closeup photo of a centipede
Scientific Name :
Length :
1 to 2 in
Bites? :
Spreads Disease? :
Risk Factors :
Low: Nuisance and unisghtly
How to get rid of
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Centipedes, millipedes, sowbugs, and pillbugs are arthropods (not insects), although they do enjoy the same living conditions as insects. These creatures are not harmful. They are merely unattractive and considered a nuisance, especially when found indoors.

Wormlike millipedes and centipedes both have many body sections and many legs. However, the centipede has a more flattened body and only one pair of legs per section, while the millipede’s body is rounded on top with two pairs of legs per section. Also, the centipede’s legs are much longer, allowing it to move more quickly. When disturbed, millipedes tend to coil up, but centipedes swiftly run for the closest dark hiding place.

Centipedes are an efficient way of controlling other insect pests in your home. They like to eat spiders, bed bugs, cockroaches, silverfish, carpet beetles, or ants. Millipedes, on the other hand, do not survive once in the home because it is too dry for them.

Originally from Mexico, house centipedes are now among the most common centipedes in North America. They will invade houses if the sub-floor, drains, basement or bathroom areas are overly damp. They will also come indoors in the fall when the weather turns colder. They have 15 pairs of legs and long antennae and are about 2.5 to 5.0 cm (1 to 2 inches) long. House centipedes can move quickly and will hide in cracks, crevices, and behind baseboards. They sometimes like to hide under the bark of firewood stored inside the home.

Although all centipedes have poison glands that open through their jaws, most house centipedes are not able to penetrate human skin with a bite. However, the few that can give an effect similar to a mild bee sting, with symptoms generally disappearing within a few hours. The house centipede’s bite will not cause any serious harm to pets like dogs and cats.

Sowbugs, pillbugs, and millipedes break down organic matter, releasing nutrients to garden plants. Centipedes help control other insect pests. For these reasons, this group can be considered beneficial and should be tolerated as much as possible.

A persistent infestation of sowbugs, pillbugs, or millipedes indoors may indicate a serious moisture problem within your home, and the presence of a food source like rotting wood.

It is best to reduce the source of infestation outside your home first. For all your Winnipeg pest control needs choose GL pest control.

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