign.
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