Millipede Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from millipedes by learning techniques for identification and control.

Millipede illustration
Class Diplopoda


How do I get rid of millipedes?

What Orkin Does

In an emergency, a vacuum cleaner or a shop-type vacuum can be used to remove millipedes from walls and floors. When the situation gets bad, many homeowners call for help.

Orkin Pros are trained to manage millipedes. Using Orkin’s exclusive system of Assess, Implement, and Monitor (A.I.M.), we can design a millipede treatment program for your unique situation.

  • Inspection - Millipede treatment usually begins with an inspection by your pest management professional to locate the source how the pests are getting inside the home. Once the inspection is completed, your Pro will prepare a plan that may involve both non-chemical and chemical treatment methods.

  • Prevention - Non-chemical components of the plan will emphasize preventing the pests from getting inside the home and reducing suitable habitats. Some specific actions include sealing around doors, windows, cracks, gaps, and crevices, plus reducing moist places that promote millipede survival. For example, the plan may recommend limiting the amount of mulch, rocks, or debris that are likely to create moist areas favoring large numbers of millipedes.

  • Removal - If chemical products are the most effective and efficient approach, your plan might include exterior and interior applications of products to potential entry points and harborage sites where millipedes accumulate.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Millipedes


  • Size: 2.5 to 4 cm long

  • Color: Common North American species are brownish in color.

  • Body & Legs: Long and slender, millipedes look like worms with legs. They are segmented, with two pair of legs per segment.


Millipedes normally live outdoors in damp places. Around homes they live in flowerbeds and gardens. People often find millipedes under:

  • Mulch

  • Piles of dead leaves and grass clippings

  • Structures like dog houses and storage sheds

Crawlspaces are excellent millipede habitats. There are often boxes of stored items and pieces of lumber on the ground under a home. The millipedes can feed on dead leaves that have blown into the crawl space or small pieces of damp or decaying wood.


In the fall, millipedes often migrate. They move out of their normal habitat. Scientists suspect they may be trying to get ready for winter. However, millipedes have also been seen migrating after a heavy rain has flooded their habitat. During these migrations, millipedes often find their way into homes.


They eat dead leaves and decaying wood particles that they find.


Eggs are deposited in the soil; most species reach sexual maturity in the second year and live several years after that.

More Information

Are Millipedes Poisonous?

Do Millipedes Bite?

How Long Do Millipedes Live?

Millipede Infestations

Types of Millipedes

What Do Millipedes Eat?

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