Centipedes and Millipedes
Seen from above, centipedes appear to have 100 legs, which is true up to a point, but depending on their actual size, the number of segments that form their body, and their species, it is possible for them to have anywhere between 15 and 177 pairs of legs, which translates to up to 354 legs on a single one of these arthropods! They are also equipped with antennae and fangs, which are used to detect and immobilize their prey in preparation for feeding.
Centipedes live for a long time in comparison with other insects, with an average lifespan that goes from about two to five years. They are also fast on their feet and can move in such a manner that they can easily avoid attacks. Centipedes can be found mostly in dark and moist locations, such as under rocks, decomposing plants near sources of water, and rotting logs, which they thrive on due to the existence of other insects that can serve as food.
Centipedes can be a particularly difficult pest to eradicate, mostly because they are so fast and they are experts at hiding. Because of this, consulting a professional pest control company is the best way to go.
Similar to centipedes, millipedes or "thousand legged worms" are arthropods that boast of many legs, the number of which can range anywhere from 30 to 400. Growing to a bit over an inch in length, millipedes, which don't bite and love to feed on decaying organic matter, can be a source of trouble for homeowners when their habitats start drying up or become unavailable. As a defense mechanism, millipedes can release a liquid that produces a foul odor, which, when in contact with exposed skin or eyes, can cause irritation and burning.
Millipedes, in the same manner as centipedes, live in moist areas where decaying wood and plants are readily available, such as gardens, flowerbeds, and other damp areas. It is in these places where they find their food, so it is normal to find them there. The problem arises when said areas disappear or become dry, such as during the hot summer months or an especially long drought. It is at this point when they start invading homes in search for moist spots where they can continue to thrive.
The first sign of trouble may come in late summer, when millipedes start to move closer to homes, congregating in porches and patios in search for damp wood, or vents, and cracks that can lead them to a place in which they will find food and moisture. As fall approaches, they will start moving indoors to get away from the cold, lying in wait for their damp homes to become available again. By winter they will have fully invaded your living space and will start feeding off any damp wood, trash and organic matter they can find. By the time you start seeing them or their excrement in your garage, kitchen and other areas, you can be sure your home has become infested and the time has come to give us a call.