How To Get Rid Of Centipedes In HousePlants

Tips to Control Centipedes in HousePlants

How To Get Rid Of Centipedes In Houseplants
A Centipede

Transforming your indoor living space with the help of houseplants is a great way to connect with nature,  growing plants in an indoor environment has so many advantages. The practice of growing plants indoors is popular, many years ago I worked as an interior plantscape designer for a five-star resort, private homes, and for a mariner.

The change plants brought to these areas was simply amazing, I remember at one time both my team and I transformed a ballroom into a living jungle without so many tropical plants that it was just breathtaking. But what we want to turn our attention to is how to get rid of or even avoid centipedes from invading our houseplants. Just seeing them can send chills down your spine. I have had my share of dealing with centipedes indoors and getting rid of them brought such a sense of relief.

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Start with the Basic

The question is how does a centipede get into houseplants or rather how did this centipede get into my home? first of all, for a centipede to find its way into your houseplant it had to first find its way or an entry point. So the first action to take is to look for entry points and conditions why these critters entered your home.

Sealing Entry Ways

Centipedes including other insects along with rodents (rats) find their way into homes by using an entry point so the goal of discouraging these critters from entering your home is sealing off all entry points. Look for opens where pipes ( electrical/water) pipes enter the home if there are openings seal with steel wool, cement, caulk, spray foam, and metal sheeting can be used to fix large holes. If there are cracks in the wall seal them, repair screens that are torn, the use of applying weather stripping to windows and doors can also keep pests from getting inside your home.

Remove Clutter

Centipedes love to hide, they love to seek cover, therefore it’s best to get rid of clutter, Inside places such as crawl spaces, attics, and basements should be clutter-free. Ensure that areas outdoors are also clutter-free. Keep firewood piles away from your home, remove and dispose of grass clippings and leaves. Probably start a compost pile with grass clippings and leave materials. Compost is a natural organic that will boost the health of soil and garden plants including edible plants with its rich nutrient content.

Remove Moisture

Centipedes love damp areas especially if these areas are dark if you have indoor pipes that are leaking repair them. Exhaust fans can be placed and run in attics and bathrooms to eliminate excess moisture. To keep your basement dry consider using dehumidifiers.

The Removal of Food Source

Since a centipede’s diet consists of spiders, flies, silverfish, termites, moths, and roaches, put control measures in place to keep these insects at bay, to accomplish this create a barrier with insecticides along baseboards, window casings, doors, and outdoor around the perimeter of your home. For example, Raid Max Perimeter Protection, Ortho Home Defense Max Indoor Insect Barrier, Garlic Barrier or Spectracide Bug Stop Home Barrier Spray etc….… are just a few among many that can be used.

How to Discourage Centipedes from Houseplants

  • Decrease the amount of water you’re giving house plants, Indoor plants doesn’t require much moisture, and the soil should be somewhat moist not waterlogged which will not only attract centipededs but can lead to root rot and other plant disease. Some indoor plants like ZZ plants and Cactus require the soil to dry first before giving them another drink of water
  • Remove Plant Debris and other garden materials from pots, Dead leaves laying on the soil surface of the plant pot should be removed, rocks and stones may  give that natural aesthetic look but centipedes can use these garden materials as a hiding place
  • Remove Food sources as stated earlier removing food sources such as spiders, roaches, silverfish, moths, termites, and flies will decrease the chance of centipedes entering your home
  • Organic Insect Killer will get the job if a centipede is covered, before applying read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for the best results
  • Sticky traps will stop centipede in their tracks

Organic Insecticides for Centipedes

Diatomaeous Earth: Diatomaeous Earth is a popular brand that is used to control pests both out and indoors, this insecticide works by drying out the insects or causing them to lose moisture eliminating them. Just sprinkle and you’re done.

Insecticidal Soap: Insecticidal soap controls a host of insects, this insecticide contains fatty acid salts and selected soaps that will eliminate insects.

Ortho Home Defense Max Indoor Insect Barrier: Ortho  Home Defense Max insecticide may not be organic but it can get the job done, this product affects against many insect pests including centipedes that will keep them out of your home.

Boric Acid: Boric acid affects insects by poisoning, boric acid damages their exoskeleton by causing dehydration, Sprinkle boric acid in areas where centipede is spotted.

Cayenne Pepper: Yes you are right Cayenne pepper is not an insecticide but a spice or seasoning to flavor foods, this hot spice can be used on centipedes. Spread a thin layer both out and indoors. If pets or kids are around then you want to avoid applying this hot spice that can really burn.

Bringing Potted Plants Indoors

Potted plants that have been outdoors for a while can be insect infested even a centipede or two may also have taken up residence, before bringing potted plants indoors flush the soil with water to see if insects or centipede is present or better still soak the root ball in soapy water, wait for a while for the root ball to dry before bringing the plant indoors.

The final word on how to get rid of centipedes in houseplants

As any other insect or rodents centipedes venture into homes looking for food and shelter, I know that their appearance can really send chills down one’s spine but the good news is that putting these measures in place will lessen the chance of centipedes paying an unexpected or uninviting visits. So make sure and follow this guide for a centipede-free home.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

8 thoughts on “How To Get Rid Of Centipedes In HousePlants”

  1. Thanks for this helpful information.  You bring out enough methods of preventing centipedes from entering the home to really rain on their parade.  

    I appreciate the list of organic insecticides that you have provided.  We have used boric acid in pest control situations in the past.  We have gotten good results from doing so.  However, I have never considered using cayenne pepper before this article.  That makes a lot of sense.

  2. This is a really good post. These look like all really good tips to keep those pests away. I would like to keep more house plants and that is something my wife usually handles. Are there any particular house plants that attract centipedes? Or conversely, plants that might discourage centipedes? 

    • Hello, thanks so much for your kind words, I am so happy to help, there are many plant centipedes hate that can be found outdoors or even in and indoor garden. LavenderThymeRosemary, Mint, Eucalyptus these are just a few amoung many.

  3. Hi there! Thanks for sharing these helpful tips on getting rid of centipedes in houseplants. I love having indoor plants, but dealing with pests can be quite a challenge. Your advice on sealing entry points, removing clutter, and reducing moisture is practical and makes a lot of sense.

    My question for you is: Do you have any specific recommendations for organic insecticides that are safe for both the houseplants and the environment? I’m always looking for natural solutions to keep my plants healthy and pest-free.

    Keep up the great work with your informative articles! 😊

    • There are so many to choose a great homemade solution is soapy water, insecticidal soap, and neem oil can be purchased from your garden center. Hope this helps.

  4. Hey Norman,

    Thanks for this article.

    As an avid grower of plants indoors and out, I am accustomed to many critters, and no matter how much I enjoy growing plants, I still get the skin-crawling moments when I see bugs of all sorts.

    Your article provided many tips on how to manage these critters from trying to prevent them in the first instance and then managing them once you find them amongst your plants. 

    A very useful and informative read.

    Thank you for taking the time to present such a useful article.

    Cherie :o)


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