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How to Get Rid of Centipedes in West Palm Beach

House centipedes might not harm humans or pets, but their long legs and quick movements can be a real nuisance in your home.

To keep these critters at bay, it’s crucial to control their environment by reducing moisture, sealing up entry points, and eliminating their hiding spots in damp corners.

Ready to make your home centipede-free? Keep reading to discover the best strategies to ensure these pests don’t become permanent guests.

Key Takeaways

  • Sealing cracks, using appropriate door sweeps, and installing screened windows and doors may create barriers against centipedes.
  • Indoor humidity control through dehumidifiers and proper ventilation in moisture-prone areas may reduce centipede attraction.
  • Key areas treated with diatomaceous earth and boric acid, combined with strategically placed traps, may effectively manage centipedes inside your home.
  • Professional exterminators offer specialized treatments and preventative measures tailored to your specific situation for persistent or severe centipede problems.

How to Keep Centipedes Out of Your House

how to get rid of centipede

Effective centipede and millipede control involves creating a barrier to prevent their entry. Here’s how to remove easy access points and deter centipedes from making your home theirs.

Seal Up Cracks and Crevices

Sealing cracks and crevices with caulk is essential to prevent centipedes from entering a home. They can infiltrate through tiny spaces.

So, you should routinely inspect and seal potential entry points, such as:

  • Windows and door frames
  • Baseboards
  • Where cables and pipes enter the house
  • Around exhaust fans and ceiling fixtures

Install Screens for Windows and Doors

Properly screening windows and doors prevents centipedes and pests like cockroaches from sneaking into the home while allowing for ventilation.

Consider these types of screens:

Types of Screens



Good durability and flexibility.


Rugged but can dent easily.

Stainless steel

Excellent durability, best for pest exclusion.

Install Door Sweeps and Gap Seals

Proper door sweeps and gap seals are vital defenses against centipedes and other insects, such as roaches. They also help maintain a consistently low humidity level at entryways, making them less inviting.

Here’s how to install door sweeps:

  1. Measure the width of your door.

  2. Cut the sweep to match the door’s width.

  3. Position the sweep so that it brushes against the threshold.

  4. Mark screw holes for the sweep on the door.

  5. Drill pilot holes and screw the sweep into place.

Eliminate Yard Debris

Centipedes thrive in humid environments and can often be found in organic debris such as leaf litter, mulch, grass clippings, and tree bark close to the home foundation.

Some yard clean-up tips include:



Leaf Litter

Remove regularly and compost away from the house.


Use in moderation and keep at least 12 inches from the foundation.

Grass Clippings

Dispose of or compost immediately after mowing.

Tree Bark

Trim trees to avoid contact with the house and clean up any fallen bark.

How to Manage Moisture for Centipede Control

Centipedes and other pests like silverfish thrive in moist environments, making moisture control critical to preventing insect infestations. By managing areas of excess moisture, you create an unsuitable environment for them.

Fix Leaky Pipes and Faucets

Centipedes seek out hiding places with high humidity, and a leaky pipe or faucet can create their perfect habitat. To address this:

  1. Inspect all plumbing for dampness or drips.

  2. Tighten connections or replace worn washers.

  3. For persistent leaks, consult a plumber.

Use Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers play a significant role in centipede problems. They remove excess moisture from the air, particularly in spaces like:

Key Areas

Reason for Dehumidifier Use


Typically damp; ideal for pests

Bathrooms without windows

Often retain moisture from showers

Closets near bathrooms

Can harbor humidity and pests

Crawl spaces

Prone to moisture accumulation

Improve Ventilation

Proper airflow helps control moisture and dissuade arthropod guests, which can be their potential food sources. So, consider these ventilation techniques:

  1. Install exhaust fans to expel humid air.

  2. Open windows regularly to allow fresh air exchange.

  3. Add vents to appliances that produce moisture.

Address Drainage Issues

Inadequate drainage can turn your home's foundation into a refuge for house centipedes and pests like termites, fleas, and bed bugs.

Improving this involves:


Effect on Moisture Control

Grading around the home

Prevents water pooling

Clean gutters and downspouts

Redirects rainwater away from the foundation

Add extensions to downspouts

Further guides water away from the home

DIY Methods for Centipede Control

Effective DIY interior control of centipedes involves the cautious application of specific substances and the strategic placement of traps.

Here's a closer inspection of these methods.

Apply Diatomaceous Earth (Caution Needed)

Centipedes crawling over diatomaceous earth will be exposed to its abrasive properties, which can damage their exoskeletons and lead to dehydration.

Since caution is needed, here are some reminders for pest control:

  • Wear protective gloves: Diatomaceous earth can be drying to the skin.
  • Avoid inhalation: Use a mask, as the fine dust can irritate the lungs.
  • Application: Lightly sprinkle around areas where centipedes are likely to crawl, such as baseboards and damp areas.
  • Keep dry: Wet diatomaceous earth loses effectiveness.

Set Centipede Traps

Various centipede traps can catch these pests using attractants or trapping them when they tread on an adhesive surface.

Consider these types most effective for your use:

Types of Trap


Sticky Traps

Near baseboards and in corners

Bait Traps

Damp and dark spots like basements

Use Boric Acid Dust (Caution Needed)

Boric acid is often used in pest control. It's poisonous to centipedes and works through ingestion or contact, disrupting their nervous system.

With careful handling, follow these steps to eliminate centipedes:

  1. Suit Up: Gloves and masks are crucial for personal protection.

  2. Identify: Target frequent centipede travel areas.

  3. Apply: Lightly dust boric acid in target areas and hard-to-reach spaces.

  4. Minimize Contact: Keep away from food surfaces and anywhere children or pets may reach.

Incorporate Essential Oils

While not a guaranteed solution, some essential oils have a strong scent that centipedes find repulsive. Here are two common essential oils you may find helpful as repellents:

Essential Oils

Target Area

Tea Tree Oil

Entry points, baseboards, around furniture

Peppermint Oil

Doorways, windows, perimeter of the house

When to Call a Professional in West Palm Beach

Even with your best efforts with DIY insecticides, these critters with many pairs of legs can be persistent houseguests.

You might find them emerging from a drain surprise in the bathtub, leaving unwelcome droppings and shed exoskeletons as they scurry across the living room floor.

While centipede bites are uncommon, they can be painful, adding another unwelcome element to their surprise appearances. In such cases, it might be time to call a professional pest control company (like us at Native Pest Management).