Keeping house centipedes away from my building

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Old 02-10-08, 03:57 PM
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Keeping house centipedes away from my building

I live in a condo building right next to a garden center/nursery. My unit is on the second floor, there is an unfinished attic right above me that I have access to. There is about 8 feet of blacktop ashphalt between my building and the chain link fence from the garden center, on the other side of that fence is a house centipedes dream: Piles of wood, stacks of wood pallets, piles of dirt and plant debris, pallets of bags of dirt and various garden stuff, things half filled with rain water, etc. etc.

After talking to someone else who lived near a creek and had a house centipede problem, I went outside late at night with a flashlight to look at the side of my building, sire enough it was covered with the demons. I saw 3 move when I shined the light, I'm sure there were more that I just couldn't see on the brick that my building is made out of.

Apparently they were coming out at night, probably trying to escape the hot summer weather we were having. that's why I was finding so many in my second floor unit.

I want to stop this next summer, I have sealed up my unit as best as I can and have done everything else that I could inside my unit, including paying an exterminator (he used "Prelude", said it worked well, but only after they were INSIDE and walked thru it). What I need to do is keep them from coming inside. I need something that I could spray on the side of my building (concrete up to about 5 feet high, then the brick starts) and on the ground to keep these horrible things from coming over to my building and climbing it. Since I have a normal house type of roof, I assume they are getting in around the soffit since it's old and not perfectly flat. Once past that they are in my attic and at that point, no matter how well I caulk and spray foam everything, they will find a way into my unit.

So what could I use to spray the ground and foundation of my building to keep these things away? Something that REALLY works.

Thanks!

P.S. I forgot to mention, since last summer I have read a lot about the house centipede. I've read all the normal precautions about humidity and mousture inside the home and all that. The thing is, they are coming into my home which I want to stop completely. I don't want them to come in an find no water then decide to leave. The same way as how I don't want them to come in and walk thru the poison and die the next day. The boric acid and Prelude from the exterminator aren't working for my problem since the centipedes were alive and well every morning when I found them in my bedroom, I need to stop them from coming in althogether.
 
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Old 03-06-08, 04:22 PM
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Centipedes can be difficult control. It sounds as if you already know about he need to control moisture issues around the foundation, in crawl space, and basement. Dehumidifiers used in damp basements are helpful for moisture control. Seal all gaps and cracks in foundation and seal around where pipes and wires come in the structure, including around pipes under sinks. Seal all gaps around windows and doors. Eliminate leaf litter, rocks, and other hiding places in landscape where centipedes can breed. If there are no moisture issues inside the structure, centipedes tend not to survive unless they find other insects and spiders on which to feed. You can use sticky traps to trap insects. Pick up every morning and keep pets and small children away from them. Eliminate moisture and food sources. While the use of interior and exterior perimeter residual insecticide sprays applied monthly tend to keep most insect pests and their predators at bay, without addressing moisture and exclusion issues, centipedes will continue to enter the structure. By taking the above control measures, you can look forward to using insecticide controls only as a last resort.
 
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Old 03-06-08, 04:38 PM
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You have a centipede factory next door, so let's get serious.

I would buy a roll of sheet aluminum, 6" wide, from any place that sells roofing products (e.g. HD). Bury that a few inches, as a wall, just inside your fence. The centipedes cannot dig though normally settled soil or turf. They can't climb the smooth sides of painted aluminum.

Note the edge is sharp enough to inflict something like a deep papercut, unless you use a special tool to fold a "safety edge" on the aluminum.

The garden centre should be receptive to affixing some kind of barrier on their fence as well.
 
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Old 03-07-08, 02:07 AM
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Kobuchi, I'm glad you understand. Most people simply can't see my problem. Whether the centipedes find moisture in my unit or not doesn't matter, I don't want them coming in at all. The pesticide that I have the exterminator spray inside my condo would kill any centipede within a day or two anyway, so if it finds moisture (or other insects) or not will not effect anything. Sticky pads won't help either, because if they catch a centipede that means that a centipede is inside my unit, which again is unacceptable. And my cat will surely get caught up in a sticky pad.

I understand that a house centipede or two is probably in every house across the nation, but they are usually in the basement. When you find 10+ of them in a few months inside your second floor condo, you got a problem.

Since I have them coming it, even after I caulked everything (even the molding to the carpet, this is getting to the point of ruining my home) my only option is to stop them from coming over from the garden center into the building. And no, I do not have access to the basement under the first floor unit which is under my unit. Even if I did, I don't have electricity to plug in a dehumidifier.

Kobuchi, your idea of the aluminum is a good one, but I don't have dirt there, the fence is in black top asphalt which continues a few feet onto the garden center's property until it starts to break up. Another thing is that the condo association probably won't go for that.

I'm still thinking that the only option is to spray something to stop them from coming, some type of barrier. I could get the exterminator to do it, but it will cost 50 times as much. However, I don't mind paying if it really works, and his chemicals are probably a lot stronger than what I could buy.
 
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Old 03-07-08, 02:30 AM
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I think you're determined to win this war if it hairlips every arthropod in the county.

There must be a (better) mechanical solution though. How about the metal at the fenceline then, seated with a heavy bead of driveway patch goop?
 
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Old 03-07-08, 01:53 PM
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House centipedes can't climb aluminum? They seem to be able to scale anything.

Still, I know the condo association will not like something like that being done. There's about 175-200 foot of fence between my building and the garden center.

Spraying some type of barrier seems like it would be the best method.
 
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Old 03-08-08, 09:13 AM
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"Whether the centipedes find moisture in my unit or not doesn't matter, I don't want them coming in at all." You can spray along the bottom and up several feet on the structure and soak a 5' band of soil around the structure with an outdoor residual spray insecticide. Of course, the whole lawn can be sprayed. Reapplication will be necessary as outdoor insecticides tend to break down with rain and dew. Your local Cooperative Extension Agent can advise re: recommended chemicals in your area. There are granular insecticides that can be applied to the lawn to keep centipedes and other insects at bay.

Perhaps your condo association can approach the nursery re: the centipede problem. With luck, they will work with you.

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7472.html
 
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Old 06-10-09, 10:39 PM
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Today, centipedes are smaller; the largest specimens living in tropical climates can grow up to a foot in length. Most centipedes are smaller than that, usually only a few inches in length.
 
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Old 06-11-09, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by aaroni View Post
Today, centipedes are smaller; the largest specimens living in tropical climates can grow up to a foot in length. Most centipedes are smaller than that, usually only a few inches in length.
This thread is specific to house centipedes in New Jersey where a few inches is WAY too big.
 
 

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