The Best Way to Get Rid of Centipedes & Spiders
Maybe you've heard the expression, "insects are our friends," and then scoffed while thinking, "not mine." Even when considering that some centipedes eat spiders, that still leaves a potential spiderless home with at least one unwelcome centipede. But before calling the professional exterminators, there are a number of things you can do to try to drive centipedes and spiders away, or to deter them from making your home theirs. And while some methods may not be the most pleasant, they're probably not as bad as facing an infestation of centipedes and spiders in your home.
Seal openings. The best way to rid yourself of spiders and centipedes is to prevent them from entering your place in the first place. Caulk or seal spaces around doors and windows, or anywhere that would allow insects to enter. Install windows and doors that shut tightly. Don't worry about trapping spiders and centipedes already in your place; it's more important to prevent more from coming in.
Place deterrents around the home. Apply insecticides on doorsills, windowsills, baseboards or any other areas where insects can enter, either from outside or from the basement. Insecticides come in liquid, aerosol and dust form. Sprays work well against exposed centipedes and spiders, while dusts work well for spacious, vacant rooms. Take special note of product instructions.
Vacuum any visible spider webs, egg sacs or even the spiders themselves. Then dispose of the vacuumed contents outside. Keep your house clean and avoid leaving food sitting on countertops. By denying spiders and centipedes a food supply, you'll hopefully inspire them to move elsewhere. Sweep and dust often.
Remove clutter. Move away piles of papers, boxes or any junk that would seem inviting to spiders or centipedes in all areas of the home. Centipedes especially prefer damp areas, and both spiders and centipedes like the dark.
Take away materials that shelter centipedes and spiders outside the home. Don't allow mulch, wooden boards or other materials to pile up next to the home. Dethatch your lawn regularly to promote a drier lawn, since centipedes especially prefer dampness. But some spiders, such as the black widow, prefer drier spots, as they are found in dry piles of lumber or firewood. Spray insecticide near these areas -- not on the wood -- if needed.
- Biology and Control of Spiders, Scorpions, Centipedes and Millipedes; John D. Hopkins, et al.
- Popular Mechanics' Complete Home How-To Guide; Albert Jackson, David Day
- Use caution when using insecticides around small children and pets.
Aaron Charles began writing about "pragmatic art" in 2006 for an online arts journal based in Minneapolis, Minn. After working for telecom giant Comcast and traveling to Oregon, he's written business and technology articles for both online and print publications, including Salon.com and "The Portland Upside."
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