Centipede vs Millipede | What’s the difference?

Centipede vs Millipede

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Both centipedes and millipedes are long, many-legged creatures that can be found in gardens and yards across North America. But what exactly sets these two creatures apart? This article will explore the key differences between centipedes and millipedes so that you can tell them apart the next time you see one!

Read on to find out!

What are centipedes and millipedes?

Centipedes and millipedes are both arthropods, meaning they have segmented bodies and jointed legs. They are often confused with each other, but there are some key differences. Centipedes are predators that hunt at night, while millipedes are mostly herbivores that feed on dead leaves and other organic matter. Centipedes also have poison claws to kill their prey, while millipedes do not.

The difference between centipedes and millipedes

There are many differences between centipedes and millipedes, but their size is the most obvious. Centipedes are much larger than millipedes, with some reaching up to 12 inches in length. Millipedes, on the other hand, are typically only an inch or two long.

Another difference is that centipedes have only one pair of legs per body segment, while millipedes have two pairs. This gives centipedes a much faster, more agile gait than millipedes.

Centipede bites can be quite painful, while millipede bites are not. This is because centipedes are predators, while millipedes are mostly herbivores. Centipede venom is used to kill their prey, while millipede venom is not strong enough to hurt anything larger than themselves.

Finally, centipedes are typically brown or black, while millipedes can be a variety of colors, including red, orange, and green.

Where do centipedes and millipedes live?

Centipedes and millipedes are found in a variety of habitats all over the world. Centipedes prefer damp environments like basements, garages, and Mulch. Millipedes, on the other hand, enjoy living in moist soils rich in decaying vegetation. You’re likely to find both centipedes and millipedes in your garden or flowerbeds since they both feed on insects and organic matter.

What do centipedes and millipedes eat?

Centipedes and millipedes are both detritivores, which means that they eat dead and decaying organic matter. They are often found in leaf litter and compost, which help break down these materials. Centipedes are predators and will also eat other small invertebrates such as insects, spiders, and worms. Millipedes are mostly herbivores and will eat dead leaves and other plant material. We have written great piece of content on what do millipedes eat in details.

How long do centipedes and millipedes live?

Centipedes and millipedes have different life spans. Centipedes typically live for one to two years, while millipedes can live for up to seven years. If you are looking for live millipedes we have collection of live millipedes for sale in our store

Are centipedes and millipedes dangerous?

There are a lot of differences between centipedes and millipedes, but one of the most important is that centipedes are dangerous while millipedes are not. Centipedes are predators that will eat just about anything they can catch, including other insects, spiders, and even small rodents. Millipedes, on the other hand, are mostly herbivores and only eat plants.

So, if you see a small, multi-legged creature scurrying around your home, the best bet is that it’s a millipede, not a centipede. But, if you’re not sure, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and contact a professional pest control company to come and take a look.


So, what’s the difference between centipedes and millipedes? Centipedes are predators that hunt and kill other insects, while millipedes are mostly herbivores that feed on decaying plant matter. Centipedes are also generally faster and more agile than millipedes and have venomous claws to inject poison into their prey. Millipedes do not have venomous claws but can defend themselves by secreting a poisonous substance from their body.

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Emmanuel Orta
Emmanuel Orta

Hi, I am Emmanuel, and I love everything about insects, plants and building terrariums.

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