Imagine this: you are getting ready to brush your teeth early in the morning. It’s cold outside, and you have a whole day of work ahead of you when all of a sudden you notice a tiny creature with many legs crawling past you. There’s a centipede in your bathroom, and suddenly, you’re wide awake.
Centipedes have many ways of getting into houses and bathrooms. They are creepy to look at and uncomfortable to be around. This guide will walk you through a detailed explanation of what to do when a centipede finds its way into your house. While these creatures are a bit scary, getting rid of them is much easier than you would think.
Let’s take a closer look!
What Should You Know About Centipedes?
Contrary to popular belief, not all centipedes have 100 legs. The centipedes that enter homes usually have around 15 pairs of legs, meaning 30 legs each. These centipedes are never longer than an inch. Some centipede species have more than 300 legs and can grow up to 30 centimeters long.
They have dark yellow bodies, and their legs have white bands. Since they are small, they can also run quite fast. House centipedes are pretty agile. As a result, they tend to change the direction they run pretty often, which means that catching them could be a challenge. They can also climb up walls and run on vertical surfaces.
The average centipede’s body comprises 15 segments, each of which has a pair of legs on either side. Centipedes also have incredibly long legs that help them run away quickly. When identifying a centipede, make sure that you watch out for the pair of back legs. The back legs stick out much farther than the rest of the centipede’s body. Its two front legs act as a set of pincers to help the centipede capture prey and kill it.
Centipedes are solitary creatures, meaning that your home is unlikely to become infested by them. You must take care to remove them to prevent an infestation.
It’s also important to remember that centipedes are not disease-carrying arthropods. As a result, they cannot cause you much harm or damage your health.
Also read: How To Get Rid Of Sewer Flies In Bathroom
When Are Centipedes Active?
Centipedes are most active at night because they are nocturnal creatures. The reason that they often enter people’s homes is because of a change in temperature. For example, when the seasons change and winter kicks in, centipedes often find their way inside people’s homes because it is warmer and offers them food and shelter from the cold. As a result, they will hide in dark places during the day and search for food at night.
Can Centipedes Hurt Humans?
While a centipedes bite can cause itchiness and some discomfort, centipedes are harmless and cannot hurt humans. It’s also important to remember that centipedes cannot injure or kill humans through a single bite.
However, some centipedes emit certain toxins through their venom when they bite. If you are allergic to bees or wasps, there’s a chance that centipede venom could cause a painful allergic reaction. In some cases, the response could have cardiovascular effects as well. Please note that while these types of cases are rare, you must treat a centipede bite with caution and seek medical help if you are in extreme pain.
Suppose you ever get bitten by a centipede. In that case, you must take care to treat a centipede bite by washing the wound thoroughly with water and applying a calming lotion to ease the itchiness. Consult a doctor if you have other symptoms that cause extreme discomfort.
Why Are There Centipedes in My Bathroom?
Centipedes often hide and live in bathrooms because of the water and moisture. They cannot survive without moisture, and as a result, they migrate indoors when the weather gets cold. Aside from hiding in bathrooms, centipedes are often found in basements and kitchens because of the moisture and dampness.
How Do Centipedes Get into the Bathroom?
Unfortunately, centipedes are intelligent creatures that have a variety of ways to get inside a bathroom. They come inside the old-fashioned way, for starters: through the bathroom door or window. Suppose your bathroom window happens to overlook a garden. In that case, there’s a high possibility that the centipede crawled up the external drain pipe and made its way inside.
If you like to keep potted plants inside your bathroom, there’s a chance that a centipede crawled up a drain, snuck into the bathroom, and hid in the soil of your plant. If you keep your damp bath towels hanging in the bathroom after a shower for a few days, you may find a centipede nesting in the wet towel. As we mentioned earlier, centipedes tend to live in places with a source of food. Therefore, if it smells cockroaches or other insects, it is likely to follow them to wherever they live.
How to Get Rid of Centipedes in Your Bathroom?
Once you’ve spotted a centipede in your bathroom, you want to get rid of it as soon as you possibly can.
Let’s take a closer look at the different ways to get rid of a centipede.
