Will Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Centipedes?


willhydrogenperoxidekillcentipedesCentipedes are hard to kill but there are some ways that works really well against them and one of them is hydrogen peroxide. This is a very strong chemical that can be used to kill various kinds of insects including centipede.

So, will hydrogen peroxide kill centipedes? Yes, it can kill and repel centipedes. If you spray hydroxide in the soil it will kill various kind of insects and repel centipedes but if you spray concentrated hydrogen peroxide directly over centipede then it will kill them because the chemical will start reacting with the their skin and will burn them.

To know more about hydrogen peroxide and how it works on centipedes keep reading.

Centipedes Lifecycle

Centipedes do not copulate for reproduction. Males leave their sperm for the females to find them. Some male species entice the females to their sperm. The females swallow them, and once fertilization takes place, eggs get hatched.

Centipedes usually lay their eggs in the soil and other moist places and cover them with foliages. Some species guard them till they hatch. 10 to 50 eggs get laid by the females. Hatching of the eggs may vary from one to few months.

Adult centipedes can live between five to ten years, depending upon the species.


Centipedes hardly feed on vegetable matter. They prey on organic matter, and they feed on all types of insects, reptiles, small animals, and amphibians. Their defense mechanism is their claws, venom, and speed.

Since their exoskeleton is devoid of wax, they lose water quickly. Also, their excreta contain ammonia, which requires water to react with nitrogen. Hence they prefer moist surroundings to survive.

Centipedes continue to molt during their adulthood. In case they lose some legs to a predator, they are seen growing new legs. They are mostly nocturnal creatures and prefer darkness to sunshine.


Centipedes prefer to live in moist, damp places. They usually live outdoors, under the boulder, inside the soil, under the fallen tree or garbage dump, which attracts lots of insects, which they feed on.

During the summer or winter, when the climate outside is unbearable, they take refuge in the human living spaces. They love the damp basement, under the damaged tile in the washrooms or under the kitchen sink.

Centipedes generally avoid water. They swim for a short while but soon drown due to lack of oxygen. They take in oxygen from the atmosphere through small pores located under their legs.

Respiratory System

Centipedes have a tracheal tube respiratory system to breathe. This has several parts.

Spiracles: They are openings on the exoskeleton, through which the air enters the body of a centipede. They have this opening in most of the segments. The anterior and few posterior segments lack these opening

Trachea: This collected air gets sent to their many tracheas. This trachea delivers the air from outside to its various parts.

Tracheoles: Some of the air get also sent to their much smaller tracheoles, which get connected to individual cells.

Like humans, centipedes take in oxygen thro’ their tracheal system and expend carbon dioxide and some water vapor.

Hydrogen Peroxide

hydrogenperoxidechemicalHydrogen Peroxide is a chemical compound consisting of two hydrogens and two oxygen atoms. It’s pale blue and is more viscous than water. They get used to bleaching agents, oxidizers, and as an antiseptic.

Hydrogen peroxide is an unstable compound and soon decomposes in the presence of light. To store this compound, we need a stabilizing agent. They get found in a biological system, including the human body.

Properties: The boiling point of hydrogen peroxide is 50 degrees higher than water, and its freezing point slightly lower.

Biological function: Hydrogen peroxide is formed in humans and other animals as a short-lived product due to the biochemical process and is toxic to cells and tissues. The toxicity is due to oxidation of protein, tissue cells, and DNA compounds present in living cells.

Uses: Following are the uses of hydrogen peroxide:

Bleaching -Around 60% of the world’s pulp and paper get bleached with the help of hydrogen peroxide.

As detergents – The second most use of this compound is in laundry detergents and cleaning agents.

Organic compounds – It is used in the treatment of acne and as a flour bleaching agent.

Disinfectants – This is majorly get used in wastewater treatment plants. It breaks down the organic compounds and also reacts with sulfur to reduce the odor.

Antiseptic – Earlier hydrogen peroxide compounds were used to treat wounds. However, since it inhibits the growth of new skin cells, this practice is no more followed.

Cosmetics – Used widely in human hair bleaches and also in toothpaste for whitening of the enamel.

Propellant – a concentrated form of hydrogen peroxide gets used as fuel in rockets and other space vehicles. It is also used in submarines to fire torpedoes underwater.

Hydrogen Peroxide And Centipede

Hydrogen peroxide is very unstable and requires a stabilizer at all times. When you spray hydrogen peroxide of more than 70% concentration, it is sure to kill the centipede by reacting with their body tissues and burning them. Such ready to use repellants are available and must get carefully handled.

Store the spray after use, especially in a cool dark place. Keeping them in the open and bright sunlight will decrease the potency of the mixture. In case you have to transfer the concentrated solution to a spray bottle, be careful while pouring and handling the mix. Use proper gloves and attire to safeguard yourself.

By adding a 1% solution of hydrogen peroxide in your garden spray, you can keep all the crawling and flying pests away. In the absence of food, centipedes will not venture into your garden. Also, the presence of hydrogen peroxide in the soil will repel them. This mixture also adds oxygen to the soil, which is absorbed by the plant roots. These additional atoms of oxygen make your plant healthy.

Mix 3% hydrogen peroxide with an equal quantity of water. Pour the mixture down the plant stem to reach its roots. The fungus and tiny microbes, feeding on to the roots, will get destroyed. Then spray the mixture on the surrounding soil and plant. This will kill the smaller insects present in the soil and on the plant. It will also deter larger predators from this area for two primary reasons:

Due to the presence of the hydrogen peroxide in the soil and the plant, these insects will get irritated with the unstable hydrogen peroxide reacting with their organic cells.

In the absence of their usual prey in the soil or the plant, they will not have any interest in staying around.

Do not use more than 3% concentration of this compound. Otherwise, your plant and their root would get burnt. It does not harm beneficial insects like the bees, which come in contact only with the pollen and nectar in the flowers. Use the right potency for the best results.

This mixture cannot destroy the eggs, which is usually well protected. Repeat the spray regularly, so that over time, you will have eradicated the bugs from your vicinity.


Hydrogen peroxide is an unstable compound consisting of two atoms, each of hydrogen and oxygen. In its pure form, they react with protein, tissue cells, and DNA of any organic matter. If you spray concentrated hydrogen peroxide of 70% and above, directly on the body of a centipede, you will kill the insect, since the chemical will react with the body and burn it.

If used in a smaller concentration of 1 to 3% in the soil, other smaller pests will get annihilated, thereby inhibiting the centipede’s visit to the garden and plants. The low percentage of hydrogen peroxide mixed in the soil also acts as a deterrent agent on the centipede.


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