Giant Desert Centipedes: General Information, Types, Harmful Effects, and Control

The Giant Desert Centipede, scientifically known as Scolopendra heros, is a fascinating yet intimidating species native to many parts of North America, especially the arid desert regions. This guide delves into this large centipede species’ key characteristics, lifestyle, and ways to effectively exterminate it if it becomes a nuisance.

Giant Desert Centipedes


Giant Desert Centipedes are easily recognizable by their size and vibrant coloration. Typically ranging in size from 6 to 8 inches, these centipedes feature a long, flattened body with 21 to 23 body segments, each housing a pair of legs. Their bodies are commonly red or brown, with darker head and tail segments, often black. The legs are slightly lighter, usually a shade of yellow or orange.


Giant Desert Centipedes are nocturnal, hunting their prey primarily at night. Their diet consists mostly of insects, spiders, small lizards, and occasionally small rodents. A potent venom administered via their forcipules (modified first pair of legs) paralyzes their prey

Female centipedes lay between 15 and 60 eggs, which they guard diligently until they hatch. These creatures prefer a solitary lifestyle, and apart from breeding periods, they rarely interact with their kind.

Extermination Techniques

Though Giant Desert Centipedes are not typically household pests, they may occasionally wander into homes, especially in areas close to their natural habitats. When this happens, several techniques can be employed for their extermination:

  1. Insecticides: Certain pesticides are effective in controlling centipede populations. Always use these products as directed by their manufacturers.
  2. Physical Traps: Sticky traps near potential entry points can help capture and remove these creatures from your home.
  3. Professional Pest Control: When infestation levels are high, it’s best to rely on professional pest control services for safe and efficient extermination.


Struggling with a Giant Desert Centipede invasion? Our expert extermination service can help! We offer safe, effective, eco-friendly solutions tailored to your needs. Contact us now for a free consultation and ensure a centipede-free living space.