Centipedes, rodents taking advantage of spring weather: Winnipeg entomologist

Warmer weather is one of the signs that spring is finally on its way, but according to a local pest expert, there’s another sign of the season – centipedes.Entomologist Taz Stuart of Poulin’s Pest Control told 680 CJOB that the house centipede thrives in moist environments, but as gross as they might look, they can actually be beneficial.Story continues below

“They like moist environments, so if you have moisture issues in your basements and around your house, you’re creating a good environment for them to be cleaning, eating other bugs, doing what they do best,” said Stuart.“Everything has pheromone scent trails, so they’ll scent it with their antennae and they’ll search it out and clean it up, because they’re cleaners.“There could be fungus, other insects – they’ll feed on just about anything.”READ MORE: Winnipeg has second-highest rate of bed bugs in CanadaAlthough the multi-legged critters do bite, Stuart said it’s rare for a human to get bitten unless they’re handling a centipede. His advice, mainly, is to just to avoid them and try to dehumidify your home so they lose interest.Stuart, formerly the City of Winnipeg’s bug boss, said a different kind of pest has also been enjoying the weather.“Lots of rodents had a successful winter, including bunny rabbits, mice, rats, etc.,” he said.“It’s been a great couple of years for rodents overall. It’s weather-related. In the fall, when mice want to get into your house and there’s good snow cover, a lot of their natural predators can’t get them, so they can increase in numbers.“They have six-to-eight young every two months, and you can see how quickly they grow in numbers.”One major danger with mice, Stuart said, is with their droppings, which could spread deadly diseases like the hantavirus.“If you see little football-like poos in your shed or garage, please don’t clean it up with a broom or anything like that. Do the proper procedures, put on an M-95 mask, goggles, gloves, and soak it down with a 50/50 bleach/water mix and let it sit for 15 minutes, then you can clean it up with a scooper.”WATCH: It’s a record-breaking year for Winnipeg mosquitoes — and why that’s good news