By ascertaining the number of leg pairs on each of the segments, you can easily tell centipedes from millipedes. While millipedes have two leg pairs originating from every segment, the centipedes have only a single pair of legs on each segment. The body of the centipedes is flattened from end to tail and they have pair if antennae. While some centipede varieties have long legs, others have rather short legs. Basically, there are about 8,000 known species of centipedes across the world. Unlike any other arthropod, the first pair of legs of the centipedes has been modified into mouth parts, known as the forcipules.
Habitat and Diet
Just like the millipedes, the centipedes like inhabiting moist places, especially during the day. As such, they are commonly found under logs, rocks or other objects that are in contact with the ground. They are more active during the night, mostly feeding on spiders and insects. While feeding, the centipedes grasp the prey using their fang and then inject venom into the prey before feeding on them.
Some centipede species are known for their bites, which can be dangerous to humans. A centipede bite is very painful and can lead to chills, swelling, weakness and fever. However, the bites are not likely to cause death to an adult human being. The bites can however be fatal for the small children or people who are allergic to bee stings. If bitten by a large centipede, such people may go into anaphylactic shock. However, the smaller centipedes are unable to puncture the human skin, hence not considered to be a danger to grownups. The venom they inject into the wound is the one that leads to swelling and pain on the point of puncture.
Centipedes, just like the millipedes, undergo a simple metamorphosis. Throughout the winter season, the adult centipedes spend their time in concealed hideouts. They only become active in spring. While some centipede species give birth to live young ones, the majority of them lay their eggs in the soil and cover them with a sticky substance. This happens during the warmer months. After a couple of days, the eggs hatch onto young ones, similar to the adult centipedes, but small in size and having fewer leg bearing segments. With every molt of the young centipedes, more leg bearing segments are produced. The development of these young ones gores through about seven instars and takes between 21 and 25 weeks. Centipedes are known to live for up to six years.
Possible Centipede Damage
When provoked, centipedes can bite and inject venom into human beings. Though not fatal, the bites are really painful and can lead to swelling, fever and weakness in the body. The larger the centipede, the more painful the bite is. Again, they can also produce a fluid that is irritating to the human skin. This fluid can also irritate the eyes, cause allergic reactions, cause blisters and trigger allergic reactions in some people. As such, it is important that centipede infestation in homes is controlled by the professionals.
Various methods may be used to control and exterminate this pest; however, you should only have the professionals carry out this delicate procedure. At AMG Extermination, we have some of the best centipede control products and procedures.