If your eye catches a glimpse of a creepy-crawly, and the distinguishing feature is lots of legs, you probably have a centipede or millipede on your hands. But how can you tell them apart, and what do you do to get rid of them? Luckily, it’s actually easier than you might think.
Centipede means “hundred feet,” but an adult centipede typically only has 15 pairs of legs. Centipedes are light brown, with a flattened shape, and one pair of legs on each of its many body segments. House centipedes are the ones most commonly found in homes, and they range from 1-1.5 inches. The amount and length of their legs, however, can make them appear much longer. House centipedes are a slightly yellowish color with three dark stripes down their bodies and dark bands on their legs. Centipedes are known for their speed and flexibility.
Millipedes are commonly dark brown, worm-like creatures that grow 2.5-4 cm long. They have segmented bodies and two pairs of legs per segment. While no species of millipede has been known to actually have a thousand legs, the record is 750! They are much more cylindrical in appearance than centipedes and tend to curl up when threatened. Millipedes are slow movers because of their many legs.
Centipedes are predatory and eat cockroaches, carpet beetles, and other insects. They have a venomous bite that can kill small prey, but is usually not dangerous for humans unless an allergic reaction appears. Millipedes eat leaves, wood, and other decaying plant material. They do not bite and are not venomous. They do however spray a fluid to protect themselves. This fluid can cause skin irritation, so it is best to wash it off quickly.
Both centipedes and millipedes prefer dark, damp environments. While they usually live outdoors in gardens and flower beds, or under leaves or rocks, when they find entry to a home, they prefer crawl spaces, drains, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.
If you find yourself with an infestation of centipedes or millipedes, you first need to find out how they are getting in. Walk around the outside of your home and fill any cracks or holes you might find. It is also a good idea to replace damaged weather stripping around your doors and windows. Inside your home, fix any leaky pipes or faucets that might be creating a damp environment. Vacuuming up centipedes or millipedes is usually quite effective for the live bugs, but unless you change the environment, they will most likely continue coming in.
Midwest Pest Control can help solve your centipede and millipede problems. We will focus on finding the source of where they are entering and make sure that those entry points are sealed. If chemical treatments are needed to get the infestation under control, we can help with that too. We want to make sure that your home stays pest free and that you are completely satisfied with the service you receive. We serve the greater Tulsa area as well as Northwest Arkansas, so give us a call today.