Home Invaders: Millipedes & Centipedes

Most millipedes are cylindrical, slow-moving plant-feeding creatures that can curl up and release foul-smelling secretions when disturbed.

Centipedes have flattened bodies and typically move faster. One species, the house centipede (Scutigeracoleoptrata), is an exceptionally long-legged and fast-running predator of insects and spiders. Centipedes also possess appendages capable of injecting venom into their prey, like the fangs of spiders. While most centipedes are too small to penetrate human skin, the house centipede, as well as larger desert and tropical species (Scolopendra spp.), can inflict wounds similar to bee stings.

Exclude these multi-legged pests by inspecting and sealing foundation cracks. For centipedes, it can be beneficial to control the spiders and insects they feed on. Moisture control indoors and around the foundation is also important in controlling occasional invaders.

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