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There are 8,000 estimated species of centipedes (Chilopods) that exhibit flattened bodies, range in size from 25.4-152.4 mm in length, and also have around one hundred legs. At least one pair of legs is attached to each of their body segments. These nocturnal, carnivorous insects are known to feed on spiders and other insects associated with damp, dark places like underneath leaves, rocks, bark, or in basements, closets, and bathrooms.

Even though centipedes may appear threatening, they are generally harmless to humans. On the other hand, there are exceptions to the larger species of centipedes that can inflict a painful and sometimes poisonous bite. For this reason, it is recommended that a knowledgeable professional handle any centipede.



There are approximately 12,000 named species of millipedes (Diplopods). Compared to centipedes, millipedes are more cylindrical and have two pairs of legs attached to each body segment. They have thousands of legs, but move slowly as their bodies are adapted for burrowing instead of scurrying. These particular creatures often feed on damp and decaying wood, as well as plant and vegetable matter.

Millipedes are also considered harmless but will roll up tightly and secrete a foul-smelling fluid if disturbed. Like centipedes, they are also most active at night and require moist habitats. Maintaining a dry living environment free of food sources and points of entry is the key for prevention.