What Do Centipedes Eat?

Have you ever seen a centipede scurrying around your home or garden? These long, many-legged creatures are fascinating, but do you know what they eat?

Centipedes can have anywhere from 15 pairs of legs to as many as 177! That’s a lot of legs and mouths that need feeding. So if you wonder, “What do centipedes eat?” read on for more information.

What Do House Centipedes Eat? (Some of These Will Surprise You)

What do centipedes eat

While house centipedes (Scutigera coleoptrata) are both predators and prey, they help keep many other unwanted insects in check. As predators, they help keep many other unwanted insects in check, such as silverfish, ants, and cockroaches. They have a venomous bite that paralyzes their prey and allows them to capture and consume it quickly. 

However, centipedes themselves can also become prey to larger animals such as birds, lizards, and rodents. Despite this vulnerability, centipedes can defend themselves with their sharp claws and agility. 

Overall, centipedes are an essential part of the food chain and contribute to maintaining balance in the natural world. Since they tend to like damp and dark places, they are one of the more common bathroom bugs.


Centipedes are known for their carnivorous diet and feed on various insects, including roaches. Roaches are a common pest that can infest homes and buildings. Furthermore, the white roaches are an ideal target for centipedes looking for a meal.

Centipedes have powerful jaws that crush and grind up the roach’s body before swallowing it whole. When hunting insects, centipedes use their sharp claws to grab onto the roach’s exoskeleton and inject venom with their fangs. The toxin paralyzes the cockroach, making it easier for the centipede to consume its prey.

Not only do centipedes eat roaches as part of their diet, but they also help control roach populations by preying on them in the wild. This natural form of pest control is beneficial because it reduces the need for chemical insecticides that can harm humans and other animals.

However, while centipedes may help control roach populations, they can also become pests themselves if they infest a home or building. It’s essential to take preventative measures such as sealing cracks and crevices in walls and floors to prevent centipedes and roaches from entering your living space.

Bed Bugs

Do centipedes eat bed bugs? Yes, centipedes will hunt and feed on bed bugs. Centipedes are natural predators, but can they help control bed bug populations? I would not rely on centipedes to control your bed bug issue! ?

Bed bugs are small parasitic arthropods that feed on human blood, and they can infest homes and buildings, especially if you don’t react to their bites. When hunting bed bugs, centipedes use their sharp claws to grab onto the insect’s exoskeleton and inject venom with their fangs. The toxin paralyzes the bed bug, making it easier for the centipede to consume its prey.

Centipedes have a varied diet and will eat any insect, including bed bugs. They are particularly effective at killing bed bugs since they hide in clusters around your bed. We wrote an entire article where you can learn more about common bed bug hiding places.

So a centipede can move quickly and easily through tight spaces where bed bugs like to hide.

Using centipedes as natural pest control is not ideal since your house would be overrun with centipedes. So, it’s important to note that while centipedes may help control bed bug populations, they should not be relied upon as the sole treatment method.

If you suspect a bed bug infestation in your home or building, it’s essential to seek professional pest control services to identify and treat the problem correctly. A bed bug inspection company can help with this.

Carpet Beetle Larvae

Carpet beetles are a common household pest that can cause damage to fabrics, carpets, and other materials. While they may be small, carpet beetle larvae can cause significant damage if left unchecked.

Fortunately, centipedes are natural predators of carpet beetle larvae and can help control their populations.

Carpet beetle larvae and the shed skins have tiny hairs all over their body. It’s these hairs that can cause bed bug-like reactions in some people. So knowing that centipedes are feasting on these bed worms is good!


Seeing many house centipedes may mean you have another pest issue, like silverfish. House centipedes are known for their ability to hunt and control populations of other household pests, including silverfish. 

Silverfish are small, wingless insects that can infest homes and cause damage to fabrics, paper products, and other materials. Not only do silverfish eat fibers and glue, but they can also invade and eat your stored grains. 

Furthermore, The silverfish poop is not good to ingest, so if you see silverfish, it’s vital to begin deep cleaning your home. When hunting silverfish, house centipedes use their long legs to chase down the insect and grab onto it with their sharp claws.

House centipedes have a varied diet and will eat any insect, making them an effective natural form of pest control in homes and buildings.


Centipedes are carnivorous and will feed on various insects, including termites. Termites are often considered pests due to their ability to cause damage to wooden structures. Therefore having natural predators such as centipedes can be beneficial in controlling termite populations.

But do termites bite? No, termites are not known to bite people; they go after wood. So if you experience a bite, it may be from the centipede itself.

However, it’s important to note that relying solely on centipedes or other natural predators may not be enough to eliminate a termite infestation.

Professional pest control services are necessary for severe infestations or if the structure of your home has been compromised by termite damage. If you are not sure whether you have carpenter ants or termites: here are some differences.


Booklice, aka psocids, are pests that feed off mold and fungi spores. If you have a lot of booklice, your home may have a moisture issue.

Despite their name, booklice do not feed on books or paper products. Instead, they feed on mold and mildew that grows on damp surfaces such as walls, carpets, and food. Using a dehumidifier is imperative to solving the booklice issue.

Centipedes will actively hunt for any minor bugs, including psocids, but more often than not, they are going after more giant arthropods. Psocids are so small that they are one of the typical baby bed bug look-alikes.

Spider Beetles

spider beetle is a scavenger that eats various plant materials. Since they are slow-moving and globular in shape, they are an easy target for house centipedes.

Centipedes typically feed on all stages of spider beetles and can help control the population. However, if you see large numbers of spider beetles in your home, it’s time to do a deep cleaning.

Be sure to clean out all cupboards, closets, and stored items. Thoroughly vacuum everything, paying particular attention to dark places hidden from the light.

What Do Tropical Centipedes (like S. gigantea) Eat?

Since this is a much more giant centipede than the typical house centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata), they tend to feed on more critical things like crickets, lizards, palmetto bugs, American roaches, rodents, and even toads.

More Centipede Diet FAQs

Do Centipedes Eat Millipedes?

Yes, since centipedes are carnivores, they can eat millipedes. However, millipedes will not eat centipedes. A millipede focuses on plant matter and decaying things.

What Attracts Centipedes?

Centipedes are active night hunters. So they will search high and low for food, mainly in the form of insects. Lots of arthropod insects that they want to eat will attract centipedes.

How Long Can Centipedes Live Without Food?

Since arthropod insects are everywhere, a centipede will not have to live long without food. There are no documented studies where they starved centipedes, so it would be hard to quantify.

Do Centipedes Crawl On Your Bed To Bite You?

The common house centipede does not feed on human flesh, so it has no reason to crawl into your bed to bite you. However, if your mattress has bed bugs, a centipede may be feasting on them and accidentally bite you if you roll over.

Then there are many stories from the students at Ross University on the island of St. Kitts, who have found giant tropical centipedes in their beds. Tropical centipedes are not the same as house centipedes. Primarily because they are known to bite humans.

Are Centipedes Carnivores?

Yes, centipedes are carnivores. They hunt for their prey, which can be anything from roaches to mice.

Do Centipedes Eat Plants?

Since centipedes are carnivores and do not usually eat plants, you don’t have to worry about your house plant or garden if you see one. On the other hand, millipedes are known to feed on plant matter. So if you have a millipede infestation, protecting your plants is best.

Final Thoughts for What Do Centipedes Eat?

Overall, house centipedes can be beneficial in reducing the population of many insects like roaches, bed bugs, spider beetles, carpet beetles, silverfish, and other household pests. However, if you’re dealing with a severe pest problem, it may be necessary to seek professional help. These experts will be able to eliminate the pests and provide tips on how to prevent infestations in the future.