Centipede & Millipede Identification Guide

What are centipedes & millipedes?

Centipedes and millipedes are nuisance pests that live outside but occasionally invade our homes. Both species have a worm-like body and many legs. Centipedes have long, flat,  segmented bodies that are yellowish-gray to dark brown; each body segment has one pair of legs. They have long, sensitive antennae that help them to detect prey. Centipedes use their many legs to move very quickly from place to place. Their first pairs of limbs (maxillipeds) end in sharp claws and contain venom glands. Centipedes feed on spiders, flies, and other insects.

a millipede crawling on a log outside a home

Millipedes are brown to black, but some species may have red or orange mottled patterns. These insects have two pairs of legs per body segment, but despite their many legs, they move slowly. Millipedes are scavengers and feed on decaying organic matter. 

Are centipedes & millipedes dangerous?

Centipedes and millipedes pose no significant danger to people. They are both nocturnal and most active when people are not active. However, you should avoid contact with either species. Millipedes spray a toxic, foul-smelling fluid when threatened, and centipedes will deliver painful bites to defend themselves; luckily, their bites don’t cause any lasting problems in people. 

Why do I have a centipede & millipede problem?

Centipedes and millipedes tend to live in areas that are near the foundations of homes and other structures. If the weather outside because too hot or dry, they will move indoors. Centipedes and millipedes have high moisture needs, and if the weather warrants it, they will seek out the damp, dark areas of homes and other buildings to live in. 

Where will I find centipedes & millipedes?

In our Cullman County service area, we often find centipedes and millipedes usually inhabit basements, crawlspaces, and spaces under the sinks in kitchens and bathrooms. Outside, common hiding spots for millipedes and centipedes include the damp, moist soil found under mulch, stones, landscape ties, logs, leaf piles, and trash cans

How do I get rid of centipedes & millipedes?

Get rid of centipedes and millipedes by partnering with the trusted experts at Custom Pest Control. For over 20 years, we have been helping home and business owners maintain pest-free properties. If you are looking for a personal approach to pest control, look no further.

At Custom Pest Control, we customize our residential pest control programs to meet the unique needs of each of our customers. Let our family protect your family from North Alabama’s most common pests! For more information about our residential and commercial centipede and millipede control service, reach out to Custom Pest Control and speak with one of our friendly professionals today.

How can I prevent centipedes & millipedes in the future?

The best way to prevent problems with centipedes and millipedes is to partner with a professional and implement the following prevention tips in and around your Huntsville, Alabama home:

  • Seal up cracks in the foundation of your home.
  • Place door sweeps on basement doors.
  • Create a stone or crushed rock barrier between the foundation and soil. 
  • Remove piles of leaves, fallen trees, excess woodpiles, and other debris from your property where millipedes and centipedes can hide.
  • Place garbage cans and compost bins up off of the ground and store them away from the outside of your home.
  • Make sure that gutters are working correctly to direct excess water away from the outside of your home.
  • Cut dense or overgrown vegetation back away from the foundation.
  • Use dehumidifiers to keep basements dry.

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