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Centipedes have elongated, flattened bodies with many legs. They are carnivorous and feed on small insects and invertebrates. They have venomous fangs that are used to kill their prey and feed mainly at night in dark, damp places.

Centipedes are not considered dangerous to humans, but their bite can cause swelling or itching. Although they are considered beneficial to have in gardens, centipedes in your home can be unwelcome guests.


Centipedes have a flat, elongated body ranging from 1 to 12 inches, depending on the species. Their body is segmented, and each segment typically has one pair of legs. Their color varies from pale yellow to dark brown; some might have dark stripes or markings. A distinctive feature is their venomous claws, located just behind their head, which they use to capture prey.

Common Centipedes Species

Clear Colored Centipedes

Clear Colored Centipedes, as their name implies, have a translucent appearance that can often make them harder to spot at first glance. These centipedes can be found in many parts of the world and prefer humid environments. Their almost transparent body gives them a slight advantage in camouflaging within their surroundings, especially in watery habitats. Although their venom is effective for hunting smaller prey, it's generally not harmful to humans. The bite might cause mild irritation, but serious reactions are rare.

Giant Desert Centipedes

Giant Desert Centipedes are intimidating, often reaching lengths of up to 8 inches. As the name suggests, they are native to the deserts of the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. Their coloration varies, but they typically have dark bodies with bright yellow legs. These centipedes are known for their painful bite, which they use to incapacitate their prey, ranging from insects to small vertebrates. While their venom can cause a painful reaction in humans, it's rarely life-threatening. Their size and vibrant color often make them a fascination among enthusiasts.

House Centipedes

House Centipedes are a common sight in many households around the world. They're easily identifiable with a length of 1-1.5 inches and a unique appearance, characterized by their 15 pairs of long, striped legs. These centipedes are nocturnal and are often found in damp areas of homes, such as basements or bathrooms. House centipedes feed on pests like spiders, bedbugs, and termites, making them beneficial from a certain perspective. Their bites are rare and, while they might cause a slight sting, are not harmful to humans.

Texas Redheaded Centipedes

Texas Redheaded Centipedes are native to the southwestern United States. These impressive creatures can grow up to 6-8 inches in length. They have a distinct black body, contrasting with their bright red head and yellow legs, making them quite striking in appearance. The Texas Redheaded Centipede is an aggressive predator, feeding on everything from insects to small vertebrates. Their venomous bite can be painful to humans and might cause swelling, chills, or fever, but it is not deadly. They prefer damp environments and can often be found under rocks or logs during the daytime.



Centipedes prefer damp, dark environments. Outside, they inhabit leaf piles, grass thatch, logs, and under stones. Inside homes, they’re often found in basements, closets, bathrooms, or any area with moisture and limited light. They’re nocturnal, so they’re most active at night and prefer to hide during the day.


Centipedes are carnivorous and feed on insects, spiders, and other small animals. Using their venomous claws, they paralyze their prey before consuming it. Some larger species might even feed on small vertebrates. Their preference for pests benefits them in gardens, as they help naturally control the pest population.

Centipede Control Service

How to eliminate Centipedes

  • Reduce Humidity: Centipedes thrive in damp environments. Use dehumidifiers in basements and ensure proper ventilation in bathrooms.
  • Seal Entry Points: Check for gaps in windows, doors, and foundations. Sealing these points can prevent centipedes from entering.
  • Clean Clutter: Remove piles of leaves, wood, or other debris around your home’s foundation.
  • Apply Pesticides: Consider using approved pesticides in areas with high centipede activity. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Hire Professionals: If the centipede problem persists, it might be time to call the experts. At Mint Pest Control, we have the expertise to tackle any centipede issue.


What causes a centipede problem?

There are many contributing factors to a centipede problem in your home, but the most important are climate, location, and access to food.

    • Climate - homes built in warm and humid climates may be more likely to attract centipedes as they are drawn to higher moisture levels

    • Location - if your house is near a forest, desert, cave, or mountain region, these are known to be common habitats for centipedes

    • Food access - if your hard has a higher population of smaller insects that centipedes eat, more pests may be drawn to the property

Using a dehumidifier to lower moisture levels, getting rid of piles or leaves or firewood, and sealing cracks in your home can help to prevent a centipede infestat

Are centipedes poisonous?

Yes, but their venom is primarily used to paralyze their prey. While a bite might cause mild human irritation, it's not harmful.

How long do centipedes live?

Their lifespan can vary from 1 to 6 years, depending on the species and environmental factors.

Why are centipedes in my house?

They're likely seeking food or shelter from outdoor conditions.

Do centipedes reproduce quickly?

No, centipedes lay fewer eggs than other pests, and they reproduce once a year.

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