At Onsite Pest Control we specialize in centipede removal in Vancouver and surrounding areas. Centipedes have a rounded or flattened head, bearing a pair of antennae at the forward margin. Despite the name, centipedes can have a varying number of legs from under 20 to over 300. Although nocturnal you can usually find these insects around the perimeter of your home or in your crawl space.
Centipedes belong to the botanical phylum of arthropoda which also include crustaceans, arachnids and insects. Arthropods are invertebrates and have an protective exoskeleton, a body with several segments and feet with joints (arthro means joined and poda means foot). Centipedes are terrestrial and look like worms but with a flatter segmented body and a pair of legs on each segment. They are often confused with millipedes which are more rounded and have four legs on each of the segments of its body. The legs of the centipede is much longer than that of a millipede giving it the ability to move much faster. When threatened, centipedes seek refuge in the nearest dark place such as cracks and crevices, beneath the bark of firewood or under anything in its path unlike millipedes which form a tight coil when disturbed.
A number of species of centipede are found in Canada and range from a length of 2.5 cm to around 8 cm. House centipedes frequent damp, dark places and are commonly found near drains, in basements and bathrooms. Other centipedes found outdoors live under stones, fallen leaves or in soil, also stray into houses when the weather gets too cold. The seaweed found in the inter tidal zones is home to a couple of centipede species.
Centipedes are more active at night. They possess poison glands and can inject poison through their bite. The bite of house centipedes is not strong enough to break through the skin of human beings. Other species can inflict bites on human beings and pets. The bite is not worse than a mild bee sting with the effects of the bite wearing off within a few hours. Centipedes generally are not hostile towards human beings but may bite if disturbed suddenly.
If you choose to get rid of centipedes, the first thing to do is to get rid of its favourite hiding places. This can be achieved by getting rid of any unwanted debris that may be lying around especially in basements, filling in cracks and crevices and taking measures to eliminate of reduce dampness to the extent possible. Dehumidifiers and fans are very effective in drying out excess moisture from damp areas. Insecticidal dusts like silica dust or borate can be effectively used in dry areas while botanical insecticides are the preferred choice for the places which are damp.
Treatment for Centipedes will consist of a light residual spray to all active areas and perimeters of the affected unit.