What to Do About Silverfish, Millipedes, & Centipedes

What to Do About Silverfish, Millipedes, & Centipedes

Warmer weather is welcome as we have endured a cold winter here in the Carolinas and Virginia. Several bouts of snow and ice have left us wishing that spring would get here sooner than later. We are ready to get outside and enjoy our beautiful area. 

Of course, there are a few small downsides to warmer weather. We cannot emphasize how annoying some of these small spring annoyances can be, including many-legged pests like silverfish, millipedes, and centipedes. In this article, we want to help you keep creepy-crawlies from ruining your spring fun. 


Information About Silverfish, Millipedes, and Centipedes

The more you know about the type of pests in your home, the better you can control a potential infestation. 

What You Need to Know About Silverfish

The silverfish is a small, primitive, wingless insect belonging to the Zygentoma group. The insect's common name comes from its silvery light gray color and the fish-like way it moves. 

Silverfish are frequently brought indoors by unwitting homeowners. These pests will quickly establish themselves in items such as cardboard boxes and plastic. 

From there, they can spread throughout your house, infiltrating your home through cracks, damaged screens, and gaps in the foundation. They will enter basements and crawl areas, and they thrive in warm, moist environments.

Silverfish feed on grains indoors and gnaw gaping holes in clothing, upholstery, and paper. They can inflict a lot of harm and ruin the stuff you care about, such as stored paperwork, books, vintage clothing, and more. 

Signs you have a silverfish infestation include:

  • Yellow Stains or Dust
  • Shed Skin
  • Holes
  • Cracks and Crevices

At the first sign of silverfish, you need to take steps to have them exterminated

What You Need to Know About Millipedes 

Millipedes are a group of arthropods that have two pairs of jointed legs on most of their body segments; they belong to the Diplopoda class, which gets its name from this characteristic. Two single segments are fused together to form each double-legged segment.

Millipedes prefer damp environments such as mulch, leaves, compost piles, boards, and stones. They typically live outdoors but will sometimes find their way into your home in search of water when it’s especially dry, shelter if there has been excessive rain, or food if they cannot find any outdoors. 

In most cases, millipedes will go undetected in your home. The only way to know if millipedes are present in your home is if you happen to see them on the move.

When cleaning the basement, you may come across a clump of millipedes beneath some old boxes, furniture, or in a warm, damp area. When threatened or crushed, millipedes can release a foul-smelling liquid. This substance has the potential to discolor surrounding clothes and carpeting.

They are generally harmless. You could experience some minor irritation on your skin if you come into contact with one. They generally won’t harm you or your pets or cause damage, but they are unsightly, and homeowners don’t typically want them hanging around. 

What You Need to Know Centipedes

Centipedes have a flat, elongated body and come in a variety of sizes. Despite their name, they have anywhere from 15 to 177 pairs of legs, with one pair in each segment, depending on the species. Centipedes come in a variety of colors, although brown and reddish-orange are the most prevalent.

House centipedes don't leave any traces of their presence in your home. They don't form a nest or colony as ants or termites do; instead, they locate a new hiding spot every day. A house centipede is most likely to be found resting on a wall, imprisoned in a sink or bathtub, or quickly emerging from its hiding area to locate another.

Centipedes eat ants, spiders, bed bugs, roaches, and silverfish, among other insects. You may be dealing with house centipedes if you've encountered any of these pests in your home. The presence of centipedes could be indicative of an infestation of a more dangerous and damaging pest. 

How to Get Rid Of Silverfish, Millipedes, and Centipedes

Generally, the process for eradicating these pests is the same. Follow these steps to reduce the occurrence of these many-legged pests:

  • Remove any standing water or excess moisture from the foundation or crawl spaces.
  • Keep moisture away from your foundation wall with properly functioning gutters, downspouts, and splash blocks.
  • If your home's drainage is inadequate, you may need to build tiles, drains, or slope the ground to allow water to flow away from the foundation appropriately.
  • Fix any leaking faucets, water pipelines, or air conditioners.
  • To prevent water from accumulating on your grass, adjust your sprinkler system.
  • Provide ventilation, sump pumps, and polyethylene soil covers to reduce humidity in your crawl area or basement.
  • Millipedes thrive on the damp thatch layer of grass that has been neglected. To make your lawn less inviting to millipedes, detatch it and mow it short.
  • Avoid overwatering your lawn or watering it at night.
  • Outside foundation cracks and openings should be sealed.
  • Enlist the services of a pest control expert.

Rid-A-Bug Extermination 

If you have silverfish, millipedes, or centipedes in your home, the team at Rid-A-Bug Extermination is here to help. We have decades of experience exterminating these creepy crawlers, helping you rest more easily and enjoy everything about spring in our beautiful area. 

Contact Rid-A-Bug today for pest control services related to silverfish, millipedes, centipedes, and any other insect you don’t want in your home.