There are you are, keeping your garden clean and setting those beautiful ornamental pieces in order. But as you proceed to get rid of some of the rocks, you discover something horrifying that’s been living in your property all this time— centipedes. Big. Nasty. Creepy. Crawly. Centipedes.
Of course, we’re well aware of the critters that come and go in our yard, but nothing as terrifying as centipedes. So how did it end up like this? What attracts centipedes? And what made these multi-legged creatures storm sneak inside our yard in the first place? Will they invade the house too? Here are some important things that you need to know.
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When a lot of centipedes suddenly show themselves in your yard, they’re most likely looking for prey. Food is the most important reason why your home could attract these arthropods. And insects are one of their all-time favorites.
Centipedes are voracious hunters that can eat almost any bug. Being generalist predators, they’re drawn to a variety of insects for nourishment. Some of these include pill bugs, moths, crickets, flies, cockroaches, ground beetles and silverfish.
Speaking of food, centipedes don’t just stop at soft-bodied insects. They’re also attracted to spiders, especially if you have a lot of them in your home. These arachnides are one of their more usual meals. So if you see a lot of webs around, you can bet that you’re already playing host to quite a few centipedes as well.
Last in the food list are bigger game. Centipedes may be little, but there are specific species that can take down mice, birds, frogs and even lizards. That’s right. Small vertebrates that live in your house can also lure in those creepy centipedes inside. Again, if you don’t want to have these multi-legged crawlies around, make sure to clear your home of all the pests all year round.
For more info on what centipedes eat, check out our post here.
Just like us, centipedes will actively look for water to hydrate themselves. Even though they have exoskeletons that are covered by a waxy coating, this protective layer can only do so much to hold back bodily moisture loss. They won’t survive in droughts and in incredibly dry areas. That’s why these multi-legged arthropods prefer to live in a moist or damp environment. For us, this is a house with a lot of plants and shade, dripping faucets, hose leaks, broken gutters and stagnant pools of water.
Undisturbed places for shelter
Centipedes also love dark and quiet places. That’s why they spend their time under rocks, cement blocks, crevices, wood piles, old rubber tires, and even underneath rotting wood. They can also make themselves comfortable inside gaps and crevices, old furniture outside, construction materials and inside abandoned toys.
Basically, the less disturbance these places get, the more appealing they are to centipedes, especially if they also house other pests like spiders and roaches. We recommend that you clean out these areas a few times a year to make sure that no creepy crawlies have been living inside or underneath them.
The warmth inside our houses may also lure centipedes in to reproduce. They come through drains, windows, door gaps and through cracks to share some of that heat and to raise their eggs.
It’s simple, if you always have uncovered trash, you’ll have more roaches, flies and mice around the house. And the more of these pests you’ll have, the more likely you’ll be able to attract unwanted centipedes to prey on them. So keep you trash in their proper bins, tightly sealed and properly kept away.
Unregulated light sources
Finally, we have unregulated lights. This may be a long shot, but it’s still possible. Unregulated indoor and outdoor lights can disorient moths and other flying insects. With them flying around, you’ll also get spiders which will bring the centipedes out. To stop this, simply close your curtains at night to keep the lights from escaping outside. You should also keep a schedule as to when the garden lights should be turned on and off.
So what attracts centipedes? To make it short, it’s their basic need for survival. They’re attracted to food, water, warmth and shelter. That’s it. So if you get rid of most of the things that they need or if you make sure that they’d have no access to them, you’d have a good chance of not seeing these creepy little things scurrying around your property ever again.