Centipede eggs are laid in the ground. These eggs are deposited in spring and summer by centipedes that live in temperate climates.
Centipedes living in tropical climates can lay eggs any time throughout the year.
1. Do Centipedes Lay Eggs?
All centipedes lay eggs as a means of reproduction. How eggs are laid as well as their preferred laying location differs from one centipede species to another.
Some centipedes remain with the eggs in a guarding temperament while other centipedes lay the eggs in the ground and move along.
2. How Do Centipedes Reproduce?
All centipedes lay eggs. They don’t mate directly as the male centipede spins a web on which sperm is deposited for the female to pick up for fertilization.
The male churns out a small web with sperm deposits. The female then inserts this small web in the genitalia for fertilization.
Eggs are then deposited in the ground. Many eggs are deposited under logs or rocks. Some eggs are deposited below leaf piles or in loose tree bark. Females either guard these eggs or move along afterward.
3. Centipede Life Cycle
A centipede’s life cycle begins as an egg. There’s no direct mating between the male and the female to produce an egg.
The female lays fertilized eggs in the ground. A minimum of 5 eggs laid at a time is standard even if some female centipedes can lay up to 150 eggs at a time.
Hatching time for the eggs is very different among centipede species. Eggs can hatch shortly after 1 month or they can take up to several months to hatch.
A miniature centipede arises next. This small centipede goes through a few molts in its lifespan. These equate to offspring growth and reaching adulthood.
Molts are processes in which centipedes shed their skin to make way for body growth.
Nymphs are young centipedes that are about to grow through multiple molts. These molts are known to come with further leg growth in centipedes.
Once it reaches adulthood, a centipede can live up to 5-6 years. Centipedes go through 3 stages as a life cycle.
- Immature centipede
- Adult centipede
4. When is the Breeding Season of a Centipede?
Centipedes need warm weather to reproduce. They are normally tied to seasons whenever they live in temperate climates.
Since the weather is constantly warm in tropical and sub-tropical climates, centipedes can lay eggs at any time throughout the year.
Temperate climates – spring and summer
Subtropical climates – throughout the year
Tropical climates – throughout the year
5. How Long Do Centipede Eggs Hatch?
Centipede eggs hatch between 1 and 5 months.
This period varies from species to species and it depends on the weather as well.
Eggs may not hatch at all if they have been laid by a female centipede that guards them and has later been disturbed.
A disturbed female centipede guarding eggs will resort to extreme measures such as abandoning the eggs or eating them.
In a few species of centipedes, the emerging small centipedes even resort to eating the mother.
6. What Do Centipede Eggs Look Like?
Most centipede eggs are either cream or brown. The eggs have a certain shine to their spherical colored appearance.
Species of centipedes that guard the eggs are mostly known for licking the eggs. This keeps them looking clean.
The process is known as fungus-control in centipede eggs. Some types of eggs laid by centipedes are affected by the fungus to the extent they can’t hatch anymore unless the mother keeps the fungus away.
7. How Many Eggs Does a Centipede Lay?
Most centipedes lay anywhere between 15 and 60 eggs. This depends on the species as well as the period in the year. More eggs can be laid in the summer.
Record cases involve centipedes laying up to 160 eggs at a time.
The high number of eggs is specific to adult centipedes living in tropical and sub-tropical climates.
8. Where Do Centipedes Lay Eggs?
Centipedes lay eggs in protected areas or places that aren’t immediately exposed to predation. This means centipedes prefer to lay eggs in the ground and other sheltered locations.
In the ground
Most centipede eggs are found in clusters in the ground. These eggs are normally just a few inches below the surface as the female centipede can sometimes cover the eggs up.
Eggs that get covered in soil are centipede eggs that aren’t guarded by the female. This means eggs that aren’t covered in soil are guarded by the female with the body sitting on top.
Centipede’s eggs can also be laid in mud. Mud is known for attracting centipedes through its higher humidity.
Wet ground provides the humidity needed by centipedes. Sub-tropical climates offer ideal conditions for centipedes to lay eggs directly in mud.
