Creepy-crawlies, gross, insect invaders—no matter what you call them—centipedes and millipedes are guests no one invited to your home. While neither of them carry disease or cause damage, there are ways to keep them out of your home.
Centipedes vs. Millipedes
Centipedes have bodies that are as short as 1/4-inch in length, or they can grow up to 6 inches. Their body is made up of segments and each segment has a pair of legs. They have poison claws on their front pair of legs, which are used to paralyze prey. Centipedes are generally dark brown, yellowish or reddish in color and they feast on small insects, spiders and earthworms. They live in dark, moist areas such as under sticks and rocks, along with basements and bathrooms.
Millipedes can be up to 1 1/2-inches long and have two pairs of legs on each body segment. They are brown to black and feast on organic materials and some young plants. While still fast, millipedes are generally smaller than centipedes. They live in wet areas such as basements and bathrooms, and in landscaping such as leaves and mulch.
How to Keep Centipedes and Millipedes Out of Your Home
If you regularly find centipedes or millipedes in your house, the first thing to do is find their home. Since they both live in moist areas, you may have a moisture problem.
Remove any organic material within a few feet of your home, such as mulch, ground cover and wood chips. Keep firewood away from your home as this can be a breeding ground.
Make sure all windows and doors are sealed. You can apply an insecticide around your home’s foundation.
If you see a millipede or centipede in the house, just sweep or vacuum it up.