A Quick Guide To Centipede & Millipede Control For West Palm Beach Property Owners

May 8, 2020


We’ve all seen them – long, worm-looking creatures with what looks like thousands upon thousands of legs. Millipedes and centipedes are very common nuisance pests in South Florida. Why? Well, they’re drawn to humid habitats and moisture-rich areas, meaning West Palm Beach is their paradise. Knowing some of the basic identifiers and characteristics of these creepy crawlers can be extremely helpful in accurately identifying them on your property.

a millipede on a cement surface

Millipedes

  • Body segmented into rounded sections called diplosomites

  • 2 pairs of legs per body segment

  • Can have between 80 – 400 legs

  • Anywhere from ½ to 15 inches long, depending on species

  • Long, cylindrical body like a worm with a tough-shelled exoskeleton

  • Brown/black/red in color

  • Skin contact with certain species can cause a rash

Centipedes

  • Flatted, elongated body
  • One pair of legs per body segment

  • Can have between 30 – 354 legs (always an odd number of pairs)

  • Anywhere from 1 – 6 inches long, depending on species

  • Elongated mandibles and two pairs of maxillae

  • Yellowish-gray/brown/red in color

  • Venomous glands paralyze their prey (not harmful to humans or pets)

Putting their distinctive differences aside, there are also many similarities between them. Both millipedes and centipedes are considered nuisance pests. They both move very slowly by making wave-like motions with their legs, and they both curl into little balls when they’re disturbed. Both of them also come inside for similar reasons. They’re attracted to sources of moisture and food inside your home, and when the outside environment becomes too uncomfortable for them, they look for harborage areas indoors.

Are They Dangerous?

While they’re certainly unpleasant to look at, these nuisance pests aren’t considered harmful. Centipedes are venomous, but they’re not fatal to humans. There’s no denying their painful bite, which can certainly cause discomfort, but nothing life-threatening. Millipedes, on the other hand, are not venomous. However, when disturbed, they can emit a smelly fluid from a gland on the side of their body. If it comes into contact with your skin, it can cause irritation, itching, and rash.

Even though neither millipedes or centipedes pose a serious threat, they’re still unwelcome pests. You’ll want to do everything you can to keep them off your property. In order to do so, you need to be proactive. Try implementing the following preventative methods to minimize your exposure to millipede and centipede activity:

  • Address moisture issues around the property.

  • Correct drainage and moisture problems.

  • Create a protective perimeter around your home.

  • Keep lawn cut and landscaping well-trimmed.

  • Put a dehumidifier in damp areas of the house.

  • Remove any yard and garden debris and decaying wood.

  • Seal cracks and crevices in your foundation.

  • Seal up and block off potential entry points.

  • Store firewood off the ground and away from the foundation.

The tips listed above can prove helpful in your efforts to deter millipedes and centipedes from your property. However, none of them are entirely effective on their own. You need dependable services from the pest professionals, and with Native Pest Management, that’s exactly what you get.

Our team is experienced in the successful detection, extermination, and prevention of these multi-legged pests. We’re familiar with their habits and behaviors, and we know how to keep them off your property. After we complete an extensive inspection, we can better understand the nature of the problem and come up with a solution that is right for you. Whatever your centipede and millipede needs are, the team at Native Pest Management can help. Our pest experts will provide you with any advice or assistance that you may need, so don’t hesitate to reach out. Give us a call today to get started.




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