Millipedes and Centipedes

Millipedes and centipedes are two creatures that are very similar. However a centipede can be easily distinguished from a millipede because it has fewer legs, specifically one set for every segment of its body. Millipedes on the other hand have two sets of legs for every segment and when they move, their legs give the impression that they are moving in a wave-like motion.

Centipedes are able to bite and are poisonous. The poison from their fangs, which are located behind their head, is similar to a bee sting, and can bother some individuals more than others, especially if there is an allergic reaction to it. The poison is used to kill insects, which are their primary source of food. Children will be more sensitive to a centipedes’ bite and the larger the centipede – the more painful the bite.

Millipedes however,  do not have poison, or fangs, but they can release an unbearable smelling fluid to defend itself. Some varieties can squirt this fluid several centimetres and it will take some scrubbing and cleaning to get rid of the odour. The fluid can cause irritation on the skin in some people, and it should be removed right away. Millipedes feed on decaying plant matter, and sometimes living plant roots.