Millipedes (Cylindrical-shaped) and Centipedes (Inch-long, thin) are creepy crawlers the average person would probably like to be rid of. Since they are decomposers, they are considered helpful insects because they break down dead plants and animals and serve as food for reptiles and amphibians.
The vast majority of millipedes and centipedes are harmless (although some can bite), but they can invade homes, yards, and vacant buildings. They’re most likely to be found in moist areas such as kitchens, basements, crawlspaces, and garages. However, if you’re not an entomologist you’re not going to appreciate these critters in your house.
6 Effective Natural remedies to kill Millipedes and centipedes
Plants and small insects can be eaten by millipedes and centipedes. They typically consume rotting matter or already dead plants, so they are usually harmless to healthy plants; they will eat young seedlings, however. Millipedes or centipedes do not bite, sting, or pass on diseases to humans. As they consume rotting matter and help manage populations of smaller insects, they are considered by many to be useful to have around.
If you feel the need to keep them out of your house, you can try both repelling and removing these pests with many natural options. There are a few of our favourites here:
It’s fairly quick to make DIY millipede and centipedes traps, plus you don’t have to be there to check it! Within the container, position the piece of fruit so that it sits on the rim. Grab a piece of vinyl tubing, a plastic bottle of soda, some caulk or tape, and a piece of ripe fruit (about 6 inches in length). Try to get a piece of tubing into the rim of the bottle that just fits snugly. In the bottle, slide the tube so that there is about 2 inches of tube inside and cover it with the tape or caulk. Tilt the bottle, making sure that the edges of the bottle is not touched by the hose. When it begins to rot, they can crawl into the tunnel to get to the fruit and eventually wont be able to crawl back out. Wherever you see their operation, you can position some of these traps.
2. Manual Removal
Manually killing them is one of the simplest and fastest ways to get rid of these creeping animals. Try not to smash them with your foot, as they can send off a stinkbugs-like foul odor. You can pick them up and dispose them in a bucket of soapy water, or you can use a broom and dustpan to destroy them; or you can just get rid of them with the aid of a vacuum cleaner
3. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
A crystalline powder material that can be used to eliminate a number of pests is the diatomaceous earth. The crystals pierce the hard exoskeletons of pests, creating micropunctures all over their bodies. This then dehydrates and, over time, kills the pests slowly. DE may be scattered under appliances, under door openings, on sliding glass doors, around foundations, in houseplant soil, and under fences around room perimeters. The use of DE is safe for human health.
4. Boric Acid
Like DE, boric acid is similar. When they crawl over it, it also cuts off the bugs, causing them to dehydrate slowly. It also upsets all millipedes and centipedes of the digestive system, allowing it to work faster than diatomaceous earth. In areas with children or livestock, boric acid should not be used.
5. Essential Oils
As repellents rather than insecticides, essential oils are more effective. The two most famous ones for use against these creatures are tea tree oil and peppermint oil. Before use, this oils should always be diluted with water. Using the oil mixture around access points such as windowsills, door openings, cellars, vents, holes in the base, and crawlspaces. In whatever areas they might be, you may also apply them outdoors, as long as it is covered from rain.
6. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper, like essential oils, acts better as a repellent rather than an insecticide. Besides millipedes and centipedes, cayenne pepper works for other pests as well. You can buy and grind whole cayenne peppers on your own or buy powder. Sprinkle the pepper in any region where action is spotted by millipedes or centipedes. It can also be scattered around foundations and points of entry to your house.
8 Natural remedies to prevent Millipedes and centipedes
Prevention is crucial to heading off infestations before they get out of hand, just like any insect. Although the above methods are excellent for current problems with millipedes and centipedes, the most natural solution of all is to keep them out of your house in the first place. To help keep millipedes and centipedes away, try these prevention tips.
