Centipedes in Boise, Idaho

young family

Boise, Idaho, with its diverse climate and landscape, is no stranger to the occasional presence of centipedes. While these arthropods are generally harmless, understanding their behavior and taking preventive measures can help maintain a pest-free home environment. In this blog, we will delve into the various aspects of centipedes in Boise, covering their appearance, attraction factors, hiding spots, prevention methods, and effective ways to get rid of them.

Most Common Types of Centipedes in Boise

Understanding the various types of centipedes that frequent the Boise area is crucial for residents looking to navigate these encounters. In this brief overview, we'll identify and explore the most common types of centipedes found in Boise, shedding light on the habits and potential impact of these common pests on the local environment.

House Centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata)

  • Appearance: House centipedes are easily recognizable by their long, flattened bodies, featuring numerous legs. Typically, they measure about 1 to 1.5 inches in length. Their coloration includes shades of yellowish-gray with dark stripes along their bodies.
  • Habitat: True to their name, house centipedes are often found indoors, seeking refuge in damp and dark areas. They are frequently spotted in basements, bathrooms, and crawl spaces.
  • Behavior: House centipedes are nocturnal hunters, preying on insects and spiders. They are agile and fast, using their numerous legs to navigate and capture their prey.

Stone Centipede (Lithobiomorpha)

  • Appearance: Stone centipedes are slender and elongated, with a more cylindrical body compared to house centipedes. They range in size from 1 to 2 inches and display a variety of colors, including brown, gray, and sometimes reddish hues.
  • Habitat: These centipedes prefer outdoor environments and are commonly found in gardens, leaf litter, and under rocks. They thrive in moist conditions.
  • Behavior: Stone centipedes are carnivorous and feed on small insects. They are adept at burrowing into the soil and are known for their ability to navigate through various terrains.

Desert Centipede (Scolopendra polymorpha)

  • Appearance: Larger than the others, desert centipedes can grow up to 6 inches in length. They have a distinctive reddish-brown coloration, with dark markings along their bodies. Their legs are prominently visible, giving them an imposing appearance.
  • Habitat: As the name suggests, desert centipedes are well adapted to arid environments. They can be found in sandy or rocky areas, particularly in the outskirts of Boise.
  • Behavior: Desert centipedes are formidable predators, preying on insects, spiders, and even small vertebrates. They are known for their aggressive behavior and can deliver a mild venomous bite if provoked.

Recognizing these features is essential for proper identification and differentiation from other pests commonly found in Boise homes.

What Attracts Centipedes To Your Home?

Understanding the factors that attract centipedes can help homeowners take proactive measures to minimize their presence:

  • Moisture: Centipedes thrive in damp environments. Boise's climate can contribute to increased humidity, making homes with moisture issues more appealing.
  • Food Sources: Centipedes are carnivorous, preying on insects, spiders, and other small pests. Homes with abundant prey can attract centipedes.
  • Warmth: Centipedes are more active in warmer temperatures, making the comfortable climate of Boise an ideal habitat.

By addressing these attractants, homeowners can create an environment less conducive to centipede infestations.

How to Prevent Centipedes in Your Boise House

Preventing centipedes in Boise, Idaho, involves implementing measures to make your home less attractive to these pests. Here are some effective steps to prevent centipedes:

  • Seal Entry Points: Inspect your home for cracks, gaps, and openings, especially around doors and windows. Seal these entry points using caulk or weather stripping to prevent centipedes from gaining access.
  • Reduce Humidity: Centipedes thrive in damp environments. Use dehumidifiers in basements and crawl spaces to reduce humidity levels. Ensure proper ventilation in bathrooms and attics to discourage centipede activity.
  • Remove Debris: Keep the area around your home free of organic debris, such as leaves and woodpiles, as these provide hiding spots for centipedes. Regularly clean gutters to prevent water accumulation.
  • Maintain a Clean Environment: Regularly clean and vacuum your home to eliminate potential food sources for centipedes, such as insects and spiders. Pay attention to corners, closets, and basements where centipedes may hide.
  • Fix Plumbing Issues: Centipedes are attracted to moisture, so fix any plumbing leaks promptly. Ensure that downspouts direct water away from the foundation, and fix any drainage issues around your property.
  • Use Insecticides: Apply insecticides to outdoor areas where centipedes are likely to hide or enter the home. Focus on perimeter treatments and areas with high centipede activity.
  • Natural Repellents: Use natural repellents, such as diatomaceous earth or boric acid, in areas where centipedes are commonly found. These substances can deter centipedes without posing significant risks to humans or pets.
  • Install Door Sweeps: Install door sweeps on exterior doors to prevent centipedes from crawling underneath. Ensure that windows are properly screened to keep centipedes and other pests out.
  • Lighting: Centipedes are nocturnal and are attracted to light. Consider using yellow outdoor lighting, which is less attractive to insects and, consequently, to centipedes.
  • Regular Inspections: Conduct regular inspections of your home, paying attention to potential hiding spots for centipedes. Promptly address any issues to prevent an infestation from taking hold.

