How to Get Rid of Centipedes

Centipede-PestControl-1Centipedes primarily enter the home unaware of the environment and are considered occasional invaders. Typically, centipedes will be found in areas of high moisture. These areas are places like loose bark in trees, rotting wooded (logs, fallen trees), under rocks, stones, or boulders, in piles leaves. Also, because they are predators and carnivorous, they will follow their prey and will reside in areas that their prey is located (which will also cause them to enter the home). When they enter the home, they will survive off of flies, spiders, etc. Even though they can be found almost anywhere in the house, because they are nocturnal or active during the night and attracted to dark, moist areas, you will typically see centipedes in damp basements, bathrooms, or even in your potted plants with high moisture.


The key to centipede control is to eliminate areas that they will most likely reside in. It is important to remove accumulations of leaves in the yard, remove rocks or stones that are near the home, safely store firewood away from the home, get rid of rotting logs and fallen trees, etc. It’s also very important to provide good ventilation in the crawl space area where moisture build up is common. Temp vents for crawl spaces will create a ventilation system for crawlspaces (CRAWL SPACE TEMP VENT)

Also, because centipedes are carnivorous, they will find prey to feed on. Eliminating the food source and doing pest control on their food source will make areas unattractive for nesting primarily because their sole purpose of nesting in a certain area is to catch prey. Although total wipeout of all pests is difficult, controlling pests that are indoors make keep centipedes away from the insides of homes.

Crack and Crevice Treatments
Crack and crevice treatment is to be used where centipedes may crawl through into the home. You will target areas of entry and cracks in the walls where centipedes can crawl through. These areas will be any areas like cracks and crevices in the bathroom, attics, windows, closets, basements, etc. You can use this treatment using liquid insecticide sprays (LambdaStar 9.7% CSFenvaStar EcoCap ) using a hand held sprayer (CHAPIN 1 GALLON SPRAYER), dust products (DELTA DUST) using a duster (BELLOW BULB DUSTER), or aerosol spray cans (CY-KICK AEROSOL).

Liquid insecticides can be used as surface treatment as well but will be sprayed along windowsills and door frames, along the baseboard areas and with the stream nozzle applicator on the sprayer, it can be used in cracks and crevices. Liquids have about a 3-4 month residual time and should be applied thoroughly. Aerosol sprays are used in areas that the sprayer cannot reach or can be used for contact kill. Aerosol sprays do not have a long residual time and is primarily used for as an instant knock-down killer. Dust products are used as spot treatment in crack and crevice areas. Typically, dust products are not recommended for people will asthma or curious pets and children. Breathing in dust products can potentially be dangerous and so it is recommended as a spot treatment in areas that have little or no traffic (behind shelves, under furniture, behind picture frames, etc). For any liquid type insecticides (liquid concentrate or aerosol sprays), it is important to let the insecticide dry before coming in contact with the treated areas. For all products, it’s extremely important to read the product label thoroughly or to use the product after careful advisory from a professional.

Broadcast/Barrier Treatment:
Broadcasting treatments are used for large turfs, other landscape areas, and entire lawn areas. Both liquid insecticides, using a hand held gallon sprayer  as well as granule products (BIFEN GRANULES), applied by using a hand spreader ( HANDLE SPREADER), is effective for broadcast treatment. Using the mist nozzle setting on the sprayer, liquid insecticide can be applied over the entire lawn area. After granules are spread, it is important to irrigate the area to activate the granules. Although grass, plants, flowers, and vegetation will not die from the liquid insecticides, DO NOT use liquid insecticides on or around fruit and vegetable gardens. The liquid insecticides have a residual time and can potentially be consumed through the plants.

A barrier treatment is a preventative method of treatment when you use insecticides to create a barrier around the home. This method of treatment is sometimes called perimeter treatment, where soil areas that are adjacent to a structure as well as a portion of the lower foundation wall next to the soil is treated. There are areas such as porches, patios, crawl spaces, garages, along the exterior walls, cellars, and etc. Spraying the liquid insecticide thoroughly will require spraying at least two feet up the wall and two feet out from the wall with a liquid sprayer. Also, granules will work the same way by setting up barriers around the home and being activated after irrigation.

