Millipedes are cylindrical, many-segmented, worm-like animals. Most millipedes are not larger than 1 inch and can be easily distinguished from centipedes in that they have 2 pairs of legs on each abdominal segment. Millipedes are mostly considered scavengers and feed primarily on decaying vegetation and leaf litter. They spend most of their lives in the soil where they also overwinter. In the spring, millipedes lay between 20 and 300 eggs in the soil which hatch in several weeks. Millipedes sometimes migrate in large numbers, particularly after heavy rains in the late summer or as weather cools. Millipedes can climb walls (inside and outside) easily and will often enter homes through foundation cracks above ground level as well as through seams under doors.


Centipedes have elongated, flattened and many-segmented bodies with 1 pair of long legs which are alternately colored with light and dark bands. Most species of centipedes live outdoors, however the house centipede is the only species that can live and reproduce in homes. House centipedes have a hairier appearance than centipedes found outdoors. They are often found in areas where humidity is high such as, in basements, storage areas, laundry rooms, garages and bathrooms. The house centipede is active at night, moving about in search of cockroaches, spiders, flies and other household pests as food. During the day they commonly hide in cracks and crevices or other secluded areas.