Texas Parks & Wildlife posted this picture of the infamous Texas Redheaded Centipede and, as you can imagine, the post went viral. The folks at Texas Parks & Wildlife say this isn’t surprising. This is an insect that inspires fear. I mean, just look at it. Would you want that thing crawling across your bed? I didn’t think so.

The comments on their Facebook page are a good indication of how residents of Texas feel about these centipedes. “Everything is BIGGER in Texas, especially the bugs!!” says JoAnn Lange. “Its official name is the Texas Redhead,” says Jason Danforth, “But everyone just calls it: KILL IT, KILL IT, KILL IT!”

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So, is this creature a thing of nightmares? Ben Hutchins of Texas Parks & Wildlife says, “Bites are usually rather mild, resulting in a sharp, painful sting that is sometimes accompanied by swelling, usually subsiding after a few hours.” But, he says, “In rarer cases, bites cause minor skin necrosis, dizziness, nausea and headaches.” Though not deadly, this is certainly not a bug you want to do the two-step with.

The redheaded centipede prefers to live in moist places and shade. They prefer protected areas under stones, rotted logs, leaf piles or bark. In the hot, drier summer months, they will sometimes seek refuge inside homes, if the right conditions are present. Your goal should be to discourage them. Seriously discourage them. Here are some discouragement tips:

  • Use a dehumidifier to make your basement area dry and uncomfortable for these little terrors.
  • Make sure your basement walls are sealed, especially around pipes.
  • Keep compost piles, rock piles, firewood, construction materials, and rotted logs away from your exterior walls.
  • Keep a barrier 12-24 inches around your basement walls where no vegetation exists. Crushed stone works nicely.
  • Keep weeds pulled, especially near your home.
  • Keep your grass cut short, to make your yard feel less safe to these crawling bugs.

The best way to keep this and other pests from coming into your yard and into your home is to partner with a pest professional like Holder’s Pest Solutions. Pest control technicians will treat areas of your foundation with EPA-approved sprays and dust to stop them in their tracks, and safely remove them, if they’ve already gotten in.

If you think life is better without redheaded centipedes crawling around your Texas home, check out our Total Home Protection service, or contact us with any inquiries. We have just the thing to sweep it out the door.