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Are Millipedes And Centipedes Dangerous?

You’ve probably seen millipedes and centipedes countless times, probably when raking your yard or moving old rotted logs outdoors. Other than being startled by their unpleasant appearance, you probably didn’t give them much thought. However, though millipedes and centipedes aren’t dangerous, they can become a nuisance in your home if they invade in large numbers!


The name centipede can be loosely translated as meaning hundred-legs. The funny thing about this name, however, is that no centipede will ever have 100 legs! Centipedes have multiple pairs of legs but the number of pairs will always be an odd number, ranging from 15 to 177 pairs of legs! These pests have long, segmented bodies, are typically brown or reddish-orange in color, and can paralyze their prey through their venomous mouth glands. Though centipedes can bite, they rarely do so. Their bites are very painful and the pain is likened to that of a bee sting; however, other than being painful, these bites pose no real danger to humans. Since centipedes cause no harm to homes and pose no serious threats to humans, they are considered nuisance pests.


The name millipede means thousand-legs, though millipedes do not grow large enough to support more than 400 legs in reality. Millipedes have a more worm-like appearance than centipedes do as their bodies are more round and long. These pests are typically either black or dark brown and may have red or orange mottled patterns on their bodies. While millipedes won’t cause any harm to your home and bite you, they can still be a nuisance when they invade homes. When disturbed, these pests will let off a toxic fluid that has an unpleasant odor. If this fluid gets on you, it should be washed off immediately in order to prevent any skin irritation. While having one millipede in your home won’t cause much of an issue, they can become a much bigger problem if they invade in larger numbers.

Keeping Centipedes and Millipedes Out

While these pests don’t cause serious problems, most homeowners still don’t want a house full of these pests running around. Keeping centipedes and millipedes out can be tricky as they are small, fast, and can gain access to your home through very tiny openings. It’s important to install door sweeps on the bottoms of your doors, particularly basement and garage doors. It is also a good idea to inspect window screens and trim to make sure they are in good repair and that everything is sealed properly. Reducing the humidity in your home will make the environment less appealing to these pests and help to deter them from invading.

Professional Help with Millipedes and Centipedes

Spencer Pest Services are experts in dealing with millipedes and centipedes and can help remedy your infestation both quickly and professionally! We offer year-round pest control plans that can help to put your mind at ease in terms of thinking about these unsettling pests. Contact us at Spencer Pest Services today to learn how our dedicated and highly-experienced pest control experts can help you rid your home of centipedes and millipedes for good!