Centipedes don’t reproduce as quickly as cockroaches, earwigs, and drain flies. Therefore, since these creatures don’t cause harm to your health, an excellent first step is to catch the centipede and take it outside. Please note that we’re recommending this first option if you’ve found only one centipede in your bathroom. If there is only one, it is unlikely that centipedes are infesting your bathroom and the rest of your house.
To catch a centipede, you will need:
- A sheet of paper
- A plastic glass
Make sure that you approach the centipede gently, so you don’t scare it away and cause it to hide. Approach it slowly and quietly, but make sure that you move quickly as you get near it. Slide the sheet of paper underneath the centipede and immediately cover it with the plastic cup.
Even though centipedes can climb vertically, they cannot climb up slick or smooth surfaces, like plastic or glass.
Take the centipede out of your home, and close your bathroom window and door.
Use peppermint oil, dish soap, and vinegar
While catching a centipede and taking it outside is humane, there are times when you need to resort to stronger methods to get rid of household pests. In this scenario, you will need some essential oils and dish soap.
For this method, you will need:
- One cup of white vinegar
- One tablespoon of dish soap.
- At least 50 drops of peppermint oil
- A spray bottle
Distill the ingredients mentioned above into the spray bottle, and shake well to combine the vinegar and dish soap. Spray this mixture on the centipedes whenever you see one. Creatures like centipedes do not react well to essential oils like peppermint and lavender, which is why they are so effective at getting rid of household pests.
You can also spray large quantities of this mixture in areas where a centipede would hide. These include the inside corners of bathroom cabinets, under your bathroom sink, the window sill, and all the corners of your shower and shower door.
Please make sure you pick the centipede up when you are entirely convinced that it is dead because you don’t want to get bitten. They have incredibly sharp pincers and can hurt your fingers when you pick them up. Use a piece of toilet paper or thick rubber gloves to pick the dead centipede up, then throw it in the garbage. We wouldn’t recommend flushing a dead centipede down the toilet because it could cause a blockage in your plumbing system.
Seal all entry points in your house
Since centipedes are small and thin creatures, they can easily squeeze through cracks and gaps. Therefore, we suggest that you seal as many entry points as possible throughout your home to prevent them from coming in.
Fill in all the cracks in your walls and the foundation of your house. If you can, install a mesh screen on your bathroom window. This way, you can prevent pests from coming in, but you can still keep the glass pane open and allow your bathroom to air out. It would help if you also kept your bathroom door closed when you are not using the toilet because this helps prevent centipedes and other insects from coming in.
Make use of boric acid
You can easily buy Boric acid from your local hardware store. It is used to kill various insects and bugs including centipedes. Boric acid is also one of the most hands-off methods you could use to get rid of pests. It would be best if you sprinkled it all over your bathroom. Take care to spread it in the gaps between tiles, inside and underneath cabinets, and all over your shower. You must also ensure that you sprinkle it generously near your bathroom sink.
Please ensure that your bathroom is dry before using boric acid because it is inactive when wet. Once the centipede ingests the boric acid, it will become dehydrated and die after a few hours.
Also read: How To Get Rid Of Leeches In Bathroom
How to Keep Centipedes Out of Bathroom Permanently?
To prevent centipedes from returning to your bathroom, you could try out the two following tips:
Purchase a dehumidifier
Since centipedes love moisture, you could invest in a dehumidifier and use it in your bathroom. It helps get rid of water, and in turn, prevents centipedes from coming back.
Eliminate all pests
Centipedes eat insects like roaches, flies, and ants. Those types of insects love moisture, which is why they live in bathrooms. Therefore, by killing all of those creatures and preventing them from returning, you’re cutting off the centipede’s food supply and stopping it from returning.
Why Should I Never Kill a House Centipede?
You shouldn’t kill a centipede because it can help you get rid of household pests like roaches and spiders. This is why we recommended taking them outside instead of killing them.
What Do Centipedes Eat?
Centipedes will live in a bathroom only if there are creatures like spiders or cockroaches in there for them to feed on. Since centipedes are predatory creatures, their diets consist of other insects. Therefore, if your bathroom contains other insects and tiny animals, you are likely to find several centipedes in there.
Centipedes are creepy-looking creatures that scare us every time we look at them! They love moisture and dark places, making bathrooms the perfect place for them to hide in. In this article, we took you through a list of ways to help you prevent centipedes from coming back into your house, along with some methods that show you how to get rid of them completely.