How to Keep Centipedes from Coming Up the Drains and Sink?

how to keep centipedes out of drains

Although not as common as cockroaches or ants, centipedes are a common household invader.

While centipedes are more at home outdoors, they can come inside through the sink and drains in your kitchen or bathroom when looking for food, namely other bugs.

Centipedes come in several different colors and will bite if they feel threatened.

And while the bite does not cause permanent damage, it can be painful.

Although centipedes may seem harmless, they do present an issue when they take permanent residence in your home.

Before you plan to call a professional pest expert for eliminating these insects, there are some things you can try first to prevent them from entering your home.

So, lets discuss some of these ways in the article below.

But before that, first, it is important to find them where they are hiding and make sure they are centipedes.

Detecting Centipedes

One reason why many people believe that centipedes are not home pest is that they do not see them.

This is because they are nocturnal creatures that come out and hunt at night.

During the day, centipedes tend to find out-of-the-way places which makes them difficult at first to know if they are in your home.

In addition, even if they were present during the day you still may not see them because they move so fast.

They need to be that fast because of the prey that they seek which includes the following.

  • Ants
  • Earwigs
  • Flies
  • Silverfish
  • Spiders & More

How to Prevent Centipedes from Coming?

The presence of their prey inside the home is one reason to suspect that centipedes may be present.

In addition, centipedes prefer environments that are humid and warm, such as basements, bathroom sink, kitchen drains, and inside walls near pipes or the water heater.

If you manage to see a centipede, then you can rest assured there are more present in your home.

But even if you do not see one, there are safe methods you can use to both drive them from your residence and keep them away forever.

1- Clean Up the Clutter

Look around your home and remove any clutter that the centipede might call home during the daytime hours.

This means any trash, rocks, leaves, or materials in which there are openings that allow centipedes to rest during the day.

If you have items that cannot be moved or are necessary for your home, such as firewood, then sprinkle the area with cedar chips.

Cedar is a natural repellent for many different types of insects, including centipedes.

2- Cut Off their Food Supply

Centipedes are predators.

So, if you take away their food supply, the centipedes will have no reason to come inside your home.

This means identifying the type of insects that centipedes target and what food they eat as well, so the prey does not bring in the centipedes.

  • Flies: Getting rid of flies will also dissuade spiders, both of which are consumed by centipedes
  • Ants and Silverfish: Keep kitchen sinks and floors clean of food
  • Earwigs: Remove rotting vegetation and piles of wood 

Doing these things will thin out the food supply of the centipede in your home.

3- Lower Humidity Levels

Centipedes prefer humid environments with little ventilation.

That’s the reason they prefer coming up the drain and then crawl through your bedroom or living room.

Identify the areas in your home that are prone to high moisture levels and dehumidify them.

You can do this by running fans or purchasing dehumidifier units.

This will make your home less friendly to centipedes.

4- Seal Up Entrances

The centipedes cannot get in without a way to make it inside your home.

Check all the entry points and locate any spaces in which the centipedes might enter.

Once you have identified possible places for them to get inside, the next step is to seal them using one of the following methods.

  • Brickwork: You may need to repoint the brickwork to stop the cracks from occurring
  • Caulking: Perfect for small holes, cracks, and separations
  • Expandable Foam: For larger holes, cracks, and separations
  • Vents: Cover all vents with mesh that lets the air in or out, but keeps insects from entering

One of the most common ways centipedes enter the home is through the drains, most notably the kitchen and bathroom.

You will need to check your drains and seal up any holes or tighten loose fittings.

This is a good time to call a professional plumber to inspect the drains and get rid of any leakage or blockage that might interfere with their use.

5- Traps

Simple traps that use sticky tape will not only trap the centipedes, but their prey as well.

Put the traps in places near entrance-ways, windows, and the drains for maximum effect.

Once you have prepared your home, you can now use various types of repellants and insecticides that will either drive away or kill centipedes.

6- Boric Acid

This is one of the safest ways to kill centipedes not only because it is highly effective, but boric acid does not affect humans or pets.

So, you can sprinkle it wherever you need. Keep in mind that centipedes will not die instantly.

What happens is the centipede will ingest the acid which cannot be excreted.

The result is that the centipede starves to death because it cannot consume any nutrients.

While it will take a few days for the boric acid to do its job, it is quite effective and safe to use.

7- Cedar Oil

A natural insecticide, cedar oil is not only good against centipedes, but also affects the many insects which the centipedes consume.

The process in which it eliminates the centipede is rather gruesome as it causes them to dehydrate, suffocate and will finally emulsify their body fast which eventually puts the centipede out of its misery.

You can safely use the cedar oil inside the home and particularly around entryways such as the drains.

However, since the oil tends to dissipate quickly outside, it is best to use cedar wood chips around the garden and yard.

Cedar chips are great for the doghouse as well, helping to control fleas and ticks.

8- Cayenne Pepper

Because cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, it is one of the best repellents of centipedes along with many other insects.

This is because capsaicin is generated by some insects as a defense mechanism that warns predators to stay away.

Because it is so effective, sprinkling a little cayenne pepper at the entryways of your home, including doors, windows, and other places where the centipede can enter will help keep them away.

The only downside is if you have pets who might sniff up some of the capsaicin which can be unpleasant for them.

9- Diatomaceous Earth

This substance looks like a powder, but it is really a collection of tiny seashells that have been fossilized.

While harmless to humans, it destroys centipedes thanks to their small, sharp sides that cut into the exoskeleton and cause moisture to leak out.

You can sprinkle this substance around your home, particularly in places where the centipedes may enter such as entranceways, windows, and especially around the drains of your kitchen and bathroom.

The only precaution to take is wearing a respirator while sprinkling this substance so it does not get into your lungs.

Once applied, it is safe around humans and pets and should not cause any harm.

10- Dish Soap

If you want to use a cheap, safe insect repellant that works well on centipedes, then a combination of dish soap and water will do the trick.

When the exoskeleton of the centipede is touched by soap, it causes dehydration which will kill the insect.

It works on many different types of insects as well.

Simply mix two or three tablespoons of dish soap per gallon of water and pour the mixture into a spray bottle.

Spray any area where centipedes might cross.

In the kitchen or bathroom, you’ll want to spray near the drains as they might enter the home from that access point.

Other places include doors, windows, and all other entryways into the home.

If you see a centipede, you can spray it directly on them.

11- Neem Oil

This is an essential oil used by plants to ward off attacks by insects.

And while centipedes primarily hunt other insects, it works against them as well.

Neem oil is commonly used as an insecticide and works quite well, although in a different way than you might suspect.

Instead of directly killing the centipede, when the oil is ingested, it causes an imbalance in their hormonal system.

The result is that the centipede does not eat or mate which means that they die quickly without leaving any offspring behind.

You can use this substance around the home in places where they might enter from – like the drains and sink.

The Conclusion

By following these tips, you can make your home less inviting to centipedes.

Not only will you keep the centipedes away, but you will also remove other unwanted pests from the home.

And, you will not have to spend a fortune to do so.

If you should see one, remember to not handle it as they can bite.

Instead, remove any centipedes using thick gloves while wearing long sleeves.

A little care when you finally trap a centipede or kill it will go a long way towards protecting you and your family from them.

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