Are Centipedes Dangerous?

Centipede in Knoxville TN home - Russell's Pest Control

Here at Russell’s Pest Control, one of the most common calls of concern we receive is something along the lines of, “I’m seeing a lot of centipedes in my basement. Should I be concerned?” This is certainly the time of year to see centipedes in your basement. These creatures have two things going against them when winter comes: They can’t control their body temperature, and they have a hard time regulating their body moisture. For this reason, they will sometimes enter man-made structures to protect themselves and wait out the winter.

Centipedes also lay their eggs in late spring and early summer, which means they will be adults when they come to overwinter in your home. This makes them hard to miss, but the real question is whether these legged insects are dangerous or not. The experts at Russell’s Pest Control are here to lay down the facts.

Dangers of Centipedes

  • If one centipede in your home is one centipede too many, you should be concerned. These creatures are just about as disgusting to look at as any critter you’ll find invading your home. For some people, the sight of them can instill an immediate sense of panic. If this is you, you should probably be concerned.
  • Centipedes can bite. It is quite rare, but they can do it. These pests are no more toxic to most humans than a house spider. There are some people, however, who experience severe pain when bitten. If you know yourself to be one of those people, you should be concerned.
  • If centipedes are getting into your home, you may have some rot issues and water problems that need to be addressed. These creatures like moisture and will often find a way into a home through areas where moisture has caused the wood to rot.

Are Centipedes Beneficial Insects?

House centipedes are known to kill arachnids. If you don’t like spiders, a basement full of centipedes may be a good thing. These creatures can crawl up through wall voids and reduce the spider population in your walls. But it is important to point out that this reduction is slight, and nowhere near as effective as direct pest control measures. So, if you don’t have a pest plan and you’d like fewer arachnids around, you may not need to be concerned. Overall, if bugs don’t bother you, you have nothing to worry about. These pests can crawl over your house with little or no effect on your health or well-being.

Need to Get Rid of Centipedes?

Are you concerned about a basement full of centipedes? The pest experts here at Russell’s Pest Control can give you a hand with that problem and help you assess entry points that are allowing these pests to get in. Effective pest control isn’t just a quality of life upgrade, it is essential to protecting your home’s equity and your family’s health. Contact us today to get expert advice or to schedule an inspection!

Is TAP Insulation Better Than Regular Insulation?

TAP Insulation in Knoxville TN - Russell's Pest Control

Home insulation is important to keep your property at your desired temperature and to aid in noise reduction. But what if your insulation could also prevent pest problems common in Knoxville households? That’s where TAP® Insulation comes into play. This environmentally-friendly home insulation option is superior to traditional insulation in several ways. Not only does it outperform other options, but TAP Insulation is also renowned for its pest-resistant properties. If you’re thinking of upgrading your existing insulation, TAP Insulation comes highly recommended by the pest control pros at Russell’s Pest Control. Read on to learn why!

Why Choose TAP Insulation?

As it becomes a more popular choice over the years, it’s increasingly apparent that TAP Insulation is the best option on the market. This is because in addition to its pest control properties, TAP simply outperforms traditional insulation options. Some of the many benefits of this insulation are:

  • As an energy-efficient option, TAP can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 30%.
  • TAP is environmentally friendly by using recycled paper diverted from landfills to create the product.
  • This insulation is capable of filling the nooks and crannies that are unreachable with traditional insulation.
  • TAP Insulation is the only insulation registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • More cost-effective than traditional insulation, TAP is a one-time investment with no need for re-treatments.
  • TAP can be installed over existing insulation and comes with a lifetime warranty.

Does TAP Prevent Pests?

Yes! TAP is known for its ability to ward off pest problems. This is because the insulation is infused with borate, which affects the metabolism of insects and eliminates them. There are many pests that can be controlled with TAP Insulation. They include ants, cockroaches, earwigs, centipedes, darkling beetles, crickets, silverfish, millipedes, firebrats, dermestids, sowbugs, lady beetles, booklice, termites (including Formosan termites), boxelder bugs, stink bugs, kudzu bugs, bat bugs, pillbugs, snails, wildlife, and slugs!

TAP Pest Control Insulation in Knoxville

If you’re interested in upgrading your home insulation, TAP is for you! In addition to outperforming other insulation types, TAP will work to create a barrier against pests. Russell’s is proud to be a licensed installer of TAP—contact us today to set up an appointment or to learn more.

