Identify Millipedes & Learn How to Keep Them Out of Your Home


Finding millipedes in your home? Hire the exterminators at The Pest Detective for comprehensive pest control. We have offices in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Surrey, Victoria, Whistler, and the Tri-Cities area. Learn more about millipedes and how you can identify and prevent them.


Millipedes have a long, cord-like body with a hard outer skin. Their bodies are made up of multiple segments with each segment having a two pairs of legs. Due to their legs being arranged very close together, millipedes move slowly and give a sort of wave-like movement to their bodies. Millipedes are often confused with centipedes; millipedes have two pairs of legs on each body segment while centipedes have one pair per segment.

Colour: Black, dark brown or dark reddish-brown

Legs: Two pair per body segment

Shape: Rounded, cord-like shape with hard outer skin

Size: Varies from .79 to 3.15 inches

Antennae: Yes

Flying: No


Millipedes eat decomposing organic matter like leaves and dead wood. They help break down plant matter after microbial decomposition. Millipedes will also eat delicate roots of seedlings or ripening fruit that has fallen to the ground.


You can find millipedes living on the ground outdoors usually in dark places with lots of moisture. Millipedes will usually live close to their source of food like piles of leaf litter or rotting logs. On occasion, they may burrow in moist soil under rocks or in piles of mulch.


Millipedes are considered a minor garden pest that can damage your sprouting seeds or seedlings. They aren’t destructive inside the home, but present more of a nuisance and an unwelcome sight to most. Like most arthropods, millipedes die shortly after coming inside, but leave behind their hard exoskeleton intact. Some millipedes release a toxic chemical that can irritate the skin, staining it brown, causing blistering, itching, or burning.


You won’t have to take any significant control measures for millipedes as their invasions tend to only include a handful of the insects. To keep millipedes from getting inside, we recommend keeping your residence clean and free of clutter especially the basement or other areas where moisture settles.

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