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Centipedes vs Millipedes

Centipedes vs Millipedes

There are may types of Centipedes and Millipedes located In southern Indiana in the Evansville/Newburgh area. This Blog is a attempt to go over the main differences. Remember, if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to reach out to Yikes Pest Control at 812-604-7206. Send us a text with a picture and we can help identify what pest you are having an issue with.

Both Centipedes and millipedes are often confused with each other. The confusion comes from the fact that both centipedes and millipedes have many legs, but there are big differences between them.

Centipedes are insects with only one pair of legs per body segment, while millipedes are not insects but myriapods (mil = thousand, pod = foot). Millipedes do not have a thousand legs, they have two pairs of legs for each body segment. They appear to have many more legs than centipedes because their body segments are shorter and do not appear to possess a pair of legs.

A typical centipede has 15-23 pairs of legs and the body is flattened from side to side. Millipedes, on the other hand, have between 20 and 200 pairs of legs. They are rounder than centipedes and look like they have many more legs than they actually do.

Millipedes are slow (short legs) and harmless, eating only decaying organic matter such as leaves and wood. Millipedes prefer moist environments. They are mostly nocturnal and some species secrete a fluid that may be toxic to predators. Some millipedes can exude a substance from their pores that smells bad or is poisonous to eat, but the great majority of them are not dangerous to humans in any way. Millipedes belong to the class Diplopoda, an ancient group of arthropods with a fossil record going back to about 400 million years ago.

Centipedes on the other hand have flattened bodies with one pair of legs per body segment. They are carnivores and move quickly and aggressively, attacking and eating millipedes in addition to spiders, silverfish, insects, earthworms and even mice.

Only centipedes can actually harm humans and due to their venomous bite they are considered one of the most hated insects in Japanese culture. A centipede bites when threatened, but prefers to run away from humans. Some species of centipedes secrete a strong odor from glands near the rear end. Humans usually get bitten at night because centipedes are nocturnal.

The type of Centipede I most often deal with in the Evansville, Indiana area is the house centipede. This household pest is most often found in basements, crawlspaces, or cracks in pavement. However, if the population is large enough they can be found in living areas of your house. This centipede is usually about an inch and a half long and has legs that are longer than its body is wide.

Evansville Indiana Centipede
House Centipede

If you would like help identifying or protecting your home from millipedes or centipedes, please give Yikes Pest Control a call or text. We are located here in Southern Indiana.

Call or Text 812-604-7206

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