Do Millipedes Bite?

Although they do not bite humans, millipedes may defend themselves another way.

Some millipedes can be several centimeters long. With their many legs, these slender creatures can be very intimidating.

Millipedes live in areas that are damp. In well-established lawns, millipedes can thrive in the thatch—the dead material between the new grass and the soil beneath. Homeowners often find them in flowerbeds, especially if the mulch is thick or there are piles of dead leaves.

Sometimes millipedes eat small insects or snails. They also eat their cast-off skins when they molt. However, for the most part, millipedes are scavengers. They eat dead leaves and bits of decaying wood. If water becomes scarce, millipedes will sometimes eat leaves and roots of living plants for the moisture they contain.

Although they do not bite, some millipedes defend themselves another way. They produce an unpleasant-smelling liquid from glands on their sides. Scientists think this liquid is toxic to insects, spiders and small animals. The liquid can cause small blisters on the skin of people who try to handle certain millipedes.

The Orkin Man™ is trained to help get millipedes out of your home and help keep them out. Using the exclusive Orkin system of Assess, Implement and Monitor (A.I.M.), he will design a solution for your home’s unique situation. He will identify the causes of the millipede problem. He will also identify any entryways the millipedes might be using to get into your home. For more information or to schedule an inspection, please contact your local Orkin branch office.