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Millipedes

Although millipedes are not harmful, they can be a nuisance. Learn everything you need to know about these many-legged creatures.

Description

The majority of millipedes are brown or black, but a few species are orange or red. Their size ranges from 5/8 to 4 1/2 inches. Most species of the millipede family are long and round but a few have a flattened appearance with 30 to 90+ pairs of legs.

Habitat

Normally found outdoors, the millipede requires a great deal of moisture. They can be found under trash, grass clippings, mulch, leaf piles, etc. If rising water invades their home, they will often seek shelter indoors, sometimes in large numbers. Drought can also cause millipedes to seek shelter, in hopes of finding moisture.

Diet

Millipedes are scavengers, feeding on decaying matter.

Life Cycle and Reproduction

Female millipedes lay between 20 to 300 eggs in a nest in the soil. They hatch after several weeks, and then go through 7 to 10 molts, during each molt the number of body segments and legs increase. Many millipede species reach sexual maturity in two years, while others take four of five years.

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