Centipedes & Millipedes

centipedeCentipedes and millipedes belong to Myriapoda subphylum; both 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 myriapoda, and some tips on prevention and control.


House Centipede
House Centipede

These quick, darting predator arthropods are distinguished by their long, snake-like bodies and unsettling looking mandibles. While their name implies they 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). While some species of centipede can reach lengths of up to a foot, New England’s native centipedes will most likely on reach a couple of inches in length. 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 the 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 seasonal pest management plan–such as our Home Protection Program–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, Bain 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 (if necessary)–and follow-up with traps and monitoring to make sure centipedes don’t return.

Centipede Control is also included in our Home Protection Plan. This is the most effective centipede control option, as it also covers again all general insects, ensuring that a centipede has no insect food sources to attract it into your home or office!


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–still quite a few! Millipedes have body segments that are tightly places, and their carapace has scaled-armor appearance; their carapace might also be described as appearing to telescope.

The most common millipede that New Englander’s might encounter is the North American Millipede. Like most millipedes, the North American Millipede feeds on plant matter–mostly decayed or dead plant matter–and is most often found outside, very rarely venturing inside. They may be considered pests by gardeners.

North American Millipede
North American Millipede

Millipede Prevention

To prevent an overabundance of millipedes in your yard, practice proper landscaping. Rake your mulch beds regularly, and remove detritus (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 a seasonal pest management program–like our Home Protection Plan.

Millipede Control

Millipede’s rarely infest a home or building, but if you encounter a problem, a low-impact treatment and monitoring plan can easily eliminate. If you have any questions on getting rid of millipedes, feel free to send us an inquiry from our contact us page.

Centipede & Millipede Control Experts

If you’re suffering from centipede infestations or millipede problems, contact us today! We have extensive knowledge and experience dealing with New England’s local centipede and millipede species, and we’re here to help. Call us at 800-272-3661 or send us an online request form for a free consultation.

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