FenvaStar LambdaStar Chapin 1 gallon Sprayer CY-Kick Bifen
Handle Spreader
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Date: Tuesday, 12. January 2010 18:18
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  1. 1

    I am wanting to find a insect control chemical for centipede and millipede control as well as a general insecticide. I think your dry Bifen granulas (2-25 lb bags)will be effective for my yard. What do you recommend for the spraying of my garage and attic areas? I read about your Masterline Bifenthrin 7.9 but would appreciate your opinion. Thanks, Mel

  2. 2

    Masterline Bifenthrin 7.9 is really good. You have really good idea of what to do, it seems.
    Many pest control professionals in fact use Bifen Granular and Masterline Bifenthrin 7.9
    when they go out in the field.

    Masterline Bifenthrin is good for both indoor and outdoor treatments,
    so not only your garage / attic, but you will be able to use this for perimeter of your house,
    not to mention on the house structure itself. Once you apply this product, let it sit and dry.
    Do not touch until it is completely dried.

    You can also use Masterline Bifenthrin 7.9 to prevent infestations.
    It is perfect for broadcast treatment, spot treatment and perimeter treatment.
    What that all means is that you can use this product just about anywhere.

    Here’s what you do to prevent infestation with Masterline Bifenthrin 7.9
    1. Spray the Masterline mixture on the skirting around your home.
    (Outside, not inside. Apply from ground up to 3 ft from ground.)
    2. Spray the mixture on the perimeter of your home.
    (from the wall to 3 feet from the wall)
    3. Spray the mixture around any entry points
    (Window frames, door frames, etc.)
    4. Do this every 3 month, and your house will be well covered from any infestation from outside.

    Most of infestations come from outside, so if you do that,
    you’ll see a whole lot less pest problem inside your home.
    After that, any pest / insects you see inside home, all you have to do is just spot treatments.

    Good luck to you, and let me know if you have more questions.

  3. 3

    I’ve never had a problem or even seen centipedes in my yard before last month. I saw only very small babies on our patio under potted plants. Now I found a large specimen inside the house – reddish-orange and about 5″ long. It crawled behind a cabinet and when we moved the cabinet, it was gone, and the only place it could have gone was inside an uncovered outlet box. We are reasonably concerned. Where could this guy have come from? Garden ones are not near this big. Should I expect to see more like this? I am concerned about spraying things in the house as we have cockatiels, aquariums, and a dog. What do you suggest?

  4. 4


    I’m sorry to inform you that you should expect to see more of the centipedes within your house, but we do have a remedy!

    It is essential that you treat the outdoors, where the source is located. For this kind of treatment, I would recommend a granular such as Demand G Granules using a Handle Spreader. It is recommended that you water the area of application down after you spread the granular so it will be able to soak into the soil. It should be safe for pets after 24 hours after it has dried.

    For indoors, I would recommend using an aerosol. Just kill them as you see them, but the source should be the point of concentration. An aerosol that I would recommend is C-Y Kick Aerosol for spot treatment. Spray the aerosol onto the centipede as you see them, or you could spray it in areas where the centipedes are frequently seen because the C-Y Kick Aerosol is a residual and it lasts up to one month.

    Neither of the products will harm your plants or pets as long as you allow both products to dry before letting anyone or pet in direct contact with it. Good luck getting rid of those disgusting pests! Thank you for your question.

  5. 5

    I live in a first floor apartment in NYC, I have had problems with these centipedes. What can I use that is safe around children. I need help in getting rid off them. How can I prevent them from invading?

  6. 6

    Well…centipedes are rather simple pest to kill, if you have the right pesticide.
    However, the problem is that the state of New York has one of the most toughest regulations
    when it comes to chemicals, and as such, most of the pesticides that can easily kill
    centipedes are illegal to use in New York.

    So, actual difficult part will be what products are state registered in New York.
    After that, all you have to do is treat indoor and outdoor (all centipedes come from outside,
    so treating outdoor is a must in a way to prevent seeing them in your house).
    When treating indoors, you want to use residual products, which will leave invisible residues
    on the surface and kill centipedes as they crawl on it.

