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Centipedes, head lice and silverfish

Other pests

Other pests that Anticimex can help you with are for example centipedes, head lice and silverfish.

Centipedes

Contrary to common knowledge, centipedes are actually beneficial creatures because they feed on other pests. The house centipede rarely bites and when it does, its bite is no worse than a bee sting. The bite of a giant centipede, however, can cause severe pain and swelling.

Centipedes sometimes scratch the skin when they crawl over our body, and they also inject venom into the scratch wound, causing swelling and infection. Long, narrow and flattened, the body of a centipede has many segments, each bearing a pair of legs. Just behind the head are a pair of venomous claws. The two common species are:

House Centipede is greyish with long legs marked by alternate white and dark bands. Three dark stripes run along the body from front to back. They are 5 – 8 cm long when fully grown. Giant Centipede can grow up to 20 cm long and are really fearful. The legs are relatively shorter than the house centipede. Centipedes are found in dark, damp places, under leaves, rotten logs, stones and cardboard boxes. They are active at night and feed on ants, cockroaches, flies, earthworms and other small animals. Indoors, the house centipedes are found in damp basements and bathrooms. When disturbed, they crawl quickly in search of hiding places.

Control

  • As far as possible, clear out damp and dark places inside the house.
  • Outdoors, piles of unwanted items, leaves and piles of grass should be removed.
  • An insecticide with a long-lasting effect can be applied in cracks and crevices, basements, around doors, windows and other entry points.

Head lice

Head lice cause irritation and itching to the scalp by piercing the skin and injecting toxins. This leads to weariness and tiredness in a person. Scratching the head can cause infection of the bite wounds by fungi and bacteria. If left untreated, the eggs of head lice remain in the hair for a long time.

Each female lays approximately 300 eggs which are cemented to the hair. The cement cannot be removed without damaging the hair or scalp. It takes just 5 – 10 days for the eggs to hatch. Head lice infest the hair of the head, while sucking blood from the hosts. Lice are usually spread through the use of communal combs and brushes, personal contact with the infested individual or contact with infested bedclothes and clothing. Head louse is common in over-crowded places and among people with poor personal hygiene.

Control

  • Avoid contact with infested persons.
  • Infested people should wash their hair and head often and thoroughly with hot water.
  • Hair combs and brushes and bedclothes must be isolated from others.
  • See a pharmacist for a medication to remove head lice.
  • You can remove the eggs from hair with a fine-toothed metal comb specially made for this purpose.
  • Call in Anticimex for a thorough job.

Millipedes

Millipedes do not bite or sting humans. They are usually found in the garden and in decaying vegetation. Some millipedes secrete a liquid that leaves a stain and causes severe skin inflamation and blindness in humans. Millipedes normally live outdoors where they feed on damp and decaying wood and vegetation. Sometimes they leave the soil and can be found crawling in the house, or hiding beneath flower pots.

The migration into the house may be due to heavy rain which raises the water level in the soil and forces them to seek shelter elsewhere. When threatened or in danger, they roll up into a ball. Some species secrete a repugnant liquid which is brown or white. The liquid is toxic to other small animals and is usually exuded slowly, although sometimes it can discharge the liquid as a spray.

Control

  • As millipedes thrive in damp organic matter, remove all decaying vegetation regularly.
  • Check also for wood buried in the soil.
  • Millipedes are killed by insecticide sprays or dusts.
  • Special attention should be given to all millipede entry points.
  • A pest control operator is needed to treat the premises and surrounding areas. Call Sita Pest Control for a thorough job.

Silverfish

Silverfish cause damage by eating into books, book bindings, photographs, and cause wallpaper to flake off by feeding on the paste. They are wingless insects with flattened, slender bodies. The body is carrot-shaped and tapers gradually to the back, giving it a fish-like appearance. Silverfish are nocturnal insects that normally stay away from sunlight. They can be found anywhere in the house where it’s dark and undisturbed, such as basements and book shelves. They feed actively at night on human food, starch, glue, paper, paste, silk or linen.

Control

Thorough inspections are necessary to find their hiding places. Use of a flushing aerosol helps to locate them.

  • Seal up all cracks and crevices where silverfish can hide and breed.
  • To avoid infestation, inspect all books, particularly old books that you bring into the house.
  • Where possible, store book, files and papers in airy places
  • Human food should be kept in tight containers and food crumbs cleaned and removed to deprive the pest of food sources.
  • To safeguard your valuable books and documents, get reliable service from Anticimex.

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