Bio Foam And Centipedes

Recently, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about house centipedes, the alarming critters that we featured as our Halloween monster last year. You can click on the link for more information about what draws these creepy critters to East Tennessee homes in the fall, but they reminded me of another pest control option that we at Russell’s Pest Control would like to share with you. Have you heard the news about probiotic bio foam? That’s quite a mouthful for a title. Nonetheless, Russell’s technicians have recently added these foaming cleaners to their tool kits, and they’ve had some great results.

The reason that house centipedes reminded me of bio foam cleaners is because you often find those many-legged monsters in your drains. Sometimes, centipedes may come up through drains, and sometimes they may get stuck near drains because they climbed up the side of the tub or sink, fell in, and then couldn’t climb back out. Either way, there are plenty of critters that are interested in eating the muck that builds up inside of drains, and house centipedes could be very eager to eat some of those critters. Even if bugs weren’t very interested in drain scum (which they are), no one really wants it there. It’s unappetizing and can house bacteria with a powerful punch.

Probiotic foams are a great tool to combat drain scum. The product that Russell’s uses is a thick foam that has been laced with microbes—mostly bacteria—that hungrily eat other microbes and bacteria that they encounter. In other words, it uses the strategies of bad bacteria against them. The good microbes in our bio foam are happy to continue to reproduce as long as food (i.e. drain scum) is present. Once all of the junk is gone from the drain, the good bacteria die of starvation, leaving you with a clean drain. There are no chemicals in this foam; in fact, using chemical cleaners shortly after the foam will end its effectiveness because you could kill all of the little microbes that are working for you!

Probiotics have loads of good uses. Because this product is a foam, it will fill up pipe entrances to thoroughly clean around drains. Restaurant owners can quickly name dozens of places where they could benefit from this sort of product in their busy kitchens. The foam also includes a citrus ingredient, which helps to eliminate odors even as the microbes eat the bacteria that cause the odors. Foam in the bottom of a stinky trash bin can leave the kitchen smelling fresh again. And, because there are no chemicals in the foam, it won’t bleach carpets. You can use it to get up food stains and pet stains.

Now, we don’t just spray this stuff willy-nilly. The foam has bacteria in it. Even though these bacteria are better than the ones we’re getting rid of, we still won’t use it on food preparation surfaces, inside the refrigerator, etc. We follow the label to the letter so that we’re using this cleaner in the most effective way possible. In fact, we would be happy to set its cleaning power to work for you. There are options for that. We can add foam drain cleaning to a regular pest control service for a small fee, which means our technicians handle foaming when it’s needed during their regular quarterly or monthly visits. This can be done for homes or for businesses. In addition, our customers can purchase cans of probiotic foam from us to use—according to the label—when needed. Again, this product is not a harsh chemical, which means homeowners can apply it by themselves after reading the usage instructions (which is a smart thing to do for all cleaners anyway).

If any of this sounds interesting to you, you can always contact us online or give us a call. We’d love to partner with you keep your home safe and clean and to keep the crawling critters out!

The Many-Legged Monster: House Centipedes

Since we are approaching Halloween and the season of scaring, I thought it might be appropriate to ask a question that has plagued children for many years: What kind of monsters do you have in your basement…? In case you can’t think of any, I’ve got one in mind to share with you that might give you a real fright this Halloween season.

Meet Scutigera Coleoptrata, more commonly known as the house centipede. I know someone who woke up in bed with one of these on his chest, and he’s never been quite the same since. Russell’s is not responsible for any nightmares that result from reading this blog post.

These little monsters have bodies that are about an inch and a half long. However, their rear legs and their antennae are both longer than their bodies, making them seem much larger than they are. Despite their name (which means “hundred-legs”), house centipedes only have 30 legs, but those long limbs can help them reach speeds that are positively alarming.

In case their appearance isn’t enough to send a shiver up your spine, you should also know that all centipedes (including this common species) have jaws that pack a poisonous bite. In this way, they are similar to spiders. They all hunt full-time for food, so they need venom to immobilize prey. But, venomous and dangerous are not the same thing. Just like most spiders, house centipedes can deliver a bite that may swell a little and be painful, but they don’t cause lasting harm to humans. In most cases, the bite is no worse than a bee sting.

Keep an eye out for these monsters in the coolest, dampest parts of your house, including basements, utility rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms (they have been known to come out of bathtub drains—yuck!). If you find house centipedes inside, try moving leaf litter and your wood pile away from the house. Centipedes are hunters, and dying or dead plants provide great harborage for all of the little critters they like to eat. You should also keep in mind that if they think your home is comfortable and inviting, it’s likely because there are plenty of other bugs inside that they can eat. If you get rid of their food source, you’ll probably get rid of them. If you need a first-rate monster hunter, for more information click here.