    Outdoor, you want to go with granules. After applying the granules, either wet the surface or
    irrigate the area to activate the ingredients that will work exactly as other residual products do.

    Here’s what I recommend you to do.

    For Indoors, use any one of the following products.
    PyGanic Dusts (not recommended for use on carpets or tiles. More for baseboard or voids under the skirting)
    CD D-Force HPX
    Alpine Pressurized Insecticide Spray

    Outdoors is tough. Most of the granular insecticides are not state registered in NY.
    There’s only one granular insecticide that is state registered in NY. it is
    Eco Exempt G

    In case you are living in an apartment, you want to use PyGanic around the baseboard of your floor,
    and also the wall void under the skirting. And use either CB D-Force or Alpine PT on cracks and crevices,
    door frames and window frames, and any other entry point you can find from the outside.
    Again, centipedes come from outside, so treating the entry points with residual products is very important.

    Best of the luck to you.

  7. 7

    Hi, I got a centipide pest problem, I live in Puerto Rico in a house with a small yard and the centipede are entering the house, most of the centipedes are big like 6 to 7 inches red and like dark red almost black, in my life I seen so many since I move here like 2 1/2 years they were like 10, 8 of them big, think the problem is that in the yard (excuse me because I don’t know how to said it in english)is a small metal storage like a big closet in form of a small house or small barn,I clean it and is mostly empty,but between the back of the closet and the neighbor’s wall is a small crevice like 3 inches between the walls with dry leaves and lot of humidity a think they’re coming from there, I have a few questions if kindly can answer,(a very important one) how time it takes the centipede to die when it makes contact with the venom Demon Max or Demon?
    Is there maybe a nest of some kind in the crevice?
    I saw a lot of venoms types in your site what is o are the best to kill centipedes?
    I have to got some license of some kind to buy that kind of venom?
    I’m very worry of my family safety beacause I have a small child of 2 years and the centipedes is very venomous, I saw one kill a rat in a internet video. I paid an exteminator
    since the second centipide apear inside the house, but keep having the same problems. It’s been like to years of extermination service a the centipedes keep apearing.
    Thanks for your time.

  8. 8


    I am so sorry to hear about the horrible infestation.
    I hope you will find my recommendations successful.
    I could recommend a granular to apply in your yard, because that’s where the centipedes are coming from.
    The granule that I would recommend would be the Bifen Granulars.

    I would also recommend using a liquid insecticide such as Bifen IT.
    Spray the liquid around the door frames, window frames, any cracks and crevices that the centipedes could be entering from.

    Both of the products are a delayed contact kill.
    They work as non-repellents so that the centipedes will just walk through it and become exposed.
    Once they are exposed, and bring it back to their nesting area, they will expose the other centipedes to it.
    The killing time should take about 2-3 hours.

    If you want to have a direct contact kill, I would recommend the 565 Plus XLO Aerosol Spray.
    I really do hope you can get rid of those pests for the safety of your baby!

  9. 9

    Hi, Thanks for the quick reply and thanks a lot for the venom recommendations, I got a few doubts of the use of the venoms the Bifen Granulars are apply through spreading all the yard with it or only the part I think they are coming from? and the Bifen IT is like an indoor venom or outdoor only? Im very interested in the 565 Plus XLO Aerosol Spray
    since I will dismantle the metal storage shortly and I am afraid that they will be coming out when I start working on it
    and really kill it on contact because that’s why I ask the question about the Demon Max and the time it take to kill it because that is the venom the exterminator is supose to be spreading around the house and yard and dont know if he telling the true because the same day he’s spreaded the venom around the house one appear late in the night in the living room
    walking like it were no venom at all because pass all the yard plus the doors, or it maybe create some immunity of the venom, but I dont think so. That’s why Im checking other forms and options for killing the pest, stop paying some guy because that is not working. And all the venom you recomend are for any kind of centipede because the one I talk are different of the picture you got on the centipide example
    and are very aggresive because one of the big ones that kill without venom, I kill it with a tree scissors (I dont know the correct word andexcuse my english and If I misspeled something Im doing my best here and I’m talking about the large scissors to cut trees)and the centipede was attacking the scissor no running from it, and attacking like it were a snake rolling up the scissors and biting.
    Thanks again for the recommendations and the quick answering, I will visiting your site shortly. I have to talk to my wife first about the findings, recommendations that you gave me and decision of buying the venoms.