By taking these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of centipedes invading your home in Boise. If a centipede infestation persists or if you have specific concerns, consider consulting with a pest control professional for tailored advice and solutions.

How to Get Rid of Centipedes

If you're dealing with a centipede infestation and prefer focusing on traps rather than repellents, here are effective methods to get rid of centipedes using traps and other targeted approaches:

  • Sticky Traps: Place sticky traps in areas where centipedes are frequently seen. These traps use adhesive surfaces to catch and immobilize centipedes as they move across them. Common areas for placement include along baseboards, in corners, and near entry points.
  • DIY Boric Acid Traps: Create your own centipede traps using boric acid. Mix boric acid with flour and water to form a paste. Place small amounts of the paste on pieces of cardboard and position them in areas with centipede activity. The centipedes will be attracted to the bait and ingest the boric acid, which is lethal to them.
  • Commercial Insect Traps: Invest in commercially available insect traps designed to capture crawling pests. These traps typically use a combination of attractants and sticky surfaces to trap centipedes and other insects. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for placement.
  • Diatomaceous Earth (DE): Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth in areas where centipedes are active. DE is a natural substance that, when ingested by centipedes, damages their exoskeleton, leading to dehydration and death.
  • Vacuuming: Use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to physically remove centipedes from surfaces. Empty the vacuum bag or canister promptly after each use to prevent the centipedes from escaping.
  • Moisture Control: Centipedes are attracted to moisture, so addressing damp conditions can help control their population. Fix any plumbing leaks, improve ventilation in basements, and use a dehumidifier where necessary.
  • Professional Pest Control: If the infestation is severe or persistent, consider seeking the services of a professional pest control expert. They can assess the situation and implement targeted treatments to eliminate centipedes.

Centipedes may be a common presence in Boise homes, but with a proactive approach to prevention and effective strategies for elimination, homeowners can create a more comfortable living space. By understanding what attracts centipedes, where they hide, and implementing preventive measures, Boise residents can enjoy a pest-free home environment.

Experienced Professionals in Boise

If you are looking for pest control services to provide you with on-going protection from nuisance pests like centipedes, look no further than Affinity Pest Control. Our team of local exterminators provide you with peace of mind when it comes to our comprehensive pest removal and prevention treatments. Contact our team today to learn more!



FAQ About Centipedes

Here are some of the most common questions our teams get when it comes to getting rid of centipedes.

Where Do Centipedes Hide?

Centipedes are skilled at finding hiding spots within homes. Common areas include:

  • Basements and Crawl Spaces: Dark, humid environments are prime hiding spots for centipedes.
  • Bathrooms: Moisture-rich areas provide suitable conditions for centipedes to hide.
  • Underneath Appliances: Centipedes may seek shelter under refrigerators, washing machines, and other household appliances.
  • Cracks and Crevices: Small openings in walls, floors, and foundations serve as entry points and hiding spots for centipedes.

Identifying these hiding places is crucial for effective preventive measures.

Are Centipedes Dangerous?

The majority of centipedes are not considered dangerous to humans. While centipedes are equipped with venomous jaws that they use to subdue their prey, their venom is generally not harmful to people. Most centipede bites result in localized pain, redness, and swelling, similar to a bee or wasp sting.

Do Centipedes Bite?

Yes, centipedes are capable of biting. However, the vast majority of centipede bites are not harmful to humans. House centipedes, which are commonly found indoors, have venomous jaws that they use to subdue and feed on small insects, spiders, and other prey. While a centipede bite can be painful, it is typically not considered dangerous, and the symptoms of painful bites are usually limited to localized pain and swelling.

It's important to note that centipedes are generally not aggressive towards humans and will typically only bite if they feel threatened or cornered. As a preventive measure, it's advisable to avoid handling centipedes, especially if you are unsure of the specific species and its potential effects.

How Many Legs Do Centipedes Have?

Centipedes are characterized by having a varying number of legs, depending on the species. Despite their name, centipedes do not have exactly 100 legs. The number of legs ranges widely among different centipede species, and it is always an odd number of pairs.

On average, centipedes have between 15 and 177 pairs of legs, resulting in a total leg count ranging from 30 to 354 legs. Each body segment typically bears one pair of legs, and the legs are long, slender, and jointed.

The number of legs and segments can be a useful characteristic for identifying different centipede species. The arrangement of legs and other physical features can vary, contributing to the diversity within the centipede family.

Not sure what your home needs? Let us help.