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Centipedes and millipedes are elongated, thin arthropods with a number–a myriad–of legs. While they share several traits in common, they are distinguished by the number of legs per segment, movement, and their relation to humans: centipedes have one pair of legs per body segment, move quickly, and possess large mandibles that can deliver a venomous bite; millipedes appear to have two legs per body segment, move slowly, and don’t have venomous mandibles.


While centipedes are more likely to be considered pests, both centipedes and millipedes can be considered a pest species when infesting your home or business. Below you’ll find further facts on both of these and some tips on prevention and control.


House Centipedes

These quick, darting predator arthropods are distinguished by their long, snake-like bodies and might possess one hundred legs, they most often only posses in the order of thirty to thirty-eight legs–and they will be in odd number pairs (fifteen to nineteen).  Some species of centipedes can reach lengths of up to a foot. The most common species is the house centipede.


An infestation is likely to occur from a female depositing outside near a home or inside a home (dark, moist conditions), and then resulting ten to sixty young. Centipedes are solitary in nature, and are predators; therefore an infestation will likely consist of a few specimens in and around the home. Just a few are more than enough, as they can deliver a painful bite–often biting while a person sleeps.


House Centipede facts:

  • ~ 1 to 4 inches long

  • Yellowish Grey

  • long, thin legs and antennae

  • Prefer warm, dark environments


House Centipede Prevention:

The best way to control for centipedes is to decrease the suitability of your home or office building as a habitat. Centipedes need a dark, moist environment, so decreasing humidity and eliminating sources of moisture is a good first step. Also, make sure you’ve properly sealed any cracks and crevices around the perimeter of your home.

Because centipedes are insectivores, by eliminating and preventing other insect infestations, you are eliminating centipede food sources! Both centipede and general insect prevention can be greatly aided by a general pest management plan, so consider talking to your pest management professional about preventive treatments.


House Centipede Control:

Should centipedes begin showing up in your home or office building, Affordable Pest Control Service offers individualized treatment programs to eliminate your problem. We’ll evaluate your level of infestation, create a custom treatment plan–using green approaches, and low-impact insecticides.

National Pest Management (NPMA) says:

"Centipedes are primarily carnivorous and obtain most of their moisture needs from their prey. Most house centipedes are nocturnal, and prey primarily on flies, spiders and sometimes plant tissue, causing injury. Centipedes are not likely to consume wood. In actuality, arthropods commonly known as wood eating centipedes are millipedes. While millipedes do closely resemble centipedes, millipedes are herbivores and detritivores, surviving on dead and decaying plant material, including wood or cellulose material." 

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Millipedes are the slower, less bothersome cousin of the centipede. They can be distinguished from the centipede by their appearance of having two pairs of legs per segment. While their name implies they have thousands of legs, the average millipede has somewhere between thirty and four hundred. 

Fun fact: The oldest insect fossil ever found is from a millipede that lived 425 million years ago!

Millipede Prevention:

To prevent an overabundance of millipedes in your yard, practice proper landscaping. Rake your mulch beds regularly, and remove dead and decaying organic matter from your yard and garden. If you’re finding millipedes in your home, use dehumidifiers to decrease humidity and consider calling Affordable Pest Control Service to control your millipede.

Millipede Control:

Millipedes rarely infest a home or building, but if you encounter a problem, a low-impact treatment and monitoring plan can easily eliminate them. 

If you’re suffering from centipede infestations or millipede problems, contact

us today! We have extensive knowledge and experience dealing with

centipede and millipede species, and we’re here to help. Call us or send

us an online request form for a free consultation.

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