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Will house centipedes crawl on you at night?

Quick Answers

House centipedes are unlikely to crawl on you while you sleep. Though they are fast moving and may seem scary, house centipedes prefer to avoid humans and are not aggressive. They mainly hunt for other household pests at night when humans are asleep. There are some simple steps you can take to deter house centipedes and prevent them from crawling on you.

Do House Centipedes Crawl on Sleeping Humans?

House centipedes are nocturnal creatures that hunt for food at night. They use their long legs and speed to chase down small prey like insects, spiders, and silverfish. House centipedes prefer to avoid humans and are not looking for people to crawl on. They are more interested in finding dark, damp areas of a home to hide during the day.

Though it’s possible a house centipede could walk across a sleeping human while hunting, it’s very unlikely. House centipedes don’t see humans as prey or hosts. They also don’t bite humans unless handled. Their legs can’t easily grip smooth human skin either. So a house centipede walking across a person at night would be a rare, accidental occurrence.

Why House Centipedes May Enter Bedrooms

While direct contact is unlikely, you may find house centipedes in bedrooms for a few reasons:

  • Hunting prey – House centipedes hunt at night and may enter bedrooms following prey or seeking new hunting grounds.
  • Hiding – House centipedes prefer dark, secluded spaces and may seek out corners, closets, and under beds to hide during the day.
  • Warmth – Bedrooms tend to stay warmer than other areas of a home, which house centipedes prefer.

Seeing a house centipede dash across the bedroom floor or wall at night can be startling. But they are not purposely seeking out humans. Their presence is a sign of other pest issues that should be addressed.

Will House Centipedes Bite Sleeping Humans?

House centipedes have venomous claws they use to subdue prey. But they rarely bite humans. Bites typically only occur if you handle a house centipede. They do not view human skin as a food source. House centipedes also avoid the breath and movement of a sleeping person.

On the rare chance one walks across your skin at night, it will quickly run away. The bite is relatively harmless, similar to a bee sting. It may cause minor swelling, redness, and itching around the bite. Serious reactions are unlikely. But if bitten, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water.

How to Prevent House Centipedes While Sleeping

Though house centipede encounters are rare, you can take some simple precautions to make your bedroom less appealing and reduce the chances of them disturbing your sleep:

  • Reduce clutter and hiding places – House centipedes seek out dark, humid areas to hide in during the day. Reduce clutter under the bed, in closets, etc. to eliminate appealing hiding spots.
  • Use dehumidifiers – House centipedes thrive in damp environments. Use dehumidifiers and fans to keep bedroom humidity under 50%.
  • Seal cracks and crevices – Use caulk to seal any cracks along baseboards, windows, or doors that centipedes could use to enter.
  • Keep rooms clean – Vacuum and clean rooms regularly to remove dust, debris, and potential insect prey that may attract centipedes.
  • Use pheromone traps – Special traps containing house centipede pheromones can help catch them and reduce populations.
  • Apply insecticides – Carefully applying residual insecticides in problem areas can help deter centipedes.

With good sanitation and pest-proofing, house centipedes are less likely to enter bedrooms and disturb sleep. Seek pest control help if populations are high.


House centipedes prefer to avoid humans, especially at night while people sleep. Though startling if seen at night, centipede bites are very rare. They are more nuisance pests that indicate other insect problems. With some simple prevention methods like decluttering, sealing entry points, and managing moisture, house centipedes can be deterred from bedrooms and allowed to continue hunting other household pests.