Everything about Centipedes

Everything About Centipedes
Feature Description
Types House centipedes, Stone centipedes, Soil centipedes, etc.
Size Vary from small (less than 1 inch) to large (up to 12 inches in some tropical species).
Common Habitats Moist environments like soil, under stones, leaf litter, or rotting wood.
Diet Insects, spiders, and other small animals. They use venom to paralyze their prey.
Behavior Primarily nocturnal. Fast movers and can be aggressive when threatened.

Dissecting Centipedes Anatomy

Centipedes, belonging to the class Chilopoda, are elongated, segmented arthropods known for their numerous legs. Despite their name, which translates to “hundred legs”, centipedes can have a varying number of legs ranging from 30 to over 300, depending on the species. Let’s break down their anatomy:

How Do I Get Rid Of Centipedes?​

To address a centipede issue, eliminate damp spaces and seal entry points in your home. Regular cleaning and removing debris from the house perimeter can also help.

For minor occurrences, DIY methods might suffice. However, if the infestation intensifies or DIY methods fail, it’s advisable to opt for professional Centipede Control & Removal services.

Experts in this field offer specialized treatments, ensuring effective and long-term solutions to centipede challenges.

What are the most common types of Centipedes in Canada?

Canada, given its varied climates and habitats, hosts a variety of centipede species. However, while there are many species of centipedes found around the world, only a subset of these are commonly encountered in Canada. Some of the most common types of centipedes in Canada include:

  1. Stone Centipedes (Order lthobiomorpha)

  2. House Centipedes (Order scutigeromorpha)

  3. Soil Centipedes (Order geophilomorpha)

  4. Short-flanged Centipedes (Order scolopendromorpha)

Stone Centipedes
House Centipedes
Soil Centipedes
Short-flanged Centipedes

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What are the characteristics of Stone Centipedes?

Characteristics of Stone Centipedes
Feature Description
Size Adults typically range from 20 to 30 mm in length.
Color Brown to reddish-brown.
Shape Elongated with segmented body.
Legs 15 pairs of legs, with one pair per body segment.
Eyes Simple eyes (ocelli) arranged in clusters.
Antennae Prominent and segmented, used for sensing the environment.
Habitat Commonly found under rocks, logs, and leaf litter in both moist and dry environments.
Diet Carnivorous, feeding on various small insects and other arthropods.

What are the characteristics of House Centipedes?

Characteristics of House Centipedes
Feature Description
Size Adults typically range from 25 to 35 mm in length.
Color Yellowish-grey with three dark stripes.
Shape Flattened and elongated with segments becoming smaller towards the end.
Legs 15 pairs of very long, slender legs. The last pair in adult females can be twice the length of the body.
Speed Swift runners.
Eyes Well-developed, faceted eyes.
Antennae Long and sensitive.
Habitat Inside homes (damp areas) and outside under logs, rocks.
Diet Carnivorous, feeding on spiders, bedbugs, termites, and other small insects.

What are the characteristics of Soil Centipedes?

Characteristics of Soil Centipedes
Feature Description
Size Varies, but many species are between 20 to 60 mm in length.
Color Typically brown to pale yellow, depending on species and soil type.
Shape Elongated, worm-like body with numerous body segments.
Legs Many leg pairs, ranging from 27 to over 190 pairs depending on species.
Eyes Most species lack eyes and rely on other sensory organs.
Antennae Shorter compared to other centipedes and have sensory function.
Habitat Commonly found in soil, leaf litter, and under stones; prefer moist environments.
Diet Carnivorous, feeding mainly on small insects, worms, and other soil-dwelling organisms.

What are the characteristics of Short-flanged Centipedes?

Characteristics of Short-Flanged Centipedes
Feature Description
Size Adults typically range from 25 to 50 mm in length.
Color Dark brown to black.
Shape Elongated with a segmented body.
Legs 21 or 23 pairs of legs, depending on the species.
Eyes They possess a unique ocular structure not found in other centipedes.
Antennae Moderate in length and segmented.
Habitat They are found in very specific regions, primarily in Tasmania and New Zealand. They prefer humid microenvironments and are often found under rocks and logs.
Diet Carnivorous, feeding on smaller insects and other soil-dwelling organisms.

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Top Tips To Prevent Centipedes Infestations: Essential Guide

1. Reduce Humidity and Moisture: Centipedes thrive in damp and humid environments. Use dehumidifiers in basements or other damp areas in your home. Fix any leaky pipes or faucets to eliminate moisture sources.

2. Seal Entry Points: Make sure all cracks, crevices, and gaps in your home’s foundation, walls, and windows are sealed. This will not only prevent centipedes but also other pests from entering your home.

3. Clear Clutter: Remove piles of leaves, grass clippings, and wood from the perimeter of your home. Inside, reduce clutter in basements and closets, as centipedes often hide in dark and secluded areas.

4. Regular Cleaning: Vacuum and sweep regularly, especially in corners and under furniture. This helps to get rid of small pests that centipedes feed on, thereby making your home less attractive to them.

5. Pest Control: Consider natural repellents or professional pest control measures if you’re in an area with a high centipede population. This will help manage not only centipedes but also other pests that might be attracting them.

Frequently Asked Questions about Centipedes

Yes, most centipedes possess venom glands and use their venom to subdue their prey. However, while a bite from some larger species can be painful to humans, it’s generally not medically significant unless one is allergic.

Centipedes are often drawn to homes because they offer a damp, sheltered environment and a steady supply of food. Basements, bathrooms, and other areas with high humidity can attract them. They feed on other small pests, so their presence might indicate other pest infestations.

While both belong to the group of myriapods, they are quite different. Centipedes are generally more flattened and have one pair of legs per body segment. They are often faster and are predators. Millipedes, on the other hand, have a more rounded body and two pairs of legs per body segment. They are slower, and many feed on decaying organic matter.