Pest Identification: Centipedes in Tennessee
Fast-moving. Venomous. Unnerving. These are just a few of the adjectives used to describe centipedes, those predatory terrestrial arthropods with long bodies and many-jointed legs. Despite their name, centipedes don’t actually have exactly 100 legs. In fact, they can have anywhere from 30 to 354, although they always have an odd number of pairs of legs.
Common habitats for centipedes include damp areas, such as beneath leaves, stones, boards, tree bark, or outdoor planters. These carnivorous creatures often make their homes outside, but they can find their way into your home via cracks or crevices in your foundation.
Centipedes’ presence in your home is something to be concerned about, primarily due to their venomous nature. Depending on the centipedes’ size, their bite may range in effects from pronounced pain to allergic reactions. Larger centipedes have caused anaphylactic shock in some people, especially small children and those with bee sting allergies. Small centipedes are usually incapable of biting through human skin.
How to Identify Centipedes
Centipedes are best identified by their segmented bodies. Each segment contains one pair of legs. A general rule of thumb to differentiate them from millipedes is the speed with which they move. Centipedes are fast, whereas millipedes are slow. You can also note centipedes by the pair of antennae atop their head and their elongated mandibles. The primary method of identifying centipedes is the pair of forcipules—pincer-like appendages—that are the first pair of legs just behind their heads.
Centipedes are generalist predators that eat soft-bodied insects, worms, spiders, and even other centipedes. They’re not known to eat wood. If you’ve seen a centipede in your home, you may be tempted to smash it immediately. Resist that impulse! Even though they have a painful bite, centipedes may be a sign of another, more serious pest infestation in your home. In the event you have seen one or more centipedes, placing a phone call to U.S. Pest Protection for a thorough inspection is a better idea.
Removing Centipedes and Other Pests
Centipedes rank pretty low on the scale of dangerous insects, but it is important to keep your home free of insects to keep your family safe. If you’ve noticed a centipede (or more) in your home, contact U.S. Pest Protection. We’ll arrive promptly and provide you with a thorough inspection and targeted treatment plans to eliminate centipedes, cockroaches, and any other bugs you may have crawling about in your home. Don’t wait! Contact us today for your appointment.
Our Approach to Pest Control & Prevention
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