There are a lot a similarities between these two arthropods, but it is how they are different that you will want to keep in mind when dealing with these pests. Here is a quick comparison between these two bugs and some tips on how you can keep them out of your home.
How millipedes and centipedes are similar.
The two bugs get mistaken for each other quite often, because they both have a lot of legs. Though centipede means "100-footed," the number of legs varies from one centipede to the next. An adult centipede can have between 30 and around 350 legs. Millipedes can have up to 400 legs.
These two creatures both share an affinity for moisture and can be found in moist damp places. If the ground around a home is too dry or too saturated, both millipedes and centipedes will be driven inside.
Both of these critters can climb walls and ceilings. Like all wall crawling bugs, they use thin claws to grip pores, dents and irregularities that can be almost imperceptible to the human eye.
The difference between millipedes and centipedes.
As we discussed above, millipedes and centipedes have a lot of legs. The difference between the two is that centipedes have one set of legs per body segment, and millipedes have two sets.
Millipedes are docile and will curl up into a spiral when threatened. Centipedes are a little more feisty, and are known to bite if threatened.
Millipedes tend to be smaller, with a rounded shell and legs that point straight down. Centipedes are flatter, and their long legs shoot out to the sides.
Keeping millipedes and centipedes out.
The good news about millipedes and centipedes getting into your home is that they don't generally live long inside. That doesn't make them any less disgusting or frustrating to deal with. Sadly, these two creatures are hard to exclude naturally. You can make sure your door and window screens are in good working order, inspect your weather stripping and door sweeps, and fill in any rotted holes in your exterior walls. But it is hard to keep a bug out when it is able to scale walls and walk across ceilings. Partner with a pest control company to apply a limited and focused application of pesticides to seal these--and a number of other bugs--out of your home.