Skip to main content

When you hear about centipedes and millipedes, you probably think of only one thing…lots of legs! These creatures are known as myriapods from the ancient Greek meaning “ten thousand feet.” Even though they are both known for their many legs, centipedes and millipedes are actually very different creatures. Let’s take a closer look at the differences in centipedes and millipedes.







Centipede means “hundred feet,” though most centipedes only have 15 pairs of legs, with one pair per body segment. It’s interesting to note that centipedes only ever have an odd number of pairs of legs, so no centipede actually has 100 legs. Centipedes are yellowish-brown in color with three darker lines running down their backs. They also have light and dark bands on their legs. The most common type of centipede that becomes a pest is the house centipede. These typically only have a body that is 1-1.5 inches long, but the number and length of legs can make them appear much larger.



Centipedes are fast, predatory invertebrates that feed on insects. They love to eat roaches, silverfish, spiders, carpet beetles, and more. Though most centipedes like to stay outdoors, the house centipede can spend its whole life indoors. They like damp, dark environments so drains, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements are common hideouts. Some centipedes, including the house centipede, are venomous. They may bite on rare occasions, but it usually only produces minor pain at the site.






Millipede means “thousand feet,” but the record for most legs on a millipede is actually only 750, and most have far fewer than that. Millipedes have 2 pairs of legs per body segment. They are typically dark brown with a more cylindrical shape that makes them appear worm-like. Millipedes are normally 1-2 inches in length, but giant millipedes that live in other parts of the world can grow over a foot long!



Millipedes are very slow movers that eat decaying matter, leaves, wood, and other plant material. Like centipedes, they also prefer dark, damp areas, but are more likely to remain outdoors in gardens, under rocks, or beneath leaf litter. When millipedes are in danger, they like to curl up. They are not venomous, but when they are threatened they may release a fluid to protect themselves. While the fluid may produce some mild skin irritation, millipedes are considered harmless.


Kansas City Pest Control

If you are experiencing problems with centipedes, millipedes, or any other kinds of household pests, contact the experts at Six Brothers Pest Control. We offer the best service and satisfaction guarantee around. With offices in Kansas City, Dallas, and Salt Lake City, we are dedicated to helping our customers protect their homes and keep their families safe. Call today for more information.

Leave a Reply