Despite their names, Centipedes do not have 100 legs or Millipedes 1,000 legs; each, however, does have many legs. Millipedes are slightly smaller (1-2 inches long), have cylindrical body segments, short antenna, and are light brown to black in color, with one pair of legs per body segment. Centipedes, on the other hand, have two pairs of legs per body segment, are around 2-3 inches long, with a distinct head, two antennae, long legs, and have a flattened yellowish to dark brown body. Also, Millipedes move slowly and curl up when they die, unlike Centipedes, which move very quickly.
Millipedes are pictured above
Should I be worried about them in my home? No. Despite the fact that they might make your skin crawl and be a nuisance, they do not cause structural damage, and centipedes can be beneficial in eliminating other pests in your home. Neither carries disease, however if they feel threatened Centipedes have the ability to bite, causing a reaction similar to that of a bee sting.
How can I keep them from coming in my home? Centipedes like to live in dark, damp, and humid places. If that sounds like your basement, it might be time to get a dehumidifier if you don’t want to attract centipedes. Even though Millipedes are also attracted to dark, damp, and humid places, they typically prefer to stay outside in the soil and typically only migrate inside if conditions outside become too dry and they are seeking moisture. Unfortunately, if Millipedes should choose to move indoors, it can be by the thousands.
Aside from reducing moisture/humidity conditions within your home, it is important to eliminate entry points by caulking cracks and crevices, along with making sure windows and doors are fit tightly. You should also clean your yard of potential hiding spots for the pests such as overgrown weeds, densely landscaped areas close to the home, rocks, boards, leaf piles, etc.
How can Cooper help prevent Centipedes and Millipedes? Here at Cooper, Centipedes are covered under the home intensive quarterly maintenance plan and can also be treated as a one-time exterior service. Similarly, Millipedes can be treated with a one-time exterior service. We also offer a Millipede prevention service if needed.