What do centipedes eat at home?

Have you ever seen a centipede in your home? You would be wondering what purpose they live in your homes. They may not be very common, but these insects have been known to enter your house every now and then. Ever wondered why they are at your home and what do centipedes eat?

If you’ve observed a growth in centipedes in your own home, it might indicate that bugs and spiders, their desired prey, are thriving in your residing environment. To decrease the probability of a centipede infestation, it’s critical to enforce powerful pest manipulation measures and adjust the populations of those potential prey insects indoors. Well, we will try finding what do centipedes eat.

Centipede- What do they eat?

Well, people tend to think that centipedes are herbivores just like a huge number of other insects. However, centipedes are carnivores. They do not eat the plant material. But, instead, they thrive on other insects.

Centipedes are typically nocturnal and they hide during the day. They get out in search of prey at night. While some species of centipedes eat their prey directly, some others inject venom into the body of their prey to subdue them, before feasting on them.

Centipedes typically eat the following insects –

  • Silverfish
  • Cockroaches
  • Spiders
  • Firebrats
  • Crickets
  • Moths

However, the specific prey that a centipede attacks depends on the species and habitat of the centipede itself. If you are wondering what do house centipedes eat, you would find them preying on cockroaches, silverfish, and other household pests.

In contrast, centipedes that live outdoors or in the wild feast on spiders, worms, and other soil-dwelling invertebrates. It may also not be uncommon to see a centipede eating other centipedes. They tend to eat the smaller members of their species.

A closer look at what do centipedes eat in the house

The house centipedes are the most commonly found varieties of centipedes. Most of the time, they tend to miss out on pest control.

These belong to the nocturnal variety just like most other centipedes and emerge out of their hiding places only during the night.

The house centipedes typically eat the following insects –

  • Cockroaches – House centipedes normally prey on cockroaches. Even when the cockroaches are known to be the fastest among the insects, the long legs and agility let the centipedes hunt down these cockroaches easily. Centipedes have been known to be natural enemies of cockroaches.
  • Silverfish – Silverfish thrive in areas that have high moisture. Centipedes find these insects as easy prey in bathrooms and kitchens
  • Earwigs – Earwigs are dangerous for humans as they tend to get into the ears and cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Centipedes typically find earwigs a great prey.
  • Small spiders – Centipedes do eat most of the spiders. However, some species of the spider may prove to be a little dangerous for the centipedes.

Of course, the house centipedes are the beneficial insects that kill most of the unwanted insects like spiders, and cockroaches, they may be a little unsettling to find the one in one’s home. However, it may be remembered that they are more interested in hunting down the insects rather than bothering you.

Whether you like them or not, finding a centipede in your home indicates that you have a pest problem in your home. From that perspective at least, you can consider them extremely beneficial.

How do centipedes catch and eat their food?

What do centipedes eat

The centipedes are well equipped by nature to be exceptional hunters. They use several techniques to hunt the prey.

Some of the techniques used by centipedes to hunt their prey include

  • Venom bites – Many of the centipedes have modified legs called forcipules. They act as fangs. These fangs inject venom into the body of their prey. This will instantly subdue or kill the prey.
  • Speed and agile movement – Yet another strength displayed by the centipedes includes the agility and speed of movement that they show. They are surprisingly fast. This helps them chase down and kill their prey easily.
  • Sharper mandibles – As soon they subdue their prey, centipedes use their sharp mandibles to tear apart and consume them comfortably.

Even the digestive system of the centipedes is quite simple and easy. They break down prey externally using strong digestive enzymes and then ingest the body once that is liquified.

Is it good to have centipedes at home?

Of course, even when the look and appearance of the centipedes may off-put you, they tend to be very beneficial. These predator insects have several benefits for you –

  • Pest control – Centipedes can be the best option for natural pest control. They help you in a powerful way to control the insect population. They can effectively control most of the household pets.
  • Less reliance on pesticides – If you have centipedes around in your house, you will not need to rely upon chemical pesticides. Centipedes offer a natural means of controlling the insect population.
  • Support for ecosystem – Centipedes do play a major role in the ecosystem. They help in keeping the insect population in check.

Should you get rid of centipedes in your house?

Well, centipedes do come with several benefits, but even then, most of us do not prefer keeping centipedes at home.

There are a few considerations that you need to focus on –

  • The severity of insect infestation – A huge population of centipedes in your home may indicate a serious insect problem. That would typically mean you need to address the pests.
  • Possibility of allergies – Some of you may be allergic to centipede bits and that’s why it is important to get rid of them in such a scenario.

Just in case you need to get rid of centipedes, there are several best and most humane ways to do that. If you have no issues with the occasional sightings of centipedes, we do not see any harm in living in peace with the centipedes.

In Conclusion

Centipedes do come with a creepy look and appearance. However, understanding what they eat can help you control the insect population in your home. We assume that the info shared above should ideally help you in understanding what do centipede eat in the house.


Q: What kind of insects do centipedes eat?

A: Centipedes eat cockroaches, silverfish, earwigs, spiders (except some larger species), crickets, moths, and even other centipedes (smaller ones).

Q: How do centipedes catch their prey?

A: Centipedes use venomous bites, speed, and sharp mandibles.  They can use any combination of these techniques.

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