Hard Shelled Centipedes In My House – What To Do?

Centipedes are not harmful creatures to humans, but they can cause a nuisance, especially in large numbers. We did comprehensive research to find the best ways to help you get rid of them, here are our findings.

Centipedes are arthropods, just like most home insects. You can get rid of them with chemicals like Ortho home defense or max indoor insect barrier. Since they inhabit dark and wet places, you can also clean damp parts of your home to get rid of their living area.

Additionally, you can try any of the other methods that would be explained in this article. Hang on and continue reading as we would explain ways to know you have a centipede infestation and how to get rid of them for good.

Centipedes (Scutigera coleoptrata) on the wall look in different directions, Hard Shelled Centipedes In My House - What To Do?

Hard-Shelled Centipedes [Life Cycle]

Centipede (Arthropod/Uniramia/Chilopoda), whole length about 5 inches

Centipedes are just like terrestrial crabs and oysters. They are mildly harmful to human health except for the fact that some people have allergies to them. They inhabit moist places like basements, attics, and dark damp areas. That is the same reason you will find them around your pipes or toilets. 

They are usually referred to as 100-legged worms, with their numbered legs and their poisonous glands. Centipedes are always about 1-12 inches long. They also have their head and body flattened to the ground. 

The reproduction method of animals is mostly based on their habitat. So centipedes prefer to lay their eggs in dark, moist soil. From there they slowly developed and they can live up to 6 full years. 

If you have hard-shelled centipedes around your home, there is a possibility that their breeding ground is close. So to eliminate them you would have to find the source.

Why Are Hard Shelled Centipedes in My House?

House centipede on the ceiling in the house

Centipedes can choose to breed anywhere, however, they are less likely to occupy a tidy home in a dry area. Often times there are factors like dirt accumulation and dampness that attracts them.

The main reason animals prefer to occupy an area is due to survival. They specifically need food, protection, and a comfortable area to stay.

Other insects or pests in your home can serve as the foods that might have attracted them to your house. This includes earthworms, spiders, silverfish, cockroaches, bed bugs, and so on.

For protection reasons, they tend to stay in dark areas away from sunlight, which is a reason they are more active at night. There are areas that are hidden around the house such as the basement, under the pipes, rocks, and block drains that might attract centipedes.

All in all, once your home seems like a safe breeding ground for pests like centipedes, they would occupy it, lay eggs and build a colony.

How to Get Rid of Hard-Shelled Centipedes in My House?

If you have come across hard-shelled centipedes around your house often, getting rid of them should be on your mind. Since they are attracted to food and protection, taking that away from them is a simple method of making your home unfavorable.

However, since they feed on other insects, which are also very difficult to get rid of in every house, then it might just be difficult to get rid of these centipedes completely.

That aside, you should always keep your house clean and tidy. Unclean, cloggy, and moist areas are very conducive for home insects. If you can find a way to keep your home hygienic all the time, this is enough to prevent these insects from getting around your home. 

Also, if you feel like using chemicals to fight against hard-shelled centipedes in your house, then you can go for safe pesticides like Ortho home defense or max indoor insect barrier. However be careful when using these pesticides especially when you have pets, children, or home occupants with respiratory challenges. Check out the Ortho home defense on Amazon.

Substances you can also try include Boric acid and Diatomaceous earth. These are substances that can dehydrate any insects to the extent that they start shelling out their exoskeleton. Also, they affect the digestion of this centipede, resulting in low nutrients for them, which would later lead to their death. 

Meanwhile, if you come across hard-shelled centipedes only once in a while, you can just use a broom and a dust pan to remove them from your house. Do not squash or kill them as that could trigger an allergy.

If you have any tea tree oil or peppermint oil, they can serve as a repellent against centipedes and other insects. Once they come across these repellants, they would avoid that particular area.

How Do You Tell The Difference Between a Millipede and Centipede?


Millipedes and centipedes are organisms from the same family. In fact, a lot of people use their names interchangeably. Unless you have done the background research you might not be able to know which is a millipede and which is a centipede since they look alike. 

A millipede is mainly a pest that feeds on plants on your farm. It is one of the organisms found on most farms. Centipedes, on the other hand, feed on insects such as cockroaches. Hence, they can serve as a biological repellant against unwanted insects in your home. 

Those that are able to recognize them in the first instance prefer to refer to a millipede as a 1,000-legged organism while a centipede is referred to as a 100-legged animal. 

Centipedes have poisonous glands which are missing in millipedes. So avoid centipede bites even though they aren't harmful. Millipedes live virtually all their lifetime burrowing into the soil and living under it.

However, for centipedes, once their eggs develop, they would begin to look for another area to spend their lifetime. 

The Centipede Walking on The Ground in The Farm

Are Centipedes Harmful?

Centipede climbing on branches

Health experts refer to centipedes as organisms with mild poison. They have poisonous glands which also help in their digestion. Some of them have poisons that contain toxic substances such as histamine, serotonin, and cardio-depressant toxins.

Although, you should not allow them to bite you, if they do, they would release these toxic substances. 

The reason their poison is regarded as mild is that you can easily wash off their poison with soap and water from your body. You can also perform other first-aid procedures like cleaning with antiseptics to get rid of the poison.

What Is The Difference Between a Silverfish and a Centipede?

Insect feeding on paper - silverfish. Pest books and newspapers.

Silverfish, undoubtedly, are one of the most difficult insects to get rid of in the home. They reproduce in hundreds within a very short period of time and they can always stay anywhere around your house, walls, floors, zinc, and so on. 

Compared to centipedes, silverfish mostly feed on natural fabrics and books. They differ in color too with silverfish being greyish or metallic in color while centipede is yellowish.

Also, the length of centipedes is always a lot more than silverfish. The range of length of centipedes is more than double the size of centipedes.

Do Centipedes Mean Your House Is Dirty?

Centipedes do not necessarily mean your house is dirty. However, it's a signal that you should keep your house tidier as soon as possible. Especially if you live in an area with high humidity and lots of rain.

These insects that make your home inviting for centipedes, such as cockroaches and silverfish, live in unhygienic or untidy environments. Get rid of static logs or piles of materials in your yard and make sure you carry out a routine inspection of your basements, attics, and other hidden areas.

Should I Be Worried If I See a Hard-Shelled Centipede?

Centipede climb on the branches

Not really, centipedes do not indicate a problem in your house if you do not have bugs they can feed on. Also, you should understand that centipedes can help you get rid of other pests so finding a few around shouldn't be a cause to worry about. Unless they start breeding in large numbers.

How Do You Know If You Have a Centipede Infestation?

Black centipede on sink drain in human house.

If you want to know if your house has been infested by centipedes, the first sign you would see is the centipede itself. These pests would move around freely, looking out for other insects and bugs around your house to feed on. Hence, they are very easy to detect. 

To Wrap Up

If you have centipedes in your house, you can easily get rid of them with the methods explained above, although they might prove stubborn since they multiply in hundreds. One sure way to eliminate hard-shelled centipedes from your home is also keeping your home clean and avoiding the habitation of other pests.

To read more on other types of pests and insects, check out these engaging articles:

How Big Can Lady Bugs [Lady Beetles] Get?

Can Stink Bugs Eat Plants?