Centipede Control Services In Washington DC
Miche Pest Control is a family owned and operated pest control company that provides residential and commercial centipede control services in Washington DC and the surrounding areas. Our expert centipede exterminators get rid of centipede infestations fast, and work preventatively to keep the centipedes from coming back after they've been eliminated. Miche Pest Control has a 4.9 star rating and over 1,000 reviews online - call today or book online!
Centipedes are predatory arthropods belonging to the class Chilopoda of the subphylum Myriapoda, an arthropod group which also includes millipedes and other multi-legged creatures. Centipedes are elongated segmented (metameric) creatures with one pair of legs per body segment. All centipedes are venomous and can inflict painful bites, injecting their venom through pincer-like appendages known as forcipules. Despite the name, centipedes can have a varying number of legs, ranging from 30 to 382. Centipedes always have an odd number of pairs of legs; no centipede has exactly 100 legs. Like spiders and scorpions, centipedes are predominantly carnivorous.
Their size can range from a few millimetres in the smaller lithobiomorphs and geophilomorphs to about 30 cm (12 in) in the largest scolopendromorphs.
Centipedes can be found in a wide variety of environments. They normally have a drab coloration combining shades of brown and red. Cavernicolous (cave-dwelling) and subterranean species may lack pigmentation, while many tropical scolopendromorphs have bright aposematic colors.
Worldwide, an estimated 8,000 species of centipedes are thought to exist, of which 3,000 have been described. Centipedes have a wide geographical range, even reaching beyond the Arctic Circle. They are found in an array of terrestrial habitats from tropical rainforests to deserts. Within these habitats, centipedes require a moist microhabitat because they lack the waxy cuticle of insects and arachnids, therefore causing them to rapidly lose water. Accordingly, they are found in soil and leaf litter, under stones and dead wood, and inside logs. Centipedes are among the largest terrestrial invertebrate predators, and often contribute significantly to the invertebrate predatory biomass in terrestrial ecosystems.
The house centipede, believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region, was introduced into Mexico and the Southern United States and has increased its distribution. It spread to Washington DC sometime before 1849, when it was discovered to have spread to Pennsylvania. Today, the house centipede can be found in many buildings throughout the United States. It does not do particularly well outdoors in the winter in Washington DC, but readily reproduces in heated structures.
Because of their secretive nature, scary appearance and darting motions, homeowners typically fear the house centipede. In 1902, C.L. Marlatt, an entomologist with the United States Department of Agriculture wrote in Circular #48 - The House Centipede: "It may often be seen darting across floors with very great speed, occasionally stopping suddenly and remaining absolutely motionless, presently to resume its rapid movements, often darting directly at inmates of the house, particularly women, evidently with a desire to conceal itself beneath their dresses, and thus creating much consternation." Undoubtedly, the current favor of blue jeans as a preferred article of clothing has not appreciably reduced the angst felt by the household "inmates" when a centipede is seen scurrying across the basement floor.
House Centipede Bites - Should I Be Worried?
The most common centipede found in Washington DC is the house centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata), which is the only species of centipede known to reproduce in homes. While house centipedes can inflict a bite, it is of minor consequence and it rarely does so. When given the chance, house centipedes prefer to quickly retreat from danger rather than bite. Typical symptoms from a house centipede bite are slight pain and swelling as their weak jaws rarely allow them to break skin.
Biting Centipedes In Washington DC
Centipedes bite in order to defend themselves and to capture their prey. Centipedes use a pair of hollow legs, adapted with claws, to bite into the skin. These pincer-like maxillipeds, also known as toxicognaths or "poison claws," are found under the first body segment and can also cause small puncture wounds and blisters when the centipede crawls across the skin. When a centipede bites (as opposed to stings), it injects venom into victims that is stored in internal glands. Although centipede bites may be painful, they are rarely fatal.
The symptoms of centipede stings vary depending on the degree of allergic reaction and the size of the centipede. Typically, bite victims have severe pain, swelling and redness at the site of the bite, with symptoms usually lasting less than 48 hours. Symptoms for those more sensitive to the venom’s effects may also include headache, chest pain, heart tremors, nausea and vomiting.
Victims from centipede bites are often gardeners. The venom administered through a centipede bite is typically harmless, not life threatening to humans and symptoms are fleeting, lasting only a few hours. However, the larger the specimen, the greater the pain will be. Small children and individuals with known insect allergies may experience more severe reactions. Always contact a physician for advice and treatment of centipede bites.
How To Get Rid Of House Centipedes In Washington DC
If you want to get rid of house centipedes, it may be tempting to crush them with a tissue, but they can leave very sticky stains behind. Try these methods instead, or hire a professional exterminator:
- High-powered vacuum: If you see house centipedes emerging from various cracks or crawl spaces, try using a high-powered vacuum cleaner to suck them out. Empty the vacuum cup or vacuum bag into a sealable plastic bag and dispose of it in an outdoor trash can.
- Get rid of their food supply: This means eliminating roaches, silverfish, flies, moths and the other tasty insects that house centipedes love to snack on.
- Clean and/or seal external entry points: House centipedes are attracted to things that help them hide. Clearing any debris that may become damp (such as leaves, dirt, grass clippings, or weeds) from around the perimeter of your home may help deter them from entering.
For professional centipede control in Washington DC, contact Miche Pest Control today!
Washington DC, formally known as the District of Columbia, more commonly known as DC, is the official capital of the United States of America. It is located on east side of the Potomac River, bordering Maryland and Virginia. The United States Congress held its first session there in 1800. The city was named after George Washington, a Founding Father and the first president of the United States. The federal district was named after Columbia, a female personification of our nation. As the seat of the US federal government and several international organizations, DC is an important world political capital. It is one of the most visited cities in the US, with over 24 million visitors in 2019.
The District of Columbia is not a part of any U.S. state. The signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River near the country's Atlantic Coast. The City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the national capital. In 1801, the land, formerly part of Maryland and Virginia (at the time including the settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria), officially became recognized as the federal district. In 1846, Congress returned to Virginia the portion of Washington DC that had been originally ceded by Virginia, including the cities of Alexandria and Arlington; in 1871, it created a single municipal government for the remaining portion of the district.
DC is divided into quadrants (NW, NE, SE, and SW), centered on the United States Capitol (aka the Capitol Building or Capitol Hill), with 8 wards, 37 Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, and 127 named neighborhoods. It is the 20th-most populous city in the US. Commuters from the surrounding suburbs in Maryland and Northern Virginia raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. Washington DC's metropolitan area is the country's sixth-largest metropolitan area, and includes portions of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.
Arlington VA (3 miles), Bethesda MD (6 miles), Hyattsville MD (6 miles), Silver Spring MD (6 miles), Alexandria VA (7 miles), Falls Church VA (7 miles), Springfield VA (11 miles), Rockville MD (14 miles), Bowie MD (15 miles), Fairfax VA (15 miles), Laurel MD (17 miles), Upper Marlboro MD (17 miles), Gaithersburg MD (19 miles), Herndon VA (19 miles), Woodbridge VA (21 miles), Columbia MD (23 miles), Ashburn VA (26 miles), Manassas VA (26 miles), Ellicott City MD (28 miles), Annapolis MD (30 miles), Leesburg VA (32 miles), Baltimore MD (35 miles), Frederick MD (40 miles), Fredericksburg VA (48 miles)
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