Are Garden Centipedes Dangerous?

Are Garden Centipedes Dangerous?

You may have confused centipedes for millipedes in the past or you may have seen that crawling creature that gives you a scare and you either run for your life or try to kill it. Don’t worry, in this article, I’ll clear the air of what a garden centipede is and explain if it’s dangerous.

What is A Garden Centipede?

The garden centipede, also known as an insect with hundred legs is a worm-like arthropod that is skinny. Its scientific name is Lithobius forficatus. Pseudocentipedes or symphylans are other names for them, however, they are not true centipedes.

They are, in fact, distant relatives. Garden centipedes are not venomous and are smaller than real centipedes. Centipedes can be found hiding in leaf litter, beneath stones, and in logs.

When people are working in the garden in the spring and summer, garden centipedes are frequently seen. They flee for safety when disturbed, flaunting their many waving legs as they squirm under rocks and other garden detritus.

These little organisms devour insects and are thought to be good for the environment. The body of a centipede is long, slender, and flattened, with many segments, and is usually brown or gray. Each segment has two legs.

Young centipedes contain seven segments and seven pairs of legs, but adults have 15 segments and 15 pairs of legs. Centipedes in the garden range in size from 1 to 2 inches.

Before reaching full size, the garden centipede molts multiple times. It grows new segments with a new set of legs on each segment every time it molts or sheds its skin. After it has shed its skin while molting, the exoskeleton of the garden centipede can be found around the garden.

The spiracles on the sides of garden centipedes’ bodies allow them to breathe. The creature’s life is put in jeopardy if the holes become clogged. When a centipede is harmed, it has the incredible capacity to regenerate a lost body component.

The female lays her eggs individually in the earth after mating. Depending on when the females lay the eggs, the eggs may hatch throughout the summer or overwinter in the soil and hatch in the spring. Garden centipedes overwinter in the soil as adults. They have a six-year life span.

Are Garden Centipedes Dangerous?

Centipedes, unlike millipedes, are unlikely to harm your plants. Centipedes in gardens might be helpful since they eat insects that could harm your plants. If you find a few centipedes and millipedes in your garden, don’t be worried; it’s better than having them in your house.

Centipedes that are smaller generate only a painful, limited reaction, similar to a bee sting. Larger species, on the other hand, may deliver more venom and cause more severe pain through a bite. Centipede bites can be excruciatingly painful, yet they are rarely lethal to people.

Do You Want To Get Rid of Garden Centipede?

If you want to eliminate the garden centipede, then follow these steps.

  1. Alcohol 1 quart of water and a spray of vegetable oil.
  2. Mix the spray thoroughly.
  3. The spray will destroy any centipedes that have infested flower beds and gardens, and it is safe to use near plants.


I hope you find this article helpful. I would like to hear from you. So, let me know if you have any questions.