In order to get rid of centipedes in the house it is necessary to follow a 2 step process that involves humidity and food supply. Centipedes are invertebrates with an exoskeleton, multiple pairs of legs and inhabit most parts of the world. There are about 3000 known species of centipedes with legs ranging from 15 to over 300.
However adaptable they may be, they always need a moist environment to survive because they lack the waxy protective cuticle of insects or spiders. Hence their preference for rocks, piles of leaves or vegetation, wood and so on. At spring time they come out for reproduction and at fall they are lured into houses seeking warmth and food. Because of their need for moist, they are usually fund in parts of the house that mimic their natural environment like basements, kitchen basins, washing machines or laundry rooms.
The common house centipede is called Scutigera Coleoptrata and like all centipedes is a predator. The house centipede is 1 to 2 inches long and has 15 pairs of legs developed in several molts from an original set of just 4 legs when newly hatched. Other larger centipedes like the tropical Scolopendromorpha are born directly with 21 pairs of shorter legs and flexible segments, can reach gigantic size up to 12 inches (30 cm) and feed on mice, lizards, frogs and even tarantulas, while the house centipede has a rigid segmented body with long and fast legs and feeds on other house pests. Unlike other species of centipedes, the house centipede has good eye sight but catches its prey with the aid of antennae too.
Typical house centipede preys include ants, termites, bed bugs, spiders and cockroach nymphs as well as opportunistic kitchen left overs. They hunt at night and this is the time they are usually sighted. Over all the house centipede provides a good service in that it naturally preys on other unwanted house pests that are objectively far more hazardous than the centipede itself. Just think of the many germs and illnesses transmitted by roaches, fleas (including the historic bubonic plague through rat fleas), or blood feeding bed bugs. Centipedes are not after humans nor are they a health hazard like other pests, however there are 2 reasons why home owners want to get rid of centipedes in the house the moment they see one of them.
One reason is that their presence may be the tell tale sign that there is another infestation on which the centipede feed on. The other reason is just their appearance. Centipedes are quite revolting. Couple this with their speed and manoeuvrability and you have a horror movie like creature alive, right in the middle of your room. Unfortunately, as long as centipedes have no reason to leave, they will stay and multiply. So the solution to eliminating them is to give them a reason to leave.
How to get rid of centipedes in the house then? Tidy up the clutter in the bathroom, kitchen, basement and all known humid spots where centipedes rest. Use dehumidifiers and desiccators to dry up as much as possible the environment and allow for maximum ventilation. This way the centipedes will have a hard time in keeping their body moist and may want to leave.
In their presence is persistent it may be a sign that they have found a steady food supply on which to feed on. This means you may have more than just a centipede problem but also roaches, ants or any other bug enticing the centipede to stay. In this case you may need to follow a pest eradication procedure in 2 steps, both indoor and outdoor to get rid of all pests including the top of the food chain, the centipedes themselves.