Centipedes certainly aren’t a welcome sight in any home, especially when they find their way into your bathroom.
Their multiple legs and fast-moving nature can be quite unnerving, but don’t worry—you’re not alone in your desire to get rid of these creepy crawlies.
This article will provide you with effective methods to eliminate centipedes from your bathroom and prevent future infestations.
There are many ways to eliminate centipedes in the bathroom, such as spraying pesticides, putting mothballs, different repellent plants, and sprinkling salt.
Whether you live in a single-family house or an apartment, your bathroom is always at risk of centipede infestation.
Therefore, knowing everything about killing and keeping those little critters away from your home is essential.
Biology and Behavior
Centipedes are fascinating arthropods with many legs, typically over 30 pairs, depending on the species. One of the most common species you might find in your home is the house centipede, Scutigera coleoptrata.
They can grow a few inches long and have more than 15 pairs of legs, making them agile and fast. Centipedes go through a non-metamorphosis life cycle, experiencing numerous moltings into adulthood.
House centipedes are nocturnal predators, meaning they are active during the night when they hunt other small insects for food.
They are equipped with venomous fangs, which they use to immobilize their prey. However, these fangs are usually harmless to humans.
Habitat and Food Source
House centipedes prefer damp and dark environments, making areas such as basements, bathrooms, and kitchens attractive to them.
They tend to dwell near drains or in the cabinets under the sink, since these places often provide moisture and shelter that these arthropods need.
In addition to moisture, centipedes require a food source, which typically consists of other pests like spiders, flies, and cockroaches. So, in a way, they can benefit you by reducing the number of other insects in your home.
To create a less attractive environment for centipedes in your bathroom, it is important to:
- Address any existing moisture problems: Fix leaks, ventilate the area, and use a dehumidifier if necessary.
- Declutter and clean regularly: Sweep and vacuum to remove dirt, dust, and hidden insects that centipedes may feed on.
- Seal potential entry points: Check for cracks and gaps around windows, doors, and pipes, and seal them to prevent centipedes and other pests from entering.
Tackling these issues in your bathroom can be helpful to deter centipedes from setting up camp in your home.
Centipede Infestation in Bathrooms
While centipedes can encroach on any area in a house, they love to settle in bathrooms as they love damp, dark places, of which a bathroom has plenty!
Due to this, encountering crawling centipedes in the bathroom is common unless you take preventative measures.
Understanding the factors that attract them to this area of your home is essential for successful prevention and control.
Preventing Centipedes from Entering Your Bathroom
As the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure. You should employ techniques to keep centipedes out of your home first, and if those do not work, only then move on to assassinating centipedes.
Seal Cracks and Openings
Perhaps the most straightforward method to prevent centipedes from coming into a bathroom is spackling all holes and fissures in the walls and between tiles.
Centipedes are drawn towards moisture, which is why they love to be in bathrooms and the best route to get there is through the cracks in the walls and between tiles.
Therefore, sealing gaps in walls and tiles seems like a clean solution to keep the crawling critters away from your bathroom.
Inspect your bathroom thoroughly, including doors, windows, and walls for cracks or holes, and seal them using caulk or other appropriate materials.
Replace old or damaged weatherstripping around doors and windows to create a tight seal.
Keep in mind that centipedes are elusive little pests and can get away sneakily through holes and gaps.
- Damp spaces: Cracks and crevices in damp areas can provide ideal hiding spots for centipedes.
- Bathroom cabinets: These structures may offer additional shelter, especially in corners and behind items stored within.
So shutting those entry points is not only crucial for preventing them from entering your bathroom but also killing them once they have entered the premises.
Therefore, regardless of where you stand in your battle against centipedes, you must spackle up the walls and add grout between tiles to seal all spaces which may become an entrance for centipedes.
Reduce Moisture and Humidity
One of the primary reasons centipedes are attracted to your bathroom is the abundance of moisture and humidity. These creatures thrive in damp, humid environments which they find in certain areas of your home.
Bathrooms often provide the perfect conditions for centipedes, especially if there is poor ventilation or persistent dampness.
- Drains: Centipedes are known to hide in drains due to the moisture they provide. These spaces include sinks, bathtubs, and showers.
- Plumbing: Leaky pipes and other plumbing issues can lead to damp areas around your bathroom, attracting centipedes.
- Vents: If your bathroom vent is not functioning properly or is blocked, humidity levels can rise, creating a comfortable environment for centipedes to thrive.
Consider investing in a dehumidifier, which helps maintain optimal levels of moisture in the environment. Alternatively, run an exhaust fan while using the shower to prevent excess moisture buildup.
Additionally, you can use natural remedies like white vinegar and baking soda to absorb moisture.
Place small containers or bowls of these substances in damp areas to help maintain a dryer environment, thus making your bathroom less appealing to centipedes.
Take Away Their Food Source
All living beings need sustenance to survive, and if they don’t get it, they starve to death. That is exactly what you need to do in order to deter centipedes from coming into your bathroom.
