True centipedes are predatory arthropods. Despite variations in appearance among the 2,500 known species worldwide, all share certain key features making them readily identifiable as members of the same class, Chilopoda. Centipedes have elongated, flattened, chitinous exoskeletons divided into segments. All but the final two segments bear a pair of jointed appendages.
All currently known centipede species are carnivorous and all share a similar adaptation of the first anterior pair of appendages. Instead of the locomotive role assigned the remaining paired limbs, these have evolved into hollow mandibles, which allow the centipede to grasp its prey, subduing it with venom from its poison glands. Predominantly nocturnal, the majority of species live in tropical areas, preferring moist environments. Many have successfully adapted to more temperate climates in the Midwest, and are widely distributed across the United States.
All Chilopoda are venomous, but no North American species is capable of inflicting more than a painful bite on their human neighbors. Despite their disconcerting appearance and startling speed, centipedes are among the most benign creatures with which we share our living spaces. They subsist on a variety of genuinely harmful insect pests including silverfish, bedbugs, flies, cockroaches and termites. Most live under rocks, woodpiles, compost heaps or in other lightless, moisture-retaining environments, demonstrating a universal preference for damp, dark habitats. Their nocturnal nature makes daylight encounters rare. Indoors sightings usually occur either at night or when residents unintentionally disturb the centipedes’ favored habitats, a household’s dark, dank recesses.
Typically, the presence of centipedes inside the dwelling goes unnoticed until the population has grown large enough to be termed an “infestation.” Residents or business owners should retain the services of the professional exterminators at Bugs by Brian if you are in St. Louis or surrounding areas. Professional centipede extermination service begins with a thorough examination of the entire household, including interior wall spaces, areas behind sinks, showers, baths, toilets, basements, laundry rooms and anywhere else endemic moisture is likely to occur. Once the infestation controlled, our expert exterminators can help homeowners devise an effective plan to reduce moisture in key problem areas so that the problem does not recur.
Call St. Louis pest control company Bugs by Brian today at (636) 394-0101 to exterminate a centipede infestation in your home or business.