If you're new to the state of Hawaii, you may be curious about the threat centipedes pose. It is likely that you've heard about these scary bugs. You'll find everything you need to know right here.
For those of you who have lived here all your life, or long enough to have encountered a centipede, don't go anywhere. We have some facts to share with you as well. We're going to offer up some tips for how you can keep centipedes away from your property and out of your home.
How To Identify Centipedes
There are primarily three species of centipedes that we deal with in Oahu. They are Lithobius sp., Mecistocephalus maxillaris, and Scolopendra subspinipes. The last of the three is the centipede of most concern. It is the only medically important centipede in the state of Hawaii.
- Scolopendra centipedes go by many names. You may know them as Chinese red head centipedes, Vietnamese centipedes, or orange-legged jungle centipedes. The most common name used for them is giant centipede. A Scolopendra can be eight inches long. It is often dark red with orange and yellow legs.
- Lithobius centipedes are known commonly as stone centipedes. They can have the dark red coloration of a Scolopendra, but they're not giant centipedes. These centipedes are generally 2 inches long.
- Mecistocephalus centipedes are small, harmless critters. These little guys measure less than 1½ inches.
It is never good to find a centipede in your house. Large centipedes can present a health risk. Common sightings of tiny centipedes are an indication that you have lots of bugs in your home. These small centipedes go where food is plentiful.
Are Centipedes In Oahu Venomous?
A bite from a Scolopendra hurts quite a bit. Some describe this pain as surprisingly bad. In some cases, this will be the extent of the injury, but Scolopendra centipedes have the potential to cause worse issues. There may be erythema, induration, or necrosis. There is also the potential for an allergic reaction, which can lead to an anaphylactic response.
It is important to put all of this in perspective. Giant centipedes are in the same category as bees and wasps, in terms of the health risk they pose. You don't need to fear them, but it is a good idea to take measures to avoid centipede bites.
What Attracts Centipedes To Oahu Homes?
As we pointed out above, the presence of a food source will draw centipedes into your yard. When you take steps to reduce insects and other bugs, you make your property resistant to all the different kinds of centipedes we have in Oahu.
Here are some tips to help you remove attractants and create a barrier to keep centipedes out of your home:
- Keep trash covered and protected. Centipedes can find a meal in your trash. You're definitely going to want to keep them out of your trash. It is also a good idea to deodorize any receptacles that start to smell bad. The scent of rotting organic matter can lure centipedes from a distance.
- Remove clutter from your yard, particularly organic clutter. Centipedes like to hide in the dark, moist spaces that yard clutter offers. They'll get under some leaves, sticks, scrap wood, or a towel lying next to the pool.
- Reduce exterior light. Insects are attracted to white light. If you keep lights off, you won't draw as many insects to your home at night. You may also consider replacing white lights with yellow lights, as insects can't detect yellow light.
- Keep your perimeter as dry as possible. High humidity and damp habitation will attract centipedes and also many of the bugs they eat. Clean your gutters. Repair gutter breaks. Remove unnecessary vegetation from your landscape.
- Seal potential entry points in your exterior. Use a caulking gun to seal every gap and hole you can find. Replace damaged or worn out weatherstripping around doors. Install door sweeps if you don't have them. Make sure all your door and window screens are in good working condition. Doing this will create a physical barrier that will make it harder for centipedes to get in your home.
If you take these steps, you can make your property less of a target for centipedes. You can get even more control of insect and bug activity by contacting Oahu pest control. Licensed professionals provide routine treatments throughout the year to manage a wide range of pests.
How To Get Rid Of Centipedes On Oahu Properties
If you keep finding centipedes in your Oahu house, or you're noticing centipedes in plants around your house, the best solution is to contact Pest Tech Hawaii for our residential pest control service. We can get those centipedes out and help to keep them away from the exterior of your home. We'd love the opportunity to speak with you about it. Reach out to us today for immediate assistance.
I have been using Pest Tech for the unit I manage and my personal property for the last 3 years. They are always on time, makes sure to follow up before regular service, cost efficient and always friendly.