They prey on small insects, spiders, and other pests that are commonly found around damp spaces in your home.
Kill all tiny insects such as ants and bugs in your bathroom because they become food for centipedes, hence attracting the leggy critters.
In other words, when centipedes have a feast to enjoy, they will never stop coming to that place.
Henceforth, use pesticide spray to end all pests that offer nourishment to centipedes. When you do that, these unwelcome guests will starve and let the rest of their community know that your abode is out of bounds.
Illuminate Your Bathroom
Many people like to have dim lighting in their bathroom for ambiance to enjoy a long warm bath after a stressful day at work.
Due to this, they install dimmable mood lights in their bathroom, which make their bathroom welcoming for not just them but also centipedes.
Insects prefer darkness, so if you provide them with a dimly lit area, they will come running to settle in their new home.
Simply put, stick to regular bright LED lights in your bathroom instead of mood lighting.
Lemon grass or citronella is a natural repellant for most insects, and centipedes are no different.
Leave lemon grass leaves close to dark recesses to shoo away centipedes that try to make their way into your bathroom.
As mentioned above, centipedes love damp, dark places and typically enter through tiny holes and gaps in the walls; place citronella near such areas.
When you do that, the strong smell wafting from lemongrass will scare all the little elongated creatures who trespass into your territory.
If you don’t want to put raw lemongrass bits in your bathroom, you can purchase citronella products, such as sprays from the market to scare off centipedes.
Put Pandan Or Screwpine Leaves
Pandan, fragrant screwpine, or vanilla grass is another effective organic repellant to keep centipedes at bay. It is a powerfully aromatic plant that drives insects away.
If you can’t find lemongrass, you can use pandan leaves to do the job. Place the plant bits in corners and crannies around your bathroom, and let the scent spread.
Once that happens, all centipedes will retreat, and you will have a pest-free bathroom.
You may not be comfortable putting pandan leaves directly onto the bathroom floor, so keep them in small open containers and place those next to the problem areas (entry points of centipedes),
Use Essential Oils
Centipedes are uncomfortable around strong scents, to the point that they feel suffocated and die.
For this reason, powerfully scented products work like magic in keeping these elongated critters away.
With that in mind, you can pour a few drops into the corners of your bathroom and let the aroma do its job.
To make a repellant spray, add 20-50 drops of your chosen essential oil (such as cedar or peppermint) to a spray bottle, fill the rest with water, and saturate the areas where centipedes have been spotted.
You can also light some incense sticks infused with essential oils to fend off centipedes.
Doing so will not only make your space pest-free but also add beauty to it.
If you enjoy having a pleasant ambiance in your bathroom and don’t want it to be marred due to pandan leaves or drops of essential oil, you can use scented incense to get rid of approaching centipedes.
Keep Your Bathroom Clean
It goes without saying that insects love to dwell in dirty places. That means if you leave your bathroom and the area around it untidy, you will provide an excellent breeding ground for centipedes.
Therefore, be sure to deep clean your bathroom and the space around it. Pour vinegar or a 50:50 water/bleach solution down drains to deter centipedes and prevent their entry.
Moreover, keep the rest of your house tidy too so that centipedes don’t settle in any other places because if that happens, they can easily enter your bathroom as well.
Bear in mind that when cleaning your bathroom, you leave it dry after you are done with the tidying routine, or else the moisture left behind will attract centipedes.
Wipe off the water and turn on the ventilation to dry your bathroom quickly.
Also, if you have leaks in the bathroom, such as a leaking pipe or faulty faucet that may be dripping water that seeps into the spaces between tiles, fix those immediately.
Doing so will tackle the dampness and shoo away all centipedes trying to take over your bathroom.
With all that said, sometimes precautionary measures may not be enough to scare centipedes away from a bathroom. In that case, you need to bring out the big guns and kill the tiny elongated slithering monsters.
The easiest way to kill centipedes is by spraying pesticides in the corners of your bathroom. You can find many formulas to do so on the market. Buy one of those and get to work.
Once you have doused every nook and cranny of your bathroom in pesticide spray, let the chemical do its job and don’t use the bathroom for a while.
After a considerable amount of time has passed, only then use the bathroom.
Furthermore, when you enter your bathroom, open the windows and turn on the ventilation system because the strong scent of such sprays can be harmful to your lungs.
Besides that, it may affect other respiratory organs as well, so be sure to cover your nose and mouth when entering a bathroom that’s been sprayed with a pesticide solution.
Apart from store-bought products, you can try home remedies to eradicate centipedes.
Apply Natural Insecticides
Effective insecticides for centipedes include diatomaceous earth and boric acid.
Diatomaceous earth is a natural powder that can be sprinkled around areas where centipedes are seen. This powder has sharp edges that will pierce the exoskeleton of centipedes, causing them to dehydrate and die.
Boric acid is another natural pesticide that can be applied in similar areas, killing centipedes through ingestion or contact with their bodies.
