a centipede on a leaf

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Centipedes are sometimes called “hundred leggers” because they have so many legs. Centipedes can be found throughout the United States including right here in South Carolina. While their appearance is often alarming to homeowners, these pests are not looking to cause harm.

a house centipede in the corner of a room

What do centipedes look like?

Centipedes may have anywhere from 15 to 177 pairs of legs. They are elongated and flattened and appear worm-like. They’re usually yellowish to dark brown in color and may have darker stripes or markings on their body.

Quick centipede facts

  • Were first reported in Pennsylvania in 1849

  • Are considered nuisance pests and are not a threat to health or property

  • Have many pairs of legs and the ability to dart across the floor with speed

  • Have poison glands and a way to inject venom but don't often bite

  • Hide during day and come out at night to locate silverfish, roaches, spiders, and other prey

Centipede habits and behaviors

House centipedes in South Carolina are nocturnal, being more active at night. They eat flies, spiders and occasionally plant tissue. They prefer to be in areas of high moisture which means bathrooms, crawlspaces and potted plants are likely sources to attract centipedes. Outside, they will prefer spending their time near rotting logs, under rocks or stones, and in trash or piles of leaves.

Are centipedes dangerous?

Centipedes are considered nuisance pests and don’t pose a threat to property or people. They do, however, have a poison in their jaws that they use to inject into their prey. If you roughly handle some of the larger species, they could bite. This can be a painful bite that can break the skin and cause swelling, much like a bee sting.

Does Aiken treat centipedes?

Yes, we do treat for centipedes. Please call us for more information on our home pest control services.


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