How to Banish Centipedes From Your Home Quickly & Easily

Centipedes may not be the most harmful household pest, but they can certainly be an unappealing nuisance. They won’t damage your foundation or your furniture and they’re not interested in the food in your pantry. However, if you find these pests creepy and just too disturbing, there are several things you can do to rid your spaces of centipedes. Here’s how to quickly and easily evict centipedes from your home.

1. Capture

Centipedes are fast, but they don’t generally invade in large numbers. If you can trap the ones you see and either squish them or relocate them outside, you’ll be well on your way to controlling the problem. To transfer a centipede to the yard, trap one under a jar or cup, slide a piece of paper underneath the opening to keep the bug in the jar, then take it outside. Do not touch a centipede with your bare hands—they do bite. Although they are not prone to attacking humans, one might bite in self-defense; the bite would feel similar to a bee sting.

2. Traps

Sticky traps, such as those used for other insects and rodents, are effective at catching centipedes. Place traps next to the baseboards in the corners of your rooms to capture not only the multilegged creatures but also the bugs they’ve been feasting on—which, incidentally, could help uncover your underlying pest problem.

3. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural insecticide. The crushed shells of these diatoms, which are similar to plankton, leave small cuts on an insect’s body as it walks over them. Moisture escapes the insect’s body from these small cuts, leading to its eventual death. Sprinkling diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of your home, and anywhere else you often see centipedes will keep the pests at bay.

4. Mint

This is a wonderful insect repellent. Mint deters nearly every type of bug and centipedes are no exception. Many companies are turning to natural insecticides containing mint oil instead of harsh poisons. Not only do these natural insecticides kill on contact, but they also will often keep centipedes from returning for some time. In addition to their effectiveness, natural insecticides containing mint oil are generally safe for use around children and pets.

5. Essential oils

With extremely sensitive antennae, centipedes have an exceptional sense of smell. This great sense of smell can be used to your advantage in keeping them away. Essential oils, such vanilla, and tea tree oil, smell great to us, but are overwhelming to centipedes and other insects. Dabbing a small amount of tea tree oil on window sills and basement doors will create a scent barrier that will keep centipedes away for months.