Cayenne pepper is a natural alternative that can help deter centipedes. You can sprinkle it in areas where you’ve noticed centipedes, such as behind toilets, under sinks, or in other damp spaces in your bathroom.
A homemade pesticide can also be made using dish soap and water. Mix two tablespoons of liquid dish soap with a gallon of warm water in a spray bottle and then spray the solution in dark crevices and corners of your bathroom.
Reapply every few days to ensure centipedes come in contact with the spray.
Taking these steps should help you eliminate centipedes from your bathroom using both natural and chemical methods.
Salt is not only effective in warding off demons but also centipedes! Sprinkle a generous amount of salt in places in your bathroom regularly frequented by centipedes.
Leave the white condiment to do its work for a few hours or even overnight. The next day, wash it away with warm water.
Always use warm water to rinse all kinds of sludge as it is antiseptic, so it renders every surface pathogen-free.
Put Moth Balls
As strange as it may sound, the perfume from moth balls can be comforting for many people, but it’s certainly not so for centipedes.
That’s right! Many people enjoy smelling the scent that comes from naphthalene balls, so put those around your bathroom. They will bring a peculiarly pleasant fragrance into your bathroom and kill centipedes.
Mothballs produce a gas poisonous to centipedes, which is why when they inhale the air around naphthalene balls, they don’t survive.
Therefore, place a handful of mothballs in a petri dish or small container and keep it next to tiny openings that let centipedes in your space.
Set Sticky Traps
Besides pesticide sprays, sticky insect traps are incredibly effective in killing the leggy lodgers that encroach bathrooms.
If you want to get rid of the elongated occupants residing in your bathroom rent-free, purchase sticky traps online or from a brick and mortar store and set them in multiple spots.
Soon after, you will see centipedes stuck to the adhesive bug trap.
Such off-the-counter products can offer a greater sense of peace as you get to see the lifeless bodies of centipedes stuck to the trap surface.
So, if you want to witness the end of centipedes, get your hands on any adhesive trap to kill centipedes.
Keep in mind that there are many similar products available on the market that are suited for other insects such as cockroaches, spiders, crickets, etc. Therefore, make sure to pick the right article.
Dangers and Health Risks Associated with Centipedes
Centipede Bites and Stings
While centipedes are mostly a nuisance, their bites can cause discomfort and pain.
When a centipede bites, it injects venom, which helps them kill their prey.
Although not venomous enough to be lethal to humans, sensitive individuals might experience more pronounced symptoms like swelling, redness, and itchiness.
The degree of pain and reaction depends on various factors, such as your age, size, and general health. However, it is essential to clean the bite area thoroughly as a preventive measure against possible infections.
Presence of Other Pests
Centipedes lurking in your bathroom may indicate the presence of other pests like ants, roaches, silverfish, flies, and termites.
These creatures often become food for the centipedes. Simultaneously, some of these pests, such as termites, can cause structural damage to your property.
Additionally, pests like cockroaches, flies, and silverfish may carry diseases and contribute to a less sanitary environment.
Many centipedes prey on other insects, so their presence might suggest underlying issues with moisture, cracks or gaps in your bathroom.
By addressing these root problems, you can reduce the chances of centipedes and their prey sharing your living space.
When to Call a Professional Exterminator
Signs of a Severe Infestation
If you notice an increasing number of centipedes in your bathroom, it may be time to call a professional exterminator. Look for the following signs of a severe infestation:
- Frequent sightings: Regular encounters with centipedes in your bathroom or other areas of your home, such as your basement or near drains.
- Multiple nesting spots: Discovering centipedes in cracks, crevices, or damp corners in your bathroom and other rooms.
- Persistent problem: Trying multiple DIY pest control methods, like using vinegar, but the problem persists or worsens.
Choosing the Right Exterminator
It’s essential to choose an experienced and trustworthy pest control professional to handle your centipede infestation effectively. Keep these factors in mind when selecting an exterminator:
- Experience: Look for a pest control company with a proven track record in dealing with centipede infestations, especially in bathrooms or damp areas like basements.
- Certifications: Ensure the exterminator has the necessary certifications and licenses to operate in your area.
- Reviews: Check online reviews, ask friends and neighbors, or consult local community groups for recommendations.
- Services offered: Confirm that the exterminator specializes in controlling insect infestations, such as centipedes, and offers effective treatment options that align with your specific needs.
Before hiring a professional exterminator, consider asking them questions about their approach:
- How do you assess and treat centipede infestations?
- What methods do you employ for long-term prevention?
- Are your treatment methods safe for my family and pets?
- How long will the extermination process take?
- What post-treatment steps should I take to ensure the problem doesn’t reoccur?
Companies like Orkin have a strong reputation in the pest control industry and could be an excellent option to consider. Remember to thoroughly research and compare multiple exterminators before making a decision.
While centipedes are not necessarily harmful to humans, they can bite and make you squirm in uneasiness. That is why we want to get rid of these leggy lodgers as quickly as possible.
If you want to do that too, employ any of the tricks mentioned in the article and make your bathroom free of centipedes.
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