Centipedes & Millipedes

What are centipedes and millipedes?

Both millipedes and centipedes are known as occasional invaders. They spend most of their lives outside, but they migrate into homes and other structures when the weather dictates it. Besides occasionally moving into our homes, other similarities include many legs, segmented bodies, an exoskeleton, and poor vision.

millipede rolled up

While these arthropods are similar, these leggy creatures do have many differences:

  • Centipedes have an elongated, flattened body while millipedes have a cylindrical worm-like body.

  • Millipedes are dark brown to black in color. Some millipedes have red or orange mottled markings. Centipedes are a yellowish-gray or brown color. 

  • Centipedes have long antennae; millipedes have short antennae.

  • Millipedes have two pairs of legs per body segment; they move at a slow pace. Centipedes have one pair of legs per body segment and use their legs to move very quickly. 

  • Centipedes are carnivores and hunt down their prey while millipedes are scavengers and feed on decaying organic matter.

Are centipedes and millipedes dangerous?

Centipedes and millipedes aren't dangerous pests, but that doesn't mean we want them living near or inside our homes in large populations. While not a threat in the typical sense, there are some threats that these occasional invaders pose to people, though, if you or your family come into direct contact with them.

Centipedes — Centipedes can deliver painful bites. The good news is the venom they inject with their bites is not potent enough to cause health problems in people, but the bad news is that the bites can be quite painful.

Millipedes — Millipedes spray a "toxic" unpleasant-smelling liquid as a means of defense. Coming into direct contact with a millipede can cause a skin reaction.

Why do I have a centipede and millipede problem?

Centipedes and millipedes hide during the day in dark, damp places, emerging at night to forage for food. These pests have high moisture needs, and so when the environment outside becomes too hot and dry for their liking, they migrate to look for better living conditions. They often live in landscaped and garden areas near our homes, making it easy for them to migrate into homes and businesses, typically finding a way inside through spaces under exterior doors, sliding glass doors, or vulnerable spots in the foundation.

Where will I find centipedes and millipedes?

centipede on moss covered log

You'll find that millipedes typically live together in large groups while centipedes tend to be more solitary. Unless they live on your property in large numbers, it's rare to see either species since they typically spend their days hiding under:

  • Mulch

  • Leaves

  • Woodpiles

  • Fallen trees and tree stumps

  • Landscaping ties

  • Trash cans and compost bins

Those millipedes and centipedes that have crawled into our homes seek an environment that mimics their outdoor habits; they often seek refuge in areas near pipes, drain, faucets, and other common moisture sources.

Common hiding areas include behind walls, under sinks, and near appliances in utility rooms, closets, laundry rooms, crawl spaces, basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.

How do I get rid of centipedes and millipedes?

Get rid of nuisance centipedes and millipedes with the help of White Knight Pest Control. We have a deep understanding of the pests we treat and provide the comprehensive pest control services needed to eliminate the entire infestation. At White Knight, our passion is controlling pests and protecting people and properties from pest problems. With the help of our effective pest control solutions and our team of dedicated pest control professionals, we can eliminate centipedes, millipedes, and other common pests.

If you're dealing with a centipede or millipede problem, reach out today to learn more about our residential pest control plans and commercial pest control solutions

How can I prevent centipedes and millipedes in the future?

At White Knight Pest Control, we will help you prevent centipede and millipede problems through our regular treatments. In conjunction with our comprehensive pest control services, the following prevention tips will help you keep centipedes and millipedes out of your Texas, Utah, Arizona, or Colorado home!

  • Reduce excess moisture: Cut overgrown vegetation away from your home's exterior to allow the sun to hit the ground and dry it out. Maintain a crushed rock barrier (12-18 inches) between the soil and foundation of your home. Repair leaky hoses and fixtures, and maintain gutters. Reduce humidity levels in your home by using dehumidifiers.

  • Eliminate entry points: Inspect the foundation of your home and exterior doors, sealing any gaps you find. Place door sweeps on exterior and basement doors and repair damaged door trim. Install screens in open windows and doors.

  • Eliminate hiding spots: Remove debris from your yard like fallen trees, tree stumps, and brush piles. Keep woodpiles, trash cans, recycling bins, and compost bins up off of the ground and away from the exterior of your home. Inside, keep storage areas like basements and closets free of excessive clutter.

 

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