How to Kill a Centipede & Make a Fashion Statement

Go read this  if you haven’t read my “Earth Hour You can Suck It” post.  It’s an entry that explains my epidemic here.  Not my dilemma … my epidemic.

If you don’t read it, you won’t fully appreciate the severity of my particular situation.  I have bugs.  Not me.  I, personally, do not have bugs on me, my person.  I have bugs in my house.

Horrifying, disgusting, frightening bugs.  They go by the name of  …

The Centipede

Centipede Drawing 2


So’s not to frighten you I drew a reasonable facsimile of a centipede.  This is, I feel, a fairly accurate representation of what I found in the bathroom a few weeks ago.  A  Only I think he had a gun.  And maybe a crossbow.  He definitely spoke Spanish.

A few nights after the bathroom incident, I spied one making his way up the stairs towards the bedrooms.

So, I had no choice but to kill him.  Yeah, he’s a living creature, you’re a Buddhist, blah, blah, blah.  I’m sorry, but he’s in MY house and he’s gross.   So he’s dead.  Yeah, he eats other bugs, he keeps down on the spiders and ants, blah, blah, blah.  I’m sorry but he’s in MY house and he’s gross.  So he’s dead.

I’ve used a bug service in the past, to deal with my recurring centipede problem, plus I’ve also sprayed my house myself.  Since I couldn’t be bothered to wait for an official bug sprayer, and since I wanted to do this at my own pace – immediately – I did it myself.

And so can you.

I’ve use 2 different cans of spray in the past, both with great success.  Raid’s House and Garden and Raid Spider Blaster.   If you’re looking to kill centipedes, or any bugs for that matter, look for a spray that has the highest dose of Pyrethrin.  It’s not only highly effective, but Wikipedia says it’s safe to use around food and animals.    Although I’m not sure about the rest of the stuff in the Raid, so I made sure to lock my cats outside while I sprayed and took precautions myself.   As you will bear witness to later.

How to Spray Your House for Bugs



Get your Pyrethrin filled cans of spray.  It took 3 to do my entire house.



Pull all the furniture away from the walls.  You’re going to need to spray along all your baseboards, so you need access to them.  You will be shocked by the amount of hair and guck that accumulates behind things.  Do not be deterred.  Continue on pulling out your furniture.  No one needs to know about your hair and guck.  Unless you’re me and you have a blog and you show everyone your hair and guck.  Ahem. So to speak.
Cleaning behind furniture

Vacuum the entire house before you spray.  These are my dirty old stairs which have needed carpeting for the past 3 years.





If your house looks any neater than this, you aren’t doing it right.

You need to make a mess to kill a bug.  Pull everything away from the walls, lift the curtains off the floor and vacuum.


Messy Living Room

Spray along all your baseboards, windowsills and door thresholds.  If you have a gnarly basement like I do, spray that too.  Spray the walls of the basement and the floors.  Hard to believe I have centipedes.  Hard to believe I haven’t locked Hansel & Gretel down there.

Basement Stairs


The Raid Spider Blaster had quite the reek to it, so I felt safer with a mask on.  Only I didn’t have a mask.  What I did have was my boyfriend’s underwear.

Spraying for bugs

How this works is the bugs come out through the baseboards at night when it’s dark, they crawl through the killer spray and they die. The Spider Blaster has the added bonus of having a residual effect for a couple of weeks.

3 nights after spraying I found a dead centipede in the bathroom. I hated that centipede and I’m glad he’s dead. Stupid centipede. One night ago, I found a live one. It is my hope he just hadn’t died yet. That happens you see. The bug won’t die until he’s crossed the threshold of poison. Once he does he will wither up and die.

Or … he’ll crawl into an orface while you sleep. Here’s hoping for the first option.


  1. Karen, I have definitely slept with cotton balls in my ears because I am so afraid of a bug crawling in there and setting up shop. Not on my watch, buddy!
    We get the occasional centipede and I literally shiver and shake even after its dead. I HATE BUGS IN MY HOME!!!

