WSU Extension


Caption: Centipede
Photo by: Roger Akre
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(revision date: 7/14/2015)

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful pest management.

Centipedes are a class of arthropods related to insects. Centipedes are very fast moving and flat. Centipedes have a pair of poison jaws that assist them in overcoming prey. Hence they are considered beneficial predators. Centipedes have a single pair of legs on each body segment. They are variable in length, but most are about an inch long. They are found in many places but are usually found in protected places such as in the soil, under bark, or in decaying stumps or logs. Indoors they can typically be found in basements, bathrooms, or where other insects are found.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Physically destroy, vacuum or carefully remove and place them outdoors where they can be useful.
  • Eliminate ways for centipedes to gain access to your home. Install door sweeps or decrease space at door threshold. Secure window screens.
  • Collect and inspect firewood before bringing into the house.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Pesticide applications are not recommended. Applying pesticides outdoors for centipedes is not advised since they are predators or beneficial organisms.

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Caption: Centipede
Photo by: Roger Akre