1. Remove Moisture
Millipedes are drawn to moisture, so it will help make it less enticing for them to keep your home dry. Wipe off any leftover moisture from hand washing, pans, etc. with a towel in kitchens and bathrooms. Where possible, use less water and don’t turn the faucets on full blast. Seal any containers with liquid in them or seal them. Try cleaning dishes all at once instead of all day long. Wipe up any extra moisture that accumulates in basements and garages. Try to quickly wipe up water spills. Outside are dry vehicles, vessels, instruments, and supplies. Outdoors, store any wet appliances. If required, use a dehumidifier. Clear out any clogged gutters outside, or add gutter guards. Keep your foundations free from water. Fix any broken drains, sloping tiles, and ground that is unlevel. Sprinkler systems for repair. Good pool maintenance practice. Before nightfall, avoid overwatering your lawn and try to water early in the morning so the moisture has time to dry out. To prevent pooling, adjust your sprinklers.
2. Clean Up
Remove any mulch from around the foundations, leaves, grass, hedge clippings, boards, firewood, boxes, stones, etc. Try to uplift them if you can’t remove them. Keep the grass and plants mown and pruned. Don’t fertilize your lawn too much. Secure your compost and trash. Keep your floors dry and clean (this eliminates both food and water sources for millipedes and centipedes). Caulk any cracks in foundations and around wiring and plumbing, or crevices. Make sure the thresholds and weather stripping are in good condition and match tightly. Seal around the doors and windows and expansion joints where the foundations are next to sidewalks, patios, sun rooms, etc.
While millipedes and centipedes are not dangerous (and are even considered beneficial by some), if you find them in your home, they can be a nuisance. Contact your local pest control company for a free evaluation and an appropriate treatment plan if you have a situation with millipedes or any other pest.
3. Use an insect catcher
In your home, centipedes will sometimes hang around the ceiling. If you’re afraid that when you’re sitting, these hanging centipedes may fall on you, then you can put an insect catcher right under the ceilings in your home to capture any centipedes that may fall down.
4. Removing the source of food
In search of food and water, centipedes invade your home. Hence, by eliminating the source of food and water for centipedes in your home, you can keep them away from your home. This means removing the water/moisture in your home as well as pests that may be present inside your home, such as cockroaches, spiders, worms, bed bugs, moths, etc. For centipedes, find these sources of water and food and then eliminate them.
5. Use soap spray
Another efficient way of getting rid of the centipedes in your house is to use soap spray. By mixing one-part water with a single-part soap, you can generate a natural centipede repellant and then put the mixed content into a spray bottle.
As soap and water are products that are readily available in every house, this is one of the stress-free ways to get rid of centipedes. By dehydrating them, the soap spray will destroy the centipedes in your home. Oils and wax are protected by the exoskeleton of a centipede; this is extracted by soap spray to allow the water to escape within the centipede. This leads to the bug being dehydrated and dying.
6. Cedar oil
Cedar oil, a natural insecticide, causes suffocation and osmotic dehydration in centipedes; another way that a centipede is destroyed by cedar oil is by homogenizing its body fats.
7. Using a dehumidifier
In humid environments, centipedes love and survive. Therefore, using a dehumidifier in all the damp areas in your home is one of the best ways to avoid a centipede infestation in your house. Additionally, by turning on the exhaust fan, get rid of excess moisture in your bathroom.
You will not only stop centipedes from entering your house by minimizing moisture inside your house, but you will also keep other pests away from home, such as ants and roaches. This is because, in search of a water supply, these pests are known to invade homes during the dry season.
8. Block all points of entry
Blocking all the possible entry points for them is one of the best things you can do to keep centipedes away from your building. Seal any holes in the concrete walls and the base to do this. Additionally, to cover the floor drains in your basement and eliminate the holes in your windows and doors, use a window screen. In the first place, all this will allow you to prevent centipedes from entering your house.
There are several natural ways to eliminate or get rid of the centipedes in your home, as mentioned. Most of these techniques are natural remedies that involve the use at home of products that are readily available. Hopefully, now you understand how to naturally get rid of centipedes.