How to Get Rid of Centipedes in Apartment?

Anyone who has lived in an apartment invaded by centipedes will tell you that once they find their way into an apartment, they do not want to leave.

And since they are not solitary creatures, if you spot one, he’s not alone, others are waiting in the wings. 

You can kill them and dry out damp areas that centipedes love, but these are merely stopgap measures.

It’s not easy, but there are ways to not only get rid of centipedes in your apartment but prevent them from returning.

In order to accomplish this, you need to know their likes and habits. And because centipedes will not harm you. You don’t need to call in an exterminator.

You can do it yourself.

Read on to learn how to get rid of centipedes in your apartment once and for all. 

Remove Them Anytime You Spot Them

Removing centipedes each time you spot them is one of the natural ways of getting rid of centipedes. 

However, you have to match their speed to succeed. They have long legs that make these creatures very fast, so you have to act fast immediately if you spot one.

Luckily, only a few centipedes usually invade an apartment, and by bug-spraying any time you spot one, you can easily eliminate them.

A better way would be to get the centipede to enter a jar and release it outdoors. If there’s a garden nearby, centipedes are very useful there.

They feed on insects that damage plants.

Remember, centipedes are harmless, so you don’t need to fear them. But if you cannot go anywhere near them, then go ahead and use a spray.

Eliminate Insects in Your Apartment

You don’t need to worry about the centipedes hurting you as they are harmless to humans but woe unto insects.

Centipede bites have a venom that helps eliminate many insects inside your apartment, spiders and roaches included. 

Therefore, when you get rid of ants, bed bugs, silverfish, and spiders, you help get rid of centipedes.

With nothing to feed on, these creepy creatures will either die or relocate to your neighbors.

If you observe that centipedes keep multiplying in your apartment, it means they’re getting enough food (insects).

It also means humidity levels inside your home are favorable.

Act fast and look for natural ways of eliminating these pests. That way, you kill two birds with one stone.

Of course, a starved centipede is as good as dead or soon on its way to more favorable conditions.

Whichever way works out for you.

Sticky Traps Can Get the Job Done

The hunting grounds for centipedes are primarily near the corners and in crevices where pests hide.

So, you can set up sticky traps in these areas, and you may end up catching the centipedes and all other insects trying to sneak into your apartment.

It’s worth noting that glue traps may not work for all centipedes, especially the large ones that tend to walk on top of these traps but still escape, leaving behind some legs.

This method is most effective for the smaller centipedes.

A Dry Home Keeps Centipedes Away

Centipedes thrive in high humidity conditions. Therefore, keeping your apartment dry will result in these unwanted insects drying out, ultimately dying.

Clean all damp areas, including closets and the basement. A dehumidifier is essential for keeping these spaces dry.

Also, keep your bathroom dry by wiping off the water on the floor after you shower.

Additionally, fix any leaking taps and pipes. And if you have any leakages on your walls, that’s a sign your roofing needs repair.

Silica is another effective absorbent that you can place in those damp areas in your home. It will absorb all the moisture on the floor and the air, leaving those spaces dry.

By keeping your apartment dry, you solve the cause of centipedes invading your home-high humidity.

Try an Artificial Remedy—Insecticide

If you’re unsuccessful at getting rid of centipedes using natural methods, insecticides are your best option. These are readily available at all local garden supply stores.

However, there’s a downside to using insecticides. They only solve the problem temporarily.

Just ensure you follow the instructions carefully to get the job done. And as much as these products cannot kill you, it’s advisable to limit your contact and that of your pets with them.

Alternatively, you can use natural pesticides. Just be careful not to harm you and your family, pets, and the earth. 

Boric acid is an example of an effective all-natural pesticide you can use to control centipedes.

Pyrethroid-containing products also help kill centipedes. So, you can also use them as a spray or fog to exterminate centipedes.

Examples of pyrethroid-containing products are permethrin, deltamethrin, and cypermethrin.

Clean Your Outdoor Areas

Cleaning inside your apartment is not enough. Those areas around the perimeter of your home should be free from organic materials such as tarps, firewood, compost bins, and mulch.

When left warm, dark, and moist, these areas are suitable places for centipedes to thrive.

Therefore, clean the areas, putting away any materials adjacent to your apartment as far as possible.

Other cleanliness measures to take include:

  • Mow your lawn and trim those bushes around your apartment.
  • Remove any wood, compost, building materials, and leaves piling up around your house.
  • Get rid of compost bins and sprinklers or any other damp items near your apartment.
  • Remove any ivy growing on the exterior walls of your apartment as centipedes love living in there.

Surround Your Entire Apartment with A Barrier

A barrier (moat-like) around your home goes a long way in keeping off centipedes.

Remember, all centipedes inside your apartment come from the outside.

Therefore, using a natural or chemical insecticide to set up the barrier will keep them off.

