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Millipede Facts & Information

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

Millipede illustration
Class Diplopoda
2.5 - 4 cm
Long and slender

Millipedes Treatment

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 to get rid of millipedes.

Orkin Pros are trained to get rid of millipedes and manage their recurrence. Orkin’s exclusive Points of Service process is a continuing cycle of five critical steps.

  • We Investigate: Millipede treatment usually begins with an inspection by your Orkin Pro to locate the source of 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.

  • We Protect: 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.

  • We Fortify: Non-chemical components of the plan will emphasize preventing pests from getting inside the home and reducing suitable millipede 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.

  • We Keep Watch: We’ll treat the interior of your home and install pest monitors in critical areas such as kitchens, baths, utility rooms, and garages.

  • We Report: We’ll always provide a detailed report of services rendered and recommendations to help keep your home free of spiders and other pests.

  • We Follow Up: We’ll stay in touch between our regularly scheduled visits and respond to any immediate needs.

For help getting rid of millipedes, contact your local Orkin branch.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Millipedes

What do millipedes look like?

Illustration of Common North American Millipede

Illustration of Common North American Millipede

  • 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.

Where do millipedes live?

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.

Do millipedes migrate?

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.

What do millipedes eat?

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

What is the life cycle of millipedes?

Millipede eggs are deposited in the soil. Most species of millipedes reach sexual maturity in the second year and live several years after that.

More Information About Millipedes

Are millipedes poisonous or venomous?

While most millipedes are harmless, some can excrete a defensive fluid when threatened which can cause skin irritation.

Do millipedes bite?

Although millipedes don't bite humans, they can produce a toxic fluid to defend themselves.

How long do millipedes live?

Although their lifespan may vary depending on the species of millipede, most millipedes are estimated to be able to live for several years.

What causes millipede infestation in houses?

Millipedes may enter homes during seasonal migrations or when heavy rain floods their normal habitats.

Types of Millipedes

Scientists have identified almost 1,000 species of millipedes in the United States alone.

What do millipedes eat?

Millipedes usually eat damp or decaying wood but will eat living plants if decaying plant material is scarce.

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