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How to Get Rid of Centipedes & Silverfish

By Brock Cooper

Centipedes and silverfish look like they could belong in a 1950's horror movie about terrifying insects. While they don't do a large amount of damage like other household pests such as termites, they can be annoying and their weird legs and alien shapes can be intimidating, especially to young children. Luckily, getting these horror film rejects out of your home is relatively easy if you follow a few simple, but crucial steps.

Getting Rid of Centipedes and Silverfish

Search for the insects in their most likely habitats. Both insects thrive in areas of darkness and moisture or where they have adequate food supply. Common areas include basements, attics, cracks in the foundation and under sinks. Silverfish will eat almost any organic materials including book glue and paper. Centipedes tend to feed on other live insects, such as the silverfish.

Remove the moisture around sites where the pests may gather. Fix any leaky pipes and use dehumidifiers to reduce areas of high moisture. Centipedes will actually dry up and die without adequate moisture, while the silverfish will seek a new place to live.

Clean the house. Silverfish feed on anything organic so clean up any stray food stuffs and clean dishes as soon as they used. Also refrain from stacking books, papers, etc. in boxes or in high moisture areas such as basements. This is the perfect feeding ground for a silverfish. Cleaning should also get rid of other types of insects that the centipedes feed on.

Spray insecticides or dusts. Both insects are vulnerable to spray pesticides including Cyonara 9.7 and Drione. If this is used outside of the house, it will keep them from coming in. If it used inside, it should kill off the insects fairly soon. An insecticide dust such as Demon WP can be used in the foundation cracks and various other crevices where the insects tend to reside.


Things You Will Need

  • insecticide
  • cleaning supplies

About the Author


Brock Cooper attended Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Ill. He was a reporter for seven years with a daily in Illinois before branching out into marketing and media relations. He has experience in writing everything from press releases to features on a variety of subjects and forums. His work can be seen in NewsTribune newspaper, Chicago Parent magazine and several websites.