Anytime they come near the insecticide, they will die. Even the fast-moving ones that manage to bypass the barrier will be dead by the time they get inside your house.

Organic pesticides are very effective in eliminating ants. The good news is that such products containing cyhalothrin are even more effective in dealing with centipedes.

Seal All Holes and Cracks That Act as Entrance Points

When your walls have holes, crevices, and cracks, these act as access points that let insects into your apartment.

Look for such entry points in your home’s concrete foundation, around the windows and doors, and in the walls, and seal them.

That way, centipedes cannot find a way into your apartment.

Make it a habit to do the following:

  • Inspect your apartment thoroughly to identify entry points and seal them.
  • Cover vents and drains in your bathroom and basement using screens.
  • Apply weatherstripping outside to stop centipedes from intruding on your home.
  • Repair all cracks and holes in the building.

Try Cayenne Pepper (The Hot Repellent)

Cayenne pepper is one of the most effective centipede home-made repellents.

Spread the pepper (in powder form) around the entrance points outside and inside your apartment or any home area with centipede activity.

However, if you have children or pets, it’s better to avoid using cayenne pepper.

It doesn’t hurt so much, but it’s not worth risking when you can try other harmless ways of getting rid of centipedes.

Call in Professionals

Finally, as much as centipedes are no threat to humans, exterminators are still there to help you in such a situation as a centipede invasion.

Therefore, if you have tried all methods mentioned above to no avail, it may be time you sought help from a professional.

Exterminators will come to your home, search every corner for centipede activity, and when they locate these creatures, they will kill them together with their eggs.

In addition, they will spray highly effective and safe pesticides around your apartment.

Of course, exterminators will always get the job done without you doing all the work involved in the other methods previously mentioned.

Therefore, if you can afford to employ their services, it’s recommended to go this route. Without a doubt, their efforts will be worth the money you spend.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are many ways to help you rid your apartment of centipedes. Remember, these insects are harmless to humans and will rarely bite you.

The great news is that most of these remedies are natural. They will help you repel these multiple-legged fast-moving monsters and also kill them.

In addition, most of these methods are safe for you and your entire family, including pets and the environment as a whole.

If you have been looking for ways of eliminating these unwanted creatures once and for all, there you go!


Here are some frequently asked questions on how to get rid of centipedes in an apartment:

What Is the Best Way to Kill Centipedes?

The best, quickest, and most effective way of getting rid of centipedes is to trap them in a jar and dispose of them in a garden.

Alternatively, once you spot one, reach for your bug spray and spritz it on them immediately.

Why Am I Spotting So Many Centipedes in My Apartment?

Centipedes thrive in humid and dark spaces. Therefore, if your apartment has so many of them, chances are your house is too moist.

As a result, you’ll see them in bathrooms, the basement, closets, and sometimes even in sinks and tubs.

Drying up your home will help eliminate them. They will dry up and die.

How to Identify a Centipede?

More likely than not, you’ve heard of centipedes. If you have never seen one zip across the floor in your apartment, count yourself fortunate.

But if you live in an area they frequent, it’s important for you to recognize one should you come upon one. But first a few facts.

Centipedes belong to the biological phylum of arthropods which also include spiders, crabs, scorpions, and shrimp.

They have long flattened worm-like bodies that can be as short as one inch or as long as six inches.

However, the house centipede you’re apt to find in your apartment is more likely to be no longer than one and a half inches long. 

Some people call centipedes hundred-leggers. If you’ve never seen one, this self-explanatory nickname will allow you to recognize one at first sight, and if you’re familiar with them, you’ll smile at how apt it is.

But it’s far from original. The name centipede comes from the Latin words, centum for a hundred and ped for the foot. And this is not always an exaggeration!

A centipede can have anywhere from 15 to 177 pairs of legs. It depends on the species of centipede.

Mind you that’s not legs, that’s pairs of legs. 

And here’s a trivia-worthy fact. If you ever have the time and curiosity to count them, you’ll find that no matter what type of centipede you’re examining, you’ll always come up with an odd number of leg pairs.

Other Identifying Features

Centipede bodies can be a dark brown or a brighter yellowish brown.

Either color can be accompanied by either black stripes or other dark distinctive markings.  Other singular features that give them a unique look include

  • small mouths
  • large claw-like appendages
  • long hairy antennae that, due to their extreme sensitivity, are usually in motion.

As if this description were not off-putting, enough, you should know that those claw-type appendages contain a venomous gland.

And there’s the matter of their eyes. Depending on the species of centipede, there are three possibilities: compound eyes holding as many as 200 units of vision; a cluster of simple eyes on each side of the head; or no eyes at all.

In the end, the number of eyes a centipede has, two hundred or zero, does not matter.

The majority of centipedes have extremely poor eyesight. They rely on their long sensitive antennae and their sense of smell to track their prey which can be insects, spiders, or plants.

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