Ithaca’s Complete Guide To Centipede & Millipede Control
April 15, 2021
Most people aren’t equipped with the necessary knowledge to properly identify a pest population and take steps to eliminate it. But with garden pests like centipedes and millipedes, which look similar but have many different behaviors, the devil is in the details. Learning how to keep these pests out of your yard can prevent larger pest problems from forming.
Centipedes vs. Millipedes
Do you know how to tell the difference between centipedes and millipedes? Both are long insects with segmented bodies and many appendages, but there are key distinctions to watch for:
- Shape: People often mistake centipedes for millipedes, and vice versa. Centipedes are flatter, with longer legs that splay out from their bodies. Millipedes are more cylindrical, with rounded tops and short, bristle-like legs.
- Legs: Neither insect has as many legs as their names imply, but the “100” versus “1,000” distinction is important for remembering which insect is which. Millipedes typically have two pairs of legs per segment, whereas centipedes only have one pair per.
- Antennae: Centipedes have much longer antennae, which stick far out from the fronts of their heads. Millipedes, on the other hand, have short, bent antennae.
- Venom: Only centipedes have venom, which they use to paralyze their insect prey. It is not considered harmful to people and they rarely bite.
The Problems They Pose To Properties
Both centipedes and millipedes are primarily garden pests, but they pose different risks. Centipedes hunt insects and are carnivorous, making them potentially helpful for warding off damaging pests that chew through flowers and leaves. Unfortunately, their close cousins, the millipede, are just this kind of garden pest. Millipedes chew through plants and fibrous waste found in soil beds. The presence of one of these kinds of insects often brings the other, which is why the cycle of pest infestations needs to be prevented before it can ever truly begin. Pests out in your yard can easily find their way indoors, especially if the smaller insects that they feed on are driven inside to seek shelter.
How To Prevent Them
To keep garden pests from taking over your yard -- or, worse, making it indoors -- you have to be on the lookout for factors that attract them or ways that they can access your property. Here are some ways you can work to accomplish this:
- Soil contact: Keeping flower beds and other loose soils away from your exterior walls is a good way to keep pest populations contained to one part of your property.
- Moisture control: Both centipedes and millipedes like moist areas, so proper soil drainage is important, as is addressing leaking pipes or water damage along exterior walls.
- Yard debris: Most yard pests like to burrow inside piles of decaying leaves, wood, or other debris. Reduce pest habitats by keeping your lawn trimmed and removing any leftover waste or debris.
- Cracks & holes: Even small cracks or holes can provide an entryway for tiny insects. The more small bugs get inside of your walls, the more other pests will follow suit.
Professional Assistance Found Here
As with all pest problems, the best way to make sure you’ve properly identified and accounted for an invasive pest is through professional assistance. At Sweeney's Pest Elimination, our trained experts can get started right away on an inspection of your yard, looking for all the signs of garden pests like centipedes and millipedes. We can provide you with more tips on how to address attracting factors and protect your property from infestations. If pest populations are already there, it’s important to call us right away, before they can grow out of hand or pose larger problems.
For proper garden pest control, contact Sweeney's Pest Elimination today.