can centipedes climb up beds
Kristina Davis

It’s been one, if not, the most asked question I have, but can centipedes climb up beds?

Are they capable of rummaging through your sheets without you knowing about it?

I was as scared as you – maybe even more afraid, and so, I did my best to research it from start to finish!

Yes, centipedes can climb up or rather, crawl up onto your beds but not with the intention to bite you. In fact, they do this because they’re attracted to the heat your body is giving out.

Before you decide to swat all of them out of fear, let me first give you insights into why centipedes crawl up to your beds.

Do they do this because they want to bite you? Or is it just out of survival?

Why Do Centipedes Climb Up Beds?

why centipede climb bed

Centipedes, in case you didn’t know, are naturally from warmer, more humid, and hotter environments.

So, they’ll choose a spot that’s warmer and more humid, especially if they plan on reproducing. 

I don’t know about you, but during the winter and rainy seasons, I always see centipedes around my home.

I started noticing this more after reading about their behavior in different climates.

I often see them in the kitchen, in the bathroom, and even in my bedroom. When I do, it’s already too late.

The bedroom, if you’re in a cold climate, will be their favorite spot because of the body heat you emit, especially when you’re sleeping.

One thing that puzzles me the most is the way they do it. Being arthropods, wouldn’t they find climbing smooth surfaces slippery?

Wouldn’t it be difficult and hard for them to climb up the bed frame?

How Can House Centipedes Climb Up Beds?

House centipedes climb up beds

To help you understand more about how they climb up and crawl, allow me to dig deeper.

From the term alone, they are “centipedes.” This word roots in the Latin word centipeda, which means “a many-footed arthropod.”

Yes, they have tens of legs that run through their entire bodies, helping them move and maneuver.

Akin to ants, bugs, spiders, and other creatures that have sharp legs, centipedes can crawl and climb up structures and materials – not to mention that these creatures have many legs to use and take advantage of!

Centipedes make use of their sharp legs to crawl and climb up on different structures they can find that’ll give them the warmth and humidity they need.

The question still remains – are they able to climb up beds and other similar structures?

Can Centipedes Climb Up Beds?

can centipede climb bed

Yes, they can. If your bed frame is made from wood, metal, or even plastic, so long as it’s not an extremely smooth surface, they can climb on it.

One of my worst experiences with centipedes was in our old house where our bed frame was made of sandalwood.

Sandalwood is not the smoothest of materials, and so, they found it an easy target to climb up on or crawl on.

When I woke up, I found 1 of them on my leg, and the other almost approaching. I mean, that’s pretty normal for a creature that has hundreds of legs, right?

Upon a closer look, I found out that they’re not that great when it came to other types of surfaces.

What Other Materials Can Centipedes Climb On?

This list will fill up this entire article if we list it down.

So, to make things easier for you, imagine rough and textured surfaces like wood, these are easy for centipedes to climb or crawl on.

materials can centipedes climb on

Rough surfaces are simply those that do not feel smooth to the touch. Just because they’re labeled “textured” or “rough” means that they’re already bothering.

It can be as simple as unfinished concrete, cement, or even wood.

Here’s a list of the things that centipedes can crawl on:

  • Wood
  • Rough Metal or Steel
  • Plastic
  • Fabric
However, smooth surfaces like glass, tiles, ceramics, and porcelains would seem almost impossible for them to climb on. 

Unless, of course, something rough or climbable is attached to it just like any other insect such as bedbugs.

What To Do When You See Centipedes on Your Bed?

Contrary to what you are thinking, centipedes aren’t malicious creatures that have the intention of hurting people or other creatures for this matter.

things to do

So, when you notice or see a centipede on your skin when you wake up, panicking wouldn’t help you.

I used to panic and shake when I saw it, and it actually made things a lot worse.

Here’s what you have to do when you see a centipede by surprise on your leg, arms, or even on your bed:

  1. DO NOT PANIC. I cannot stress this enough.
  2. Move slowly and be more organized, and ensure that you don’t agitate the centipede.
  3. They’re fast-moving creatures, it’ll be difficult to catch them when they’re agitated.
  4. Carefully lift your blanket or bed sheet where they are.
  5. If it is on your leg or arm, move it slowly.
  6. Move them to the sink or the toilet.
  7. Let them fall and flush.
NOTE: Follow these to be kept safe and secure when you find a crawler near you. Whether it’s on the bed frame, the cushion or mattress, or anywhere near it, be careful!

What To Do To Keep Centipedes Out of Your Bed?

ways to keep centipede away

If you want to get rid of this problem once and for all, you need to perform long-term solutions.

This can help you ensure that you do not see another centipede inside your home ever again.

Buy a Dehumidifier

Centipedes breathe warmth and humidity, so getting a dehumidifier can help you get rid of the humidity in the area.

I bought one and it worked like magic by keeping the spot cool and fresh. 

Seal Cracks and Holes

It’s not like these nasty critters walk past your front door. They usually go in via sinks, the toilet, or even cracks and holes in your house.

So, use a sealant to cover up the cracks, holes, and crevices in your house going out.

Install Bathroom Exhausts and Fans

bathroom exhausts and fans

Our bathrooms are the most prone to humidity because of flushing and hot showers, making them one of the most common inlets of centipedes.

To combat this, try installing exhausts or fans inside your bathroom to rid it of humidity and moisture.

Regular Pest Control

Last, but most definitely not least is to have regular pest control in your entire estate. Not just out in the garden, the patio, or the backyard, but also inside your home.

Do this at least once every 2 months to ensure that no pesky pests will bother you.

These are a few of the most effective things you can do to ensure that no centipede will bother you while you catch some Zs!


faqs about centipede

Feel like you need more info? Don’t worry, here are some other questions relating to centipedes climbing up your beds.

Does Killing a Centipede Attract More Centipedes?

No, terminating a centipede does not necessarily mean that it will attract other centipedes within the vicinity.

It’s not like they have a tracker for every centipede in town.

However, just like any other insect, centipedes can smell and consume the dead bodies of their own species and eat them. 

So, ensure that when you exterminate a centipede, you dispose of it properly. 

Can Centipedes Climb Up an Air Mattress?

Yes, if the air mattress’s surface is rough and textured.

Just like any other surface, centipedes can choose to climb up an air mattress if they feel warmer and more humid.

But if the surface of your mattress is smooth, they won’t be able to do anything but wait on the side or find another spot.

Are Centipedes Afraid of Humans?

Ideally, yes, they are afraid of humans and would often panic when you corner them.

It is never their intention to bite or hurt you in any way, it’s just their defense mechanism kicking in when they feel agitated.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re curious or you’re worried about it so you keep on asking, can centipedes climb up beds, then I got what you need!

I can’t remember how many centipede bites I’ve endured during the day before I got to learn the correct way of getting rid of them.

However, in your situation, you have it all at your fingertips!

Follow this guide to be safe and free from any risk of a centipede bite!