  10. 10

    Hi, recently I from time to time I found centipede inside the house, they are in bathrooms, living rooms and offices. I am trying to find a product that can be used inside the house which means carpets, bathrooms, cupboard. Also a product that can last for a period of time for killing centipedes.
    Can you please recommend one?

  11. 11


    Sounds like a big infestation!
    First things first, I would recommend using a Dust, preferably Alpine Dust, to apply around the perimiter or your home.
    You may apply near doors, windows, cracks or crevices, and any potential entry points of the interior.
    This will prevent them from getting into your home, as they will die from dehydration upon contact of the dust.
    For any other centipedes you spot, you can use Invader HPX.

  12. 12


    Of course you can have a can of Raid on hand, but I really don’t like putting a toxin into the air inside the house – but the bugs like to go onto the garage ceiling, so then, Raid is handy. I’ve put diatomaceous earth around, several times, it specifically says that it’s for use on centipedes, but I never saw any benefit, though maybe some did die in some dark corner. What has at least given visible success here has been to put 4 little glue-traps around, these traps are intended to capture mice. The trap consists of nothing more than a little plastic tray with a sticky, non-hardening glue in it, with a bit of mouse bait, looks like little chunks of peanuts, on top. I found that I was catching spiders in these trays within a day of placing them out, but for weeks no centipedes. But last night, one of these trays had – gulp – 4 ugly centipedes in it – was I surprised! It may be that a spider had wandered into the trap, and by struggling to get out caused the centipedes to come and investigate – I can only speculate. The location of the successful trap was on the basement floor, under a book shelf. The traps I placed on basement window shelves got spiders, but never centipedes, even though the centipedes would be seen in these areas too. The brand I used is JT Eaton “Stick-Em”, $2 for 2, bought at a hardware store,and you just place them where you want them. I really think that, in general, a location that gets wet would be preferred, I do notice that such locations are where I find little spider nests.

  13. 13

    YES! Glue boards are one of the safest ways to get rid of some insect pests. We actually have a wider variety of glue boards available and may be able to offer them to you at a better price than $2 for 2 boards.
    Check out our glue boards: Catchmaster Mice and Insect Glue Boards & Trapper Insect and Glue Board

  14. 14


    I just moved into a new apartment on the second floor of a 100 year old building. The apartment is newly renovated and is very clean and uncluttered. In Michigan, the centipedes
    are usually small but the one I’ve seen here is huge! I was wondering how intelligent these critters are? When I would go into a room, I could see him out of the corner of my eye. I could see him crouch down as not to draw attention to himself. When I turn towards him, he takes off. Running as fast as he can to get away from me. If he gets cornered, he can’t back up too good. Too many legs, he can’t turn going backwards. He’ll loose control. These things are huge. I started throwing furniture at him. He started throwing the furniture back at me. Man I got to get rid of these things. I think he is going threw my mail.

  15. 15

    Hi Mark,
    Centipedes throwing furniture and going through mail! WOW! HAHAH Well, for centipedes, if it’s a newly renovated building, it’s normal for you to see an increase in pests for a short time. Fortunately, centipedes do not socialize and go gather in mass numbers usually so spraying them with an instant knockdown spray will work like Cy-Kick CS. If not, you can use a residual spray that is in the concentrate form, must be diluted, and sprayed with a pump sprayer. Phantom insecticide is a great insecticide because although it has a delay kill effect and works a little slowly to kill them, it is a non-repellent, which means that they will not be able to detect the insecticide at all and will easily walk over treated areas. The areas you want to treat are places like the base boards of the rooms, underneath sinks and behind toilets, behind furniture, and etc. If you have any other questions about centipedes or centipede control, feel free to contact us again Mark! 🙂