  2. Liz S. says:

    I had to put my hand over my mouth to keep from busting out laughing at work. The undies pic is just great!

    We’ve been using Borax for years for bugs. I used a mixture recently of Borax and powdered sugar. I places lids of drink bottles around the kitchen counter with the mixture. The ants smell/taste the sweet sugar. The sugar masks the Borax. So part of the ants carry sugar back to the colony and part carry Borax. The ants eat the Borax and die. Once my counter was cleared of the pesky creatures, I put down a barrier of Borax all around the outside of my house and garage. I’ve also set out more of the lids full of Borax in places my son can’t reach.

  3. Cheryl in Wisconsin says:

    In my house, spiders, bees, the occasional bat, they all get caught by me and thrown outside, this action eliminates my feelings of guilt. But the poor centipede… I have the same reaction as you to them. They do not get the royal treatment of capture-and-outdoor-release, they get the shoe. Guilt or not, I just can’t help it. (My basement looks just like yours, it was built in 1901 with the finest rocks in the land.)

  4. Britt says:

    ICK!! I can usually do bugs outside, but not in my house… I had massive ants last summer in my kitchen… like so big I caught one fixing itself a sandwich… I did the exact same thing you did… RAID’ed the hell out of everything… inside, outside… there was no way I was going to live with those things… and the thought of them crawling into my orifices while I sleep… blech! *shudder dance*

  5. Roxanne says:

    Firstly, I *love* your blog. You make me laugh. A lot. I wish you didn’t live so far away, like, in another country.

    Your next (big) project should be that basement. That is definitely Creepy Crawly Country.

    BTW: Loved that you found such a great place for your Rooster — and that you took pictures. Wonderful.

    Roxanne in PA, USA

  6. Babie Knoop says:

    OMG! You are hilarious! I LOVE your blog and it is now a morning ritual! Right along with the “The Good Greatsby”
    I’m pretty sure we would have been best friends if we had known each other in the real world or met in high school! LOLOL Although I do not think we’d have gotten much done due to laughing to much! B

  7. amber says:

    I actually did have a centipede crawl in my ear when I was sleeping!!! it was horrific! My husband and i were sleeping in bed and suddenly i felt a massive tickling in my ear and i could hear something moving around (kind of like when you clean out your ears with a q-tip). I sat straight up in bed, grabbed my ear and bolted to the bathroom. I flushed my ear out with water and looked in the mirror and there was a centipede LAYING ON MY FACE! I quickly brushed it off my face onto the floor and punched that thing into smithereens! No kidding! I had goosebumps for 15 minutes! And i could only fall asleep with earplugs for a while!

  8. Susan Perry says:

    I hope you did not simply fold your roomie’s undies and return them to his drawer. I would have some concerns about the residual Raid overspray and proximity to the family jewels…

  9. beth says:

    Is that centipede flipping me off?
    I love your blog. It makes me laugh.

  10. Dani says:

    Oh god, we used to call those things Kingston bugs when I was at school. Used to crawl out of the bathroom drain and you could NOT drown the damn things. So utterly creeeeeeeepy. I don’t like anything that moves faster than I do. These are right up there with earwigs.

  11. sue says:

    OMG, this must be the summer of bugs! My 3 kitties and I are having the lovely experience of FLEAS in the house! Plus, because of the fleas, they had worms, yuck!I love nature, but there are some low rent cousins lurking. Spraying does require proper breathing protection and as usual, you are all about safety and our education and I thank you!

  12. Stacy says:

    You have a follower for life in me. You did the impossible…made me laugh out loud at 7:00 am!

  13. B.J.M says:

    While staying with an Aunt years ago; I came home after working a 12hr night shift [nurse] and just wanted to rinse-off my face before I fell into bed. As I leaned over the sink, in her older home….this massive, long, far too many legged, pale coloured thing [exactly as your artist’ sketch] came up out of the drain. I screamed, then threw-up on it! Dead bug.
    He/she/”IT” deserved it.

