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Centipedes & Other Creepy Crawlies

Dealing with Centipedes and Creepy Crawlie Problems in your Home

Sharing your home with any one of the thousands of insect species found in this country is never fun. Not only can the spread of diseases be attributed to some ‘Creepy Crawlies’ and ‘Casual Intruders’ but they can also damage to your home possessions, not to mention the real distress they can cause to the many Herpetophobics – a fear of Creepy Crawlies! – in this country.

Types of Creepy Crawlie Problems

There are thousands of different species of ‘Creepy Crawlies’ or ‘Casual Intruder’ but a few of the more common ones are:

Centipede

Centipedes – There are more than 100 species of centipede and their shared traits are that they have long bodies with anything from 15 to 173 segments. Each segment has one pair of legs. A centipede’s head has a pair of antennae and other mouthparts.

The thorax of the centipede has two venous claws. These are used for defending themselves as well as for capturing and paralyzing their food source.

Centipedes generally move very quickly and feed on other insects.

In temperate climates a centipede bite will feel somewhat similar to a Bee or Wasp Sting whereas a bite from a larger species of centipede, particularly a species from the tropics, is not only extremely painful but leaves two puncture wounds at the bite site.

varied carpet beetle 1

Carpet Beetle – This species comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and colour but generally they resemble a ladybird in shape with their colour ranging from black to brown and even white and yellow. Adults generally 2-3mm long.

Adults are not a pest in your home as they tend to live outside and eat nectar and pollen. However, towards late summer they are extremely likely to enter your home and lay up to 40 eggs at a time in any natural fibres, such as curtains and carpets, in to your home.

The eggs hatch as larvae within 2 to 3 weeks and it is these larvae – sometimes called Woolly Bears – that do so much damage because their diet consists of any natural fibre such as carpets, soft furnishings and clothes.

silverfish

Silverfish – Adults are 10-12mm long, silver grey in colour and torpedo shaped with three bristles on the end of the Abdomen. Silverfish need moist, warm conditions and are often founding bathrooms and kitchens. They feed on food debris and, although prefer a starchy diet, have evolved to be able to digest cellulose and can cause real damage if allowed to get in to your paintings or book collections.

earwig

Earwigs– Adults are 14-23mm long, dark brown in colour and have forceps at the hind end. The forceps, which are curved in the male and straight in the female, are not poisonous and will simply give you a small nip. The female lays about 40 eggs a year

and then rears the young herself – which is unusual in the insect world. Earwigs feed on green vegetation and other plants so are more of a nuisance in the garden than in the home.

How to keep Centipedes and Creepy Crawlies away

Sealing entry points can help casual intruders from entering the home. Key risks are gaps under doors or around pipes to the exterior or neighbouring properties.

Also seal gaps where these insects can harbour – many of these insects, such as Earwigs and Carpet Beetles, are nocturnal and hide during the day in cracks and crevices in the walls, around skirting boards or behind electrical sockets.

Regularly hoover carpets and rugs to eradicate any eggs that Carpet Beetles may have laid and use insecticidal carpet shampoos at regular intervals.

The most common reason any insect enters your home is in it’s search for food and water so ensure there is none available by taking the following measures:

  • Store food in containers or in sealed plastic bags
  • Clean all waste food and spillages immediately
  • Clean food debris from under fridges or cookers
  • Clear used crockery and cutlery immediately
  • Remove pet food, water and litter trays overnight
  • Keep refuse or compost in sealed bins
  • Take care with soiled nappies or dirty clothing
  • Do not leave liquids in sinks or buckets overnight

Silverfish require a moist but warm atmosphere to live in so ensure that rooms are dry and well ventilated.

How to get rid of Creepy Crawlies

If untreated, some casual intruders will quickly establish themselves in high numbers and will spread to adjoining properties.

In the case of an infestation of Carpet Beetle we would recommend thorough vacuuming of all carpets and shampooing with an insecticidal carpet cleaner. Any clothes, curtains or soft furnishings showing signs of infestation or damage from the larvae of the Carpet Beetle should be dry cleaned.

Controlling Centipedes and  'Creepy Crawlies' Yourself

A wide range of products are available on the market that can be used effectively against a variety of insects and casual intruders. Please follow the instructions to ensure safe and effective use.

However, it may be difficult for you to reach all the corners, cracks and crevices that some of these insects will use to hide, especially with amateur products. An established pest problem will often require professional pest control to ensure that it will not reoccur.

Professional Pest Control

Most Creepy Crawlies or Casual Intruders are more of a pest in the garden than in the home. However, this is not always the case and some of these pests will prove extremely difficult to control. DIY products can deal with the immediate problem, treatment by a qualified pest control technician is often necessary to deal with some Creepy Crawlies over the long-term.

Rentokil technicians have a range of powerful insecticides to deal with Creepy Crawlies and Casual Intruders.

We also minimise the risk of insecticides in the home with proprietary products such as non-toxic Insecticide Dust, gels & sprays.

Rentokil offers a call-out service to deal with pest problems in the home. Our service is fast, effective and offers the highest level of safety for your family and pets.

If you would like further advice or to arrange a visit by a Rentokil technician, call us on (592) 225-9427.