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Centipedes in Richmond

Updated: Mar 15

These creepy crawly bugs are found all over Virginia and could be living right in your yard- or worse yet- your home!

One of the best ways to keep centipedes out of your living spaces is to get to know these many-legged creatures – learning their habits will help you keep them at bay.

No one wants to find one of these in their morning shower.

a centipede by a drain

There are many different kinds of centipedes around the country, but the kind that causes the most complaints from Chester to Ashland and everywhere in between is the house centipede (pictured above).

This article will help you understand what centipedes look like, what their behavior is, and what attracts them to your home. It should give you some good information to be able to identify these creatures and, hopefully, keep them out of your living spaces!


What Do Centipedes Look Like?

Many varieties of centipedes have differences in the way they look, but most people can recognize them by their numerous legs. Simply, centipedes generally look like a worm with legs sticking out everywhere. Centipedes in Virginia can range from a dark reddish-brown to a brightly striped yellow, and have hard- or soft-looking bodies. The recognizable shape and leg count remains similar throughout the variety of species.

The most common centipede in Virginia is the house centipede. Understandably, this is also the centipede that causes the most grief for homeowners in the Greater Richmond Area. These centipedes are yellow-grey with dark stripes running the length of their back. They have long antennae on both the front and back of their body, and powerful, tapering legs practically everywhere else. These bugs are fast and, because they are nocturnal, they may be hard to catch. Homeowners may not realize they have a budding problem until finding themselves in the middle of a full infestation.

While some centipedes' bites (or even bodies) can cause pain, swelling, and itching, the house centipede is less toxic than many other centipede species. Fortunately, they prefer not to attack and like to be left alone.

What Attracts Centipedes To Your Home?

Centipedes are predators, feeding on other bugs such as spiders, cockroaches, silverfish, and other small arthropods. Centipedes will invade your home if they find an abundance of prey. Because they like dark, warm spaces, your home is a great place for them to live. Homeowners will often find them in basements, closets, and bathrooms. They also like to live in potted plants or crawlspaces; places that are warm and moist.

In your yard, centipedes will also seek warm, moist places, such as rotting logs, mulch piles, fallen leaves, or under stones. They will be attracted to yards that have many other bugs for them to hunt, so keeping your yard and home free of other insects will make your living spaces less hospitable for centipedes.

Does One Centipede Mean An Infestation?

Finding even one centipede in your house can be frightening, but does not necessarily mean you've already got an infestation. Unfortunately, though, finding a centipede in your house does usually mean you've at least got other unwanted creatures roaming your living spaces. Because centipedes feed on other pests, they've come to live with you because you've got a nice food supply for them.... other bugs.

But don't worry, Virginia Pest Pro can help with centipedes AND with all the pests that are attracting them to your home. If you've seen a centipede (or many of them), give us a call so we can help get them under control.

For more information on pests in Virginia, check out our Pest Library!

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