Perhaps two of the most misunderstood and misidentified pests in homes across America are the centipede and the millipede. While these two do have similarities including a long, exoskeletal, segmented body; the ability to grow new segments during molting; the ability to live several years; and their habit of laying eggs underground, they really are quite different and very easy to distinguish once you know the facts.
The centipede, for instance, has only one pair of legs per segment; each pair of legs is relatively long allowing them to move quickly from place to place. Their bodies appear flattened, and they have two long, segmented antenna used for feeling and smelling. The centipede is equipped with a pair of venomous legs on the first segment directly behind the head that they use for protection and for paralyzing prey. They are capable of biting humans with these appendages, and although the bite is painful, it rarely causes an issue. Centipedes also have a modified pair of legs on their last segment that they use for defending themselves and for mating. Centipedes can be yellow to dark brown and some have darker stripes or markings. They live in stony crevices, leaf piles, and rotting logs when outside, and will inhabit moist nooks and crannies of your home such as basements, bathrooms, and crawl spaces. They will feed on insects, spiders, reptiles, and birds.
The millipede, on the other hand, has two pair of legs per segment; each pair of legs is short allowing them to more rather slowly. Their bodies are rounded, similar to that of a worm; and they have two short, segmented antenna that they use as sensory devices. The millipede does not have venomous legs anywhere on their bodies, but they are equipped with glands along their trunk that produces and squirts noxious chemicals that can irritate skin and cause a repulsive odor. They do not bite or sting. Millipedes can be red, orange, brown, or black; or they can be mottled. They typically live in decaying vegetation and move inside when conditions become too warm or too dry, and will inhabit moist areas such as basements, bathrooms, and crawl spaces. Millipedes feed on decaying plant matter and seedlings.
It really doesn’t matter which insect you have invading your home, neither is one that you would want to live with. Fact is, if these pests have found a way past your defenses into your living areas, there is a pretty good chance that other, more harmful, pests have also.
The best way to prevent centipedes and millipedes from rooming in your home and to keep other more harmful insects away as well is with year-round pest control from Russell’s Pest Control. Our year-round pest control plans are some of the most comprehensive in the industry and work to protect your home from over 30 common pests including centipedes and millipedes.
Don’t share your home with unwanted pests; partner with the trusted professionals here at Russell’s Pest Control instead.