How to Banish Drain-Crawling Centipedes for Good

Centipedes are creepy creatures that can instil fear in many. Their long, segmented bodies and numerous legs are enough to give anyone the shivers. Unfortunately, they are also known to invade our homes, especially our drains. Not only can they be a nuisance, but they can also pose a threat to our health by harbouring bacteria and other pathogens. In this article, we will discuss effective ways on how to get rid of centipedes in drains and prevent their return.

What Are Centipedes?

Centipedes are arthropods that belong to the Chilopoda class. They are elongated creatures that have numerous pairs of legs depending on their species, but usually, they have anywhere between 30 to 354 legs. Their segmented bodies can be up to 12 inches long, and their legs extend from the sides of each segment.

Types of Centipedes Found in Drains

Centipedes come in various shapes and sizes, and several species are commonly found in drains. Some of the most common types of centipedes found in drains include:

  • Scolopendra gigantea
  • House centipedes (Scutigera coleoptrata)
  • Stone centipedes (Lithobiomorpha)
  • Water centipedes (Lacinipolia tortuosa)
  • Tropical centipedes (Cryptops)

Signs of Centipedes in Drains

Centipedes are nocturnal creatures, which means they are most active during the night. You may not see them crawling around during the day, but some tell-tale signs indicate their presence. Some of the signs to look out for include:

  • Crawl out from sink, toilet, or bathtub drains
  • Pungent odours from drains
  • Drains that clog frequently
  • Small insects flitting around the drain
  • Lingering dampness around drains

Why Do Centipedes Love Drains?

Drains offer an ideal environment for centipedes to thrive. They are drawn to the humidity and dampness in drains, which serves as a perfect breeding ground for them. They can find their way into cracks and crevices in the pipes, and settle in an area where they can feed conveniently.

How to Get Rid of Centipedes in Drains

Clear any Obstructions in the Pipes

Centipedes can hide in your pipes and survive for long periods. Often, the accumulation of hair and grime provides them with the ideal environment to thrive. Clearing any obstructions will eliminate their hiding spots and make it harder for them to breed.

Use Chemical Products to Kill the Centipedes

Although chemicals can be effective in getting rid of centipedes, it is essential to be cautious when using them, as they can be harmful to humans and pets. When using chemical insecticides, ensure that the area is well-ventilated, and follow the instructions carefully.

Use Physical Barriers

Using physical barriers such as drain covers, wire mesh, and copper strips can be effective in preventing centipedes from entering your home. You can place these barriers in areas such as sinks, bathtubs or toilets, where centipedes are likely to enter.

Use Essential Oils

Essential oils such as eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, and lavender can be effective in repelling centipedes. You can dilute the oils with water and spray them around your drain openings. You can also add a few drops of the oils into your drains to drive the centipedes away.

Preventing Centipedes from Returning

Maintain Cleanliness

Centipedes thrive in dirty, damp environments. Maintaining cleanliness in your home is essential to prevent their return. Regular cleaning of your drains, ensuring that there are no obstructions, and the removal of any debris will reduce the chances of their return.

Fix Any Leaks

Leaky pipes are a source of moisture, which will attract centipedes to your home. Fixing any leaks is essential to prevent the dampness that centipedes seek out. Ensure that you repair any damaged pipes, holes or cracks in your walls or flooring, and maintain a dry environment.


Centipedes are unwanted guests that can make us uncomfortable in our homes. Fortunately, there are different ways of getting rid of them and preventing their return. Clearing any obstructions, using chemical products carefully, using physical barriers, and essential oils can all be effective in removing centipedes. Maintaining cleanliness and fixing any leaks is also essential in keeping them at bay. Take the necessary steps to discourage centipedes from invading your home and enjoy a centipede-free environment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Rid of Centipedes in Drains

  • Q: Are centipedes harmful to humans?
  • A: Although centipedes can bite humans, their venom usually causes mild pain and inflammation.
  • Q: How do I know if there are centipedes in my drains?
  • A: Signs of their presence include pungent odours, small insects flitting around the drain, drains that clog frequently, lingering dampness around drains, and seeing them crawl out from sink, toilet, or bathtub drains.
  • Q: Can I get rid of centipedes on my own?
  • A: Yes, you can get rid of them using different methods such as clearing obstructions, using chemical products, physical barriers or essential oils.
  • Q: How do I prevent centipedes from returning?
  • A: Ensure that you maintain cleanliness, fix any leaks, and remove any debris around your drains.


Centipede – ScienceDirect. (n.d). Retrieved from

Centipedes: Facts, Identification & Control. (2021). Retrieved from

How to Keep House Centipedes Away. (n.d). Retrieved from

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