Merely looking at them, centipedes and millipedes look very much alike but they are quite different. Centipedes have longer but fewer pairs of legs than millipedes; factually, they have a pair of legs for each body segment whereas millipedes have two pairs for each segment. Centipedes are also faster movers than millipedes. These two pests are quite harmless in most cases, but they could be very irritating.
Though the name “centipedes” often gives people the impression that these pests have 100 pairs of legs, they could have between 15 to 170 pairs of legs and each pair is attached to a segment of their body. Typically, they could measure anything from 5 to 150 mm. Centipedes found in the South could be as large as 157 mm and they are the largest.
Although few varieties of centipedes and millipedes are born alive, most of them actually develop from eggs. Their lifespan varies from one species to another; centipedes could live for few months or even up to six years depending on availability of foods and predation.
Centipedes have poisonous fang which could be harmful to both humans and animals. These poisonous fangs are helpful to them in getting their main preys (insects). Children are more likely to feel the bite of a centipede than adults. On the other hand, millipedes do not have poisonous fangs but they have irritating fluid which can be sprayed when they are under attack. This odoriferous and irritating fluid can cause skin irritation.
Centipedes primarily feed on insects and other arachnids; hence, they are very useful in reducing the population of insects and arachnids in a place. Millipedes favor decomposing and living plant matters as their main foods.
If you find centipedes in your home especially in the fall or spring, you have probably encountered infestation of House centipedes. They prefer staying indoors and as such, they usually thrive to find their way into homes. If you want to eliminate these irritating creatures from your homes, hire pest control professionals to help you.