  16. 16

    Please help me,I have killed at least 3 centipedes in my new apartment. I still have boxes against the walls that I havent unpacked yet. These apartments are pretty old, very nice but they were probably built in the 1990’s. The brick is coming away from the foundation, leaving big cracks. I have seen wasps going inside the cracks. Do you thank thats where they are getting into my apartment. I have seen one in my bathroom on the ceiling next to the fan vent. And two in my bedroom on the wall up at the ceiling. I have killed them with my slipper. Do you recommend the Bifen IT and can I get it at Lowes? I have 12 year old daughter and 2 small dogs living here. She is scared to death of any type of bug. I kind of knew when we moved back into the apartment life that there would be some insects, but I didnt count on this type of insect. Never had any at our House. I need to know if these insects get in or on your bed. Please let me know. Thank you.

  17. 17

    Hi Pamela,

    Bifen IT will work against centipedes and other crawling insects, but we recommend Suspend SC. Neither Bifen IT or Suspend SC cannot be found in local hardware stores like Lowes or Home Depot. Any crack or crevice into the structure can really serve as an entry point so its important to treat those areas. Baseboards, door frames, and window drames as well as utility lines under the sink and behind the toilet should be treated. All treated areas must be avoided until the treatment has completely dried. Always review the product label thoroughly before applying any pesticide.

  18. 18

    Thank’s for all the good information.

    I just put down some glue boards and borax powder

  19. 19

    Hi Cawley,
    No Problem!! 🙂 If you have any other questions, feel free to give our technicians a call at 1-800-788-4142.

  20. 20

    Hello, I’ve recently moved into a basement apartment and I’m terrified to death that it’s going to be a pain to get rid of these insects. To get inside the apartment you walk some stairs down which always collect fallen leaves. There’s also a little yard with some bushes right next to the door. The apartment has a bunch of tiny cracks and the worse part is I have two holes in the floor because that’s how the landlord gets to the water pipes to turn it on and off. (All I can afford right now). I’ve seen a lot of spiders and one water bug and two centipedes already. I understand I have to get rid of all these bugs at once, so I’m not sure what kind of venom would kill repel and prevent all these bugs from living so cozy in my apartment. I also have a cat. Please help!! I’m freaking out at night feel like everything is crawling on me!

  21. 21

    Hi Yelena,
    Unfortunately, there is no real “preventative” for pests. However, Suspend SC is a product that targets all three of the bugs that you have listed out. It is a contact kill insecticide that can be used on the outside perimeter. It can also be applied in cracks and crevices inside. Once the product has completely dried on the surfaces, it is safe for reentry for both you and your cat. If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to let us know! 🙂

  22. 22

    What is a good spray to use both on the outside perimeter of the house and the yard and fence? I recently saw 2 centepedes inside my house and came across a lot more while cleaning out the garden. I have young children so I need to make sure the yard is safe for them. Also,what can I use inside the house? We have a crawl space as well. Thank you

  23. 23

    Hi kim,

    We recommend using Suspend SC as a perimeter spray around the house to control not only centipedes, but other pests as well. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to contact us again.

  24. 24

    I have a really bad centepede problem. I live in the basement of my home and I have this spray that says its kills centepedes and I sprayed it all over what I think is their “home”, yet they still come in. They are in every room too and I am so sick of them.. Any suggestions?

  25. 25

    Reoccurring centipede problems can indicate a moisture problem or high levels of humidity in that area. In order to keep their numbers under control I would recommend that you use a long residual insecticide such as Demand Cs or Cykick CS and spray along the perimeter of your home. from the bottom of the house spray up about 2 ft and from the bottom spray out to the lawn area about 2 ft so its like a 4 ft barrier around the perimeter of the home. I would also recommend that you spray along the baseboard areas, window and door frames.

  26. 26

    I live in New York State where most of, if not, all of the pesticides you mention are restricted. Do you know of a powerful pesticide I can use on house centipedes that is sold or can be shipped to New York? Thank you.

  27. 27

    Hi Joe,
    Yes unfortunately there are not many choices of pesticides that could be shipped to New York. However we do have liquid insecticide which could be sent to New York for control of centipedes. Check out our product Fenvastar EcoCap.

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