What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Centipedes At the New House

We first encountered centipedes in our last house.  It was a bi-level house with the main living area mainly below ground with the back opening to the water in what some would call a walk-out basement.  The centipedes were bad because the previous owner was a hoarder so there were ample hiding spots for them to breed.  When we moved in, the clutter was gone so we were left to deal with the numerous centipedes.  I wrote a blog post on how to control house centipedes.  I took a very aggressive knock down then ongoing control approach.  We sold that house in September, buying another bi-level house and weren't even moved fully in before spotting the first centipede.

In fairness, I think since September 1 we have only spotted 3 centipedes in the new house, no where near the number of centipedes at the other house.  It was quite common to see upwards of four or five centipedes daily at the old house.  In all honesty, we should have called in a professional exterminator to deal with the centipede and spider problem at that house.

The lower level in our new home consists of the pantry, bathroom, games rooms and storage under the stairs.  There is an exit door at the end of the hall.  Anytime windows and doors are located near or below the ground level, there is the opportunity for insects and pests to get into the house.  We did a residual spray on the lower level of the new house which was a bit of overkill because the new house has a couple of features that will help to keep any insect controlled without the use of pesticides.  Essentially is does not provide centipedes with what they need to survive but because we have a pool that creates a damper area around the house, we need to stay on top of controlling insects attracted to damp areas.  We also have a sump pump that can attract moisture loving insects.

First, the centipede population is not big enough to be of concern.  The quick knock down will more than likely solve the problem.  The house is only 17 years old meaning it is considerably better sealed than the old house.  Sealing keeps insects and pests out of the house because there is less cracks for them to get into the house.  There is no carpeting in the new house.  Did you know that centipedes actually lay their eggs in carpeting?  This greatly reduces the breeding areas for centipedes.  I vacuum the hard flooring almost daily as part of my dust control which will effectively remove any centipede eggs that may be laid in the house.  Any damp clothing or cloths are hung to dry before going into the laundry hamper.  This is just good practice anyway even if you don't have insects that are attracted to moisture.  It prevents any molding issues too.  Finally, the lower level of our new house (unlike our old house) has an abundance of natural light.  This discourages insects like centipedes that prefer darker hiding spots.

In short, I don't anticipate any problem with centipedes at our new house.  I doubt we will see more than a couple in the year, likely in the spring and fall during the wet seasons.  The nice thing is we already know how to deal with centipedes!

Garden Gnome