House Centipedes and Millipedes: Introduction

In the Raleigh-Durham area, homeowners occasionally find themselves sharing their living spaces with some unexpected guests: house centipedes and millipedes. These multi-legged invaders can become a nuisance, especially during extreme weather conditions such as droughts or heavy rains. Understanding their biology and knowing how to control them can help you keep your home pest-free.

House Centipedes: The Swift Predators

Biology of House Centipedes
house centipedes and millipedes are a common nuisance in the raleigh-durham area
House centipede

House centipedes (Scutigera coleoptrata) are easily recognizable by their long, slender bodies and numerous legs, which allow them to move quickly. They can grow up to 1.5 inches in length and have 15 pairs of long, delicate legs. These nocturnal predators are beneficial in controlling other household pests such as spiders, cockroaches, and ants.

House centipedes have a lifespan of about three to seven years. They prefer dark, damp environments and are often found in basements, bathrooms, and under sinks. Their elongated bodies and quick movements can startle homeowners, but their presence indicates that there might be other pest problems in the house.

Entry into Homes

House centipedes enter homes seeking moisture and prey. During extreme weather conditions like droughts, they may invade homes in search of a more humid environment. Conversely, after heavy rains, they may seek shelter indoors to avoid being drowned in their usual outdoor habitats.

Controlling House Centipedes

To control house centipedes, it is essential to reduce the moisture levels in your home. Here are some steps you can take:

In this video, we’ll share a few fast facts about centipedes, and also show some examples of what they may look like in your home.

Millipedes: The Slow Wanderers

Biology of Millipedes

house centipedes and millipedes are a common nuisance in the raleigh-durham area

Millipedes belong to the class Diplopoda and are known for their cylindrical bodies and numerous legs, with each body segment having two pairs of legs. They can range in size from a few millimeters to several inches in length. Unlike centipedes, millipedes are not predators; they feed on decaying plant matter, making them important decomposers in the ecosystem.

Millipedes prefer moist, dark environments and are commonly found under rocks, logs, and leaf litter. When disturbed, they can curl into a tight coil as a defensive mechanism.

Entry into Homes

Millipedes often enter homes during extreme weather conditions. During droughts, they search for moisture indoors, while heavy rains can flood their outdoor habitats, driving them inside. They are generally more of a nuisance than a threat, as they do not bite or sting.

Controlling Millipedes

Controlling millipedes involves managing moisture and reducing their entry points. Here are some effective strategies:


In this video, we’ll explore some quick facts about millipedes and how to spot them in your home.


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House centipedes and millipedes may become unwelcome guests in your Raleigh-Durham home during extreme weather conditions. Understanding their biology and implementing effective control measures can help you keep these multi-legged intruders at bay. By reducing moisture, sealing entry points, and maintaining a clean environment, you can protect your home from these and other pests.

But if the pests persist, we’re here to help! At Innovative Pest Solutions, we’re committed to keeping your home pest-free. Contact us today for more info!