November 18, 2023

What Do Centipedes Eat?

Like their wild cousins, house centipedes are opportunistic predators that feed on a wide variety of small invertebrates. Their feeding habits help to keep the populations of many pests in check and they are often found in damp, dark places such as under rocks and mulch or inside compost bins where they will search for food.

In the wild, centipedes hunt for a wide range of prey including earthworms, spiders, moths, crickets, wood lice, earwigs, and millipedes. Some species are more carnivorous than others and can even eat small vertebrates such as frogs, toads, lizards, and snakes. Centipedes also possess the ability to liquefy their own body fluids and can secrete a mild venom that can be used against predators.

Despite their fearsome appearance, centipedes are not dangerous to people. The rare case where a person is bitten by a centipede, the bite is not usually severe and does not require medical attention.

The biggest concern associated with the presence of centipedes in a home is that they are there to eat insects. A good centipede control program should include steps to eliminate their hiding spots and reduce the amount of insects they have available for foraging. This can be done by moving firewood away from the foundation, using a rake to clear a 12’’ zone of dead leaves and debris, and making sure there are no piles of mulch or other material close to the house. In addition, a good garden centipede control program should consist of regularly spraying plants with a liquid insecticide to keep centipedes away from them.

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