Centipedes are long-lived; some have been known to live up to 6 years. Most species feed upon small creatures such as insects. With the powerful jaws located immediately under the head they grasp and kill their prey by injecting venom.
Occasionally, man may be bitten by centipedes but the poison usually produces only a moderate reaction similar to a bee sting. The only concern would be to those allergic to insect venoms and other toxins, particularly small children. In cases involving severe reactions, consult a physician at once.
Centipedes may be found in a variety of habitats but prefer moist, protected places such as under stones, rotted logs, leaves or bark. They spend the winter as adults and lay eggs during the warm months. Generally, eggs are laid in the soil and covered by a sticky substance. A few species give birth to living young.
Controlling centipedes and millipedes outdoors includes removing objects that provide harborage such as trash piles, rocks, boards, leaf piles, compost piles and similar materials.