Under rotting logs
Rotting logs are sometimes ideal places for high moisture. A hiding spot under a rotting log is also away from predators such as chickens or birds.
Centipedes crawl under rotting logs to lay a large number of eggs. These eggs will remain here mostly unguarded for up to 5 months until they hatch.
Under large rocks
In the absence of rotting logs, female centipedes may crawl under large rocks to lay eggs. These offer shade from the sun and higher moisture levels.
Piles of leaves represent a good place to lay eggs in organic matter. These places are common for centipedes to lay their eggs in when they live around homes.
In tree bark
Exposed cracks in tree bark create hidden places where centipedes can crawl into. These are ideal places to lay eggs as they aren’t exposed to predators that can’t fly or that aren’t arboreal.
Centipedes can also lay eggs inside the house. As pests, centipedes regularly lay eggs in basements. High humidity levels specific to basements make centipedes seek out these locations inside the house for laying eggs.
9. Do Any Animals Prey on Centipede Eggs?
Various animals prey on centipedes. But centipede eggs are mainly preyed upon by animals that can dig. Badgers are among the most efficient centipede egg predators.
Here are a few animals that are known to specifically target centipede eggs.
10. What to Do When You See Centipede Eggs?
Clearing out centipede eggs requires cleaning the area of the eggs and their immediate vicinity.
It’s as important to reduce the chances of centipede returning to the same place to lay eggs by keeping both indoor and outdoor locations dry and clean.
Vacuuming is considered the correct option of removing centipede eggs from inside the house. Squashing the eggs isn’t recommended.
Frequent basement vacuuming is recommended as centipedes seek out high humidity areas of the house to lay eggs.
Use a plastic bag to collect the eggs
Vacuumed eggs should not be left inside the vacuum cleaner. The eggs need to be placed in a tight plastic bag for disposal as they can still hatch inside the vacuum cleaner.
Follow centipedes for other eggs
Some centipedes are known for guarding the eggs. They might return to guard the eggs once they get enough food.
It’s worth following centipedes around the house to discover possible new locations for eggs.
11. How to Prevent Centipede Eggs in House?
Preventive measures are required to keep out centipede eggs inside the house.
Centipedes make their way indoors frequently in temperate climates as they try to escape cold weather.
Here are the top recommended practices for keeping centipedes and their eggs outside.
seal off cracks in walls, doors, and windows
Sealing off all entry points is ideal in preventing centipedes from entering homes.
Cracks around doors and windows as well as more serious wall cracks need to be completely sealed for centipedes not to crawl through and lay eggs inside the house.
Use baking soda to deter centipedes in the basement
Baking soda and water when mopping floors are one of the natural ways of deterring centipedes. This is one of the natural methods of keeping a wider range of pests outside.
Insecticide might be recommended when you discover many centipede eggs. Vacating the home might be required during the process. However, some insecticides applied in closed-off areas of the house such as the basement might not require vacating the residence.
Reduce indoor humidity
Reducing indoor humidity is essential against a series of pests. High humidity is essential for centipedes to lay their eggs.
Centipedes prefer laying eggs in the ground or under rotten logs as these are a place of high humidity. Reducing indoor humidity levels is recommended to keep centipedes away.
Clear out all organic materials
Organic materials such as mulch and leave piles are known to attract centipedes.
These need to be cleared from around the house as centipedes in organic matter can easily make their way indoors. Centipedes are light-sensitive. This means they can seek shelter inside of the house during the day.
Call an exterminator
If centipede eggs are still found inside the house, it’s best to call an exterminator. A hired contractor will first assess the situation on the entire perimeter before suggesting a viable solution.
Centipede eggs are laid by female centipedes in small clusters. These clusters are found in high humidity protected areas such as underground or under rotting logs.
Some centipedes care for their eggs while others don’t visit the eggs after these are laid in the ground. Most centipedes (over 3.000 species in total) live in the ground and are nocturnal. This means centipede eggs aren’t seen frequently.