Millipedes and Silverfish

Centipedes and "Millipedes" are commonly mistaken by many individuals from one another because of their worm-like body and countless number of legs. They may actually seem like similar in appearance but there are several aspects that can be closely observed to distinguish them apart. Millipedes are usually dark colored with two pairs of legs per body segments. While the centipedes, they usually have reddish brown color with only one pair of legs per body segments.

The easiest method in distinguishing centipedes from the millipedes is by observing the number of legs on their body. A Centipede actually have fewer number of legs than millipedes and have more flattened type of body.

Foods for Centipedes and Millipedes

Both centipedes and millipedes feed on dead plants but the centipedes prefers more hunting for small insects such as flies, ants, cockroaches and etc... They are actually good hunters equipped with their fast-running legs and jaws that secretes venom into their prey. Millipedes doesn't possess such aggressive predatory characteristic of the centipedes so they often simply stick eating dead plants for their diets (some special species of millipedes are known to feed on small insects, earthworms and snails).


Most people view the centipedes as a "not-so-attractive" type of bugs. Nevertheless, they are actually beneficial to the growth of garden plants as they feed on both dead plants and pesky insects. Thus, they provide the lawn a free fertilizing nutrients into the soil. Although, it is still generally important to keep an eye to the population levels of both centipedes and millipedes. It's because their population growth can result into the loss of the garden plants.


Aside from the differences in appearances, both centipedes and millipedes thrive in moist habitats. They often find shelter under rocks, composts, under rotting woods and etc... According to some sources, both creatures propagates across the regions of U.S. and Europe.

Other than the outside environment, centipede species known as "House Centipedes" prefers to take shelter inside homes along with other insects that they can catch and eat. The same thing goes to the millipedes. But despite of their predacious characteristics, they are harmless to humans and animal pets. In fact, they are even beneficial for eliminating other insect-pests inside the house.

House Centipedes and the Silverfish

Both house centipedes and "Silverfish" are pesky creatures that lurks around a certain untidy house. Just like the millipedes, house centipedes and silverfish are also often mistaken with one another. But most importantly, once you spotted either one of them, you are advised to seek immediate help from the professional exterminators as their numbers can grow at a fast alarming rate.

Comparison between a House Centipede and Silverfish

The name of the insect, "silverfish" was derived from the silver-gray color of their soft body and their body-shape that look-like a fish. As for the house centipedes, they usually have light brown or yellowish colors.

An average mature size of a silverfish ranges from one-quarter and one-half of an inch long. In comparison to the house centipedes, they are much longer in length which goes between 1 to 1.5 inches long for the males while the females can grow for up to 3 inches long.

A silverfish's head consists of two antennae and connected into their abdomen are a total of six legs (three legs on each opposite sides). House centipede also have two long antennae on top of its head but with more number of legs. The average total legs of an adult house centipede ranges between 15 to 30 pairs of legs.

Many people think that a silverfish can fly. They actually don't because they do not have wings.

Silverfish Foods and Habitats

Both house centipede and silverfish thrive on similar type of environment or habitat. They do prefer to take shelter inside houses that provides them a good source of food for their survival.

Silverfish Insect

When it comes to food, silverfish have a long list on their menu. They can actually eat almost any type of objects as long as they consists of carbohydrates and sugar contents on them. Some examples of their favorite foods are things like paper, natural fibers, crumbs, dried foods and etc... On the other hand, house centipedes only prey on other living insects and the silverfish is just one among them.


  1. Thanks for the article! Great one indeed. I concur... there are just too many reasons why people need to get rid of millipedes, centipedes and silverfish, especially the latter. Silverfish will do much harm to your memories by devouring your photographs in the blink of an eye. In no way you want these pests in contact with your course sheets or assignments, especially if they're scheduled to be turned in anytime soon. I don't know about you, but where I come from, you definitely don't want to be caught within the clutches of a centipede.

    1. Yes you are right, both the millipedes and centipedes are larger than that silverfish. However, the silverfish insects are a lot more destructive than the two.

  2. I just woke up with a 4 inches centipede right on my face. I lived in my house since 1993 and I never have seen a centipede before. Boy what a farce that was trying to catch that thing on my bed once I realized what it was. I just shucked off my face and since arson is technically illegal, I has to put it in in a jar until morning. But I'll probably never sleep again.

    1. It only means that it's time for you to check and clean your house. That centipede is probably there inside your house because it was attracted with food which are other insects or pest living inside your home.