Centipedes and millipedes are actually beneficial arthropods – when they choose to stay outdoors, that is!
Centipedes are carnivores, feeding off insects that damage our garden plants, and millipedes are scavengers, feed mainly off decomposing organic material.
The problem when they get inside is that centipedes have poisonous, venom-injecting fangs and will bite if provoked, though the poison usually only provokes a mild reaction except in people with allergies.
Millipedes have repugnatorial glands which means that they ooze an unpleasant substance when they feel threatened which may cause blisters, irritation, redness, itching or other allergic reactions when it comes into contact with human skin.
But besides this there is just something about those hair-like wavering legs and the way they run that makes many people shudder and call for help!
Although actually when you watch all those legs working in precisely-timed unison it really is the most beautiful and coordinated of rippling movements and a wonder to see.
However, no-one really wants to live with centipedes and millipedes invading their Ontario kitchen, bathroom, or basement so it is best to get rid of them just as soon as you can.
What makes centipedes and millipedes invade our indoor areas?
Centipedes and millipedes like cool, damp places to hide during the day and then venture out at night to seek for food. During the summer months when outdoor areas dry up they may venture into kitchens, bathrooms, basements and other places where water is present, particularly if there is a slight water leak or gently dripping tap that keeps everywhere humid.
Once established in an ideal environment indoors they probably won’t venture outdoors again until the warmer spring months when the time comes for them to lay their eggs in your garden soil.
What to do if you find yourself infested with centipedes and millipedes
It is easy to get rid of one or two specimens but if you find yourself with a sudden invasion, or they keep coming back, you may need to seek professional help.
If you live in Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga, Vaughan, Markham, Richmond Hill and other nearby neighbourhoods in the GTA, then Pest Free Living will be pleased to help.
We are available 24 hours a day to assist you in removing any type of animal pest from your residence or workplace.
We can also advise you on the steps you need to take to stop your unwelcome visitors from coming back any time soon.
Call 416-321-5060 for an over-the-phone consultation or to set up a home visit.
Alternatively, you can contact us online and we will get back to you within the day.
How to distinguish a centipede from a millipede
- One pair of long legs on each body segment
- The first pair of legs has evolved into fangs
- Are flattened in shape
- Have distinct antennae on top of their head
- Can run very fast
- Can grow up to six inches long in some species.
- Two pairs of short legs on each body segment
- A more rounded body shape
- Do not have antennae
- Move fairly slowly
- Legs move in waves
- Are usually less than 1 ½ inches long
Surprising facts about centipedes and millipedes:
- Some can live to up to 6 years of age.
- They hatch out of eggs or are born as live young, depending on the species.
- They moult – and with each moult produce an additional body segment and more pairs of legs!
- Some species can squirt poison venom.
- Centipedes kill their prey by grasping it with their strong fangs and then stun by injecting poison venom.
Pest Free Living of Toronto will be pleased to assist you in clearing your home of centipede or millipede invaders.
Telephone 416-321-5060 for 24-hour assistance or contact us online to discuss your concerns and arrange a home visit.
Pest Free Living pest removal experts service Brampton, Vaughan, Mississauga, Markham, Richmond Hill and other nearby neighbourhoods in Toronto and the GTA.