Centipedes are very unique creatures with many legs, poor eyesight and have the ability move very fast. The very agile centipede depends on touch and smell and is rarely seen in daylight. These nocturnal animals can live for up to six years. The centipede has the ability to bite, but this is a very rare occurrence.
The name centipede means “100 legs” but this is not an accurate analysis of centipedes with different species having anywhere from 15 to 177 pairs of legs. The body of the centipede is flat and elongated and made up of several segments, each of which contain a pair of legs. While they come in several colors and patterns, the most common colors are brown and reddish orange. Centipedes in New Jersey range in size, depending on the species, anywhere from 1/8th inch to 6 inches.
Centipedes have long, sensitive antennae and small mouths. However, they have large, claws that are equipped with a venom gland. These claws and venom are used while foraging for food to paralyze spiders, worms and other small vertebrates.
Centipedes leave no signs of habitation and any infestation of centipedes is only known by actual sightings and inspections. This doesn’t happen often due to the centipede’s nocturnal nature. They hide out in dark, damp areas of the home during daylight hours.
Dangers Associated With Centipedes
Centipedes are not considered dangerous. A need of centipede control normally indicates an abundance of other prey, posing a greater problem than an infestation of centipedes.
The prevention of centipedes in the home begins with reducing their source of food. The homeowner will need to know what other types of arthropods are in the house providing food for the centipedes. This can be a complicated procedure and normally calls for the services of centipede control and inspection professionals.
Sealing potential points of entry is another preventive measure that can be quite helpful. Fill all cracks and crevices in foundations and concrete floors with appropriate caulking material to prevent centipedes from accessing the house. Placing window screen material over basement floor drains will deter the access of centipedes from entering through drain sewers.