House centipedes may look scary, but they are actually harmless to humans! House centipedes have very small mouths that they cover with limbs called maxillipeds, which contain claw-like structures containing venom glands. These venom glands are used to poison their prey, but are harmless to humans. The bites of centipedes do not often break human skin, making them of little physical threat to homeowners. Other larger species of centipedes can inflict painful bites that do break skin and cause swelling. Most often though, it is the house centipede that homeowners notice invading their homes. They mostly feed on other insects like spiders and flies, but are also known to feast on plants.
Centipedes love environments with high amounts of moisture. This is why they can often be found in bark, under stones and rocks, in piles of trash, and under piles of leaves and grass. Their favorite spaces to invade in homes are bathrooms, potted plants, dark crawlspaces, and basements. Thus, the best way to keep your home free of centipedes is to reduce the amount of moisture around your home. Homeowners should remove piles of grass, leaves, trash, rotting wood, and debris or rocks from around their homes. Basements and crawlspaces should also be well ventilated. Keeping moist areas away will help keep centipedes away!