Centipedes have a lot of legs. Every body segment carries one pair of legs, contrary to the millipedes, in which each segment has two pairs of legs. Centipedes do not eat from plants. They are active predators, and mainly feed on insects, small slugs and worms. Most centipedes in and around buildings belong to the Geophilidae family.
Appearance and lifestyle
Centipedes have a long body consisting of many segments. They have more than thirty pair of short legs. A centipede makes a serpentine motion when moving. They are well-equipped to move in humus and soil. They can often be found in rotten leafs and in the top layers of the soil, and under the bark of trees and in rotting wood. The colour can vary from red or brown to very pale yellow. When centipedes are found indoors, this is usually due to too high humidity. Often, centipedes live massively between the always somewhat damp reed of a thatched roof. From there, they can easily reach the quarters of the top floor. A supply of potatoes located in the basement which is in poor condition can also form a source of contamination due to the presence of insects. Centipedes do not cause any damage; at most they are somewhat annoying in great numbers.
Prevention & Control
To get rid of these animals, the source of contamination must first be removed, for instance a batch of old potatoes. Rotting organic material, such as fallen leafs on flat roofs should also be removed. Because this will eliminate any prey, the centipedes will disappear as well. In addition, an infestation of centipedes can be prevented by making the house and – in particular – the quarters where the centipedes are in great numbers, as dry as possible. This can be done through ventilation in sunny, dry weather or by dry-firing. In addition, cracks, through which the centipedes reach certain rooms, can be sealed. If a single centipede is found in the quarters every once in a while, this is not important, and means that measures are not required.