    • Karen says:

      Brenda – LOL … oh no … that is a visual I’m going to have for quite some time. And perhaps every time I see a centipede. :) ~ karen

  14. Please, for the love of all that is good and holy, plaster over those basement walls. Do it for me.

    My duplex neighbors get centipedes, but my house of poison does not. Home Defense is my drug of choice so I have only seen one outside, and even outside I hosed him down and watched him die. I’m going to pray for you or something. Shuddering.

  15. Design Love says:

    Oh, and you know what else is gross…when their legs,(all 5000 of them) keep moving when you squish one! Yes, this weather must make it worse!!! Your soup sounds delish!!!


  16. Design Love says:

    Omg, I thought I was the only one!!!! I hate those disgusting things…I kill them all the time , they are fast too! Just the other night, I got up and slipped on one killing it, my foot felt wet, so I turned on a light and just about freaked out!!! Your picture you drew it bang on…. I’m going to go out and buy some RAID tomorrow. It must be our old farmhouses with the gross basements.


    • Karen says:

      Cindy – I think it’s a combination of the basements and the horrid humid weather we’ve been having for the past bazillion months. Ooo! Bazillion reminded me of my Brazilian Black Bean Soup recipe. Think I’ll make it for dinner one night this week! ~ karen

  17. Liza says:

    Btw, I had to pin that photo of the undies on your head! Pinterest will never be the same. lol

  18. Liza says:

    Luckily I’ve moved since then! I’ve only seen one in my house now, thank God. I cannot even take my eyes off of one long enough to find bug spray. I pick up the closest hard object and smash those suckers. I’m afraid if I walk away, it will be gone when I come back with the spray. lol

  19. Liza says:

    I think I just woke my neighbors up laughing so hard at the undies pic! LMAO. You really do crack me up. Safety first, most definitely. I posted on your FB comment. I had a centipede sting my face, in the middle of the night, a few years ago. Those bugs have traumatized me for life. Take them all out before one gets you too!! :)

    • Karen says:

      Liza – I read your FB comment and just about died. I don’t think I’d ever sleep again. I’d be using toothpicks to hold my eyelids open, cartoon-style. You’re a very brave soul! ~ karen

  20. Valerie says:

    Here in B.C. in the spring and fall we are afflicted with “stink bugs” as well as centipedes. The one product that terminates everything is, aptly named, Doctor Doom. If you run out of the Raid product you may appreciate this alternative. When I was a poor student and had little critters in my bathroom around my baseboards I sprinkled cleanser next to the boards and this was quite effective in keeping them at bay. According to DIY sites that create products to clean your house as well as suggestions to deal with bugs I have noticed that it is now trendy to use borax, which as it turns out was the main ingredient in the cleanser.

  21. Audrey says:

    I hate house centipedes. They are drawn to humid locations, like basement level apartments and bathrooms. Looking at your basement, I think you are going to be dealing with them for a long time.

  22. Jamieson says:

    PS gotch over your face? Really? Your mom must be so proud of you, you weirdo!

  23. Jamieson says:

    I too found a centipede: in between my pillows last night. It’s likely that it was merely on a solo expedition and when it doesn’t return to the colony somewhere miles from my home*, the others will be too afraid to come inside. Plausible theory? I think we are on the same page here.

    *because of course I killed the centipede in a centisecond, careening between a controlled panic and the need to be discrete so my husband doesn’t wake me hourly for the next 2 years asking “is there another bug in the bed??!”

  24. Debbie A says:

    I hope they all die for you – yuk they are so gross – they give me the willies.

    You made me giggle with the boyfriends underwear.

    You are so innovative.

    Thanks for the giggles and being so honest with the dust bunnies!!!


  25. Trysha says:

    No wonder every photo you post of him he’s almost nekkid, his undies are on your head.

    Death to creepy crawly bugs. *shudder*

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