Blackish or brownish, some red, orange or with mottled patterns.
Long, cylindrical and wormlike
1/16 – 4½ ” (2-155 mm)
Found throughout U.S.
Most millipedes are nocturnal and are primarily scavengers, feeding on decaying plants and occasionally dead insects. Some millipedes form relationships with other organism or species such as ants, mites, or mosses. Millipedes are known to migrate in substantial numbers between September-November.
They occur on all continents except Antarctica. They are typically found in areas of high moisture and decomposing vegetation, such as under trash, in piles of grass clippings, flower-bed mulches, piles of leaves, etc. Due to their lack of speed, or inability to bite or sting, millipedes primary mechanism for protection is to coil into a Millipedes cannot survive indoors unless there is high moisture conditions and a food supply.
Their primary method of defense if to coil up a tight coil. Some millipede’s species emit foul-smelling secretions through openings along the sides of the body. They can have bristles around their body that aid them in capturing prey. This fluid can be toxic to small animals and pets, and can cause pain, redness, secretions, small blisters, and eczema on humans.
The most effective way to prevent and get rid of millipede infestations is to reduce areas of moisture in and around your home. Consider running a dehumidifier if you have a damp basement. Keep lawns mowed so that grass does not retain moisture, and water lawns in the early morning to allow grass to dry during the day. Remove leaf piles and grass clippings. Store firewood off of the ground.