Even though centipedes and millipedes are not necessarily hazardous to your home, they can bite if handled. In addition, these pests are quite unattractive and often frightening. With this guide and your pest professional’s help , you will be able to understand and treat a centipedes or millipede problem in your home.

Centipedes Versus Millipedes

One of the most important facts you should know about centipedes and millipedes is that they are not actually insects. Most experts believe they are more closely related to lobsters or shrimp , even though centipedes and millipedes live on land.

Knowing the differences between centipedes and millipedes will help you determine which one is a problem in your house. Both may appear similar, but they are actually quite different.

Centipedes have 100 legs while millipedes have 1000 legs, which is their most distinct difference. However, you most likely will not be counting their legs to distinguish which of these pests is in your home.

Centipedes have a flat-like body while the body of a millipede is more rounded. Centipedes range in color from yellow and brown to reddish brown while millipedes are usually brown or black.

Both are not only nuisances to see, but they can also become problems if handled.

Centipedes may bite you if you make contact. Their bite may not be poisonous, but it can be painful, feeling similar to a bee sting. Even though they can be handled, millipedes will most likely release a poison that can burn or discolor the skin. If you handle a millipede, wash your hands thoroughly, especially since the chemical has a foul odor and can be dangerous to your eyes.

Common Causes

If you see a centipede or millipede, your first thought may be that your house is not clean. In reality, centipedes and millipedes will enter even the cleanest of homes. In most cases, these leggy pests are on the hunt for food, warmth, water, and shelter.

Any moist, shady area in and around the home can attract centipedes and millipedes. Therefore, you will be most likely to find one of these pests in or around one of the following:


  • Basements
  • Crawlspaces
  • Bathtubs
  • Sinks
  • Drain pipes
  • Sump pumps
  • Water heaters
  • Septic tanks

You should be especially careful around wet places if you have an underlying leak.

Piles of leaves, mulch, pine straw, firewood, and project lumber around your home can also attract centipedes and millipedes. These pests will be attracted to the dark, moist debris, allowing them to feed and nest with ease.

Prevention and Treatment

Ensuring your home and yard is free of centipedes and millipedes is possible. The first step will be to remove whatever is attracting the pests to your home.

Make sure to address any hidden water leaks in the home. Even a small amount of water dripping from a faucet will attract centipedes, millipedes, and a variety of other pests.

Clean up trash and other debris, such as piles of compost and leaves that may become moist, attractive areas for centipedes and millipedes. Make sure project lumber and firewood are stored in a safe, dry area away from the home’s exterior.

Use caulk or silicone to seal up cracks and openings in crawlspaces and siding. This will help keep centipedes and millipedes out of the home while also reducing moisture and humidity levels.

If you are noticing multiple centipedes and millipedes in and around the home, treating the areas with pesticide will be recommended. Pesticide can also be applied to flowerbeds and other areas around the home where these pests may be nesting.

For assistance with centipedes, millipedes, or other pests, contact Environmental Services Pest Control, LLC, today.