Centipedes have elongated, flat, segmented bodies with 15 to 177 pairs of legs, depending on species. Most range in length from 1/6 inch to six inches long. They come in variety colors, but brown and reddish-orange are most common. Centipedes are beneficial in that they will feed on many soft-bodied insects, including garden pests. They are commonly found hiding in damp, dark areas (under concrete slabs, inside floor drains, in mulch and cardboard boxes). An easy way to distinguish them from Millipedes: Centipedes quickly move away when disturbed while Millipedes curl up into a ball.

Damage From Centipedes

Centipedes are not really a threat to plants or gardens, but can become a nuisance if they infest your home. Most are carnivorous, feeding on soft-bodied insects, including spiders and worms.

Where Centipedes are Found Geographically

Centipedes are common throughout the United States.

Related or Similar Pests 



Cultural Controls

  • Seal cracks in windows, doors, foundations – anywhere pests can find entry to your home. 
  • For additional methods of controlling Centipedes, contact your local cooperative extension service.