Different Types Of Millipedes And How To Manage Them

There are over 1,400 types of millipedes in the United States. These tiny animals can be found in many habitats, including forests, grasslands and even urban lawns. While some species may be beneficial to your yard, some are considered pests and can cause damage to plants.

In today’s article, we are going to talk about the seven different types of millipedes you are most likely to deal with in your home or garden.

We will also discuss how to manage millipedes using common methods and products, and go over which millipedes are good for your garden and which types of millipedes you should work to get rid of.

Let’s get started!

What Are Millipedes?

1 a brown millipede
Millipedes are arthropodes related to scorpions.

Millipedes are a type of invertebrate that have two pairs of legs on each segmented body part, hence the name “milli-pedes” (one thousand feet). In spite of this name, millipedes don’t really have one thousand legs. Instead, most have around 300 legs on average.

The scientific name for millipede is actually much more accurate. This name is “diplopoda”, and it means that millipedes simply have two pairs of legs per body segment, which is true to their name.

Millipedes are nocturnal animals that live on land, mostly in damp environments such as forests and gardens. They prefer dark places where they can hide from predators and avoid sunlight since it can dehydrate their bodies when they come out during the day.

However, there are some types of millipedes that can tolerate sunlight better than others, so it may depend on the particular species you’re dealing with in your garden or home.

In general, most people don’t like millipedes because they look creepy and sometimes come into homes looking for food or shelter during the night (although this rarely happens). The good news is that most species aren’t harmful to humans or our pets, which we will talk about further down.

Millipedes can be solitary or social creatures. Solitary millipedes live alone and don’t need another individual to survive, while social millipedes live together in colonies. While a millipede infestation is rare, it can happen if social millipedes living together get out of control. However, and as we mentioned already, most types of millipedes are not dangerous to people, pets, or the environment.

Let’s learn more.

Are Millipedes Dangerous?

2 a brown millipede on a rock
Though millipedes can be creepy to look at, the truth is they are not dangerous.

While many people confuse millipedes for insects, they are actually arthropods. They are closely related to sowbugs, and like sowbugs, millipedes are not harmful to people, pets, agriculture, or buildings.

The good news about millipedes is that they aren’t like the pests we are used to (here’s looking at you, cockroaches and ants). They eat decaying plant matter (and sometimes dead insects) and can be beneficial to gardens by eating other insects that might destroy plants or crops.

The bad news is that some types of millipedes can emit defensive chemicals when threatened, which can be irritating to the eyes, nose and throat if inhaled or touched. In very rare cases, this chemical secretion can cause allergic reactions in some people that may be serious.

Otherwise, millipedes do not bite or sting, so you don’t need to panic if you see one crawling on your patio or in your yard.

And while most types of millipedes are totally harmless and even beneficial, there are instances when millipede damage can occur to gardens.

This damage can occur when a large number of millipedes feed on plants and cause damage to roots and seeds. This damage can make plants more susceptible to disease and other pests like aphids and scale insects.

In some cases, different types of millipedes may carry mites on their bodies that attack other arthropods such as spiders, ticks and mites by sucking out their bodily fluids through their skin pores or mouthparts. Of course, this could be more beneficial to people than harmful when it comes to a natural form of pest control.

Still, if you’ve noticed an abundance of millipedes in your home or garden, it’s a good idea to find out what’s causing this infestation.

The most common reasons for millipede infestations include:

You Live In A Warmer Climate

Millipedes like warm climates because they can survive in them better than cold climates. If you live in a warm climate like Florida or California where the temperature tends to be around 70 degrees Fahrenheit during most days throughout the year, then it’s likely that you’ll see more millipedes than people who live in cooler climates.

States like Minnesota, where the temperature usually stays around 20 degrees Fahrenheit during most days throughout the year, (except for July-August), are less likely to see different types of millipedes being as active.

An Abundance Of Millipede Food Sources

Millipedes are not picky eaters and will eat a variety of things. They will eat decaying plant matter, dead insects, and even other types of millipedes. They also consume some live plants and roots.

Cool, Damp, and Dark Environments

If your garden is filled with dark, damp, moist areas, then this is where you’ll find millipedes hiding out. They love to live under rocks, logs and other debris on the ground. They’ll also move into your home if it’s cool enough for them to survive there.

Outdoors, millipedes can be found in soil or under rocks or logs. In homes they can be found in basements or crawl spaces where the temperature is cool year round.


Millipedes need moisture to survive so they are often found near water sources such as streams, ponds and lakes. However, an overwatered garden can attract millipedes, as can damp leaf litter, moist soil below rocks or garden decor, or even areas beneath decks or planters that are watered often.

The 7 Most Common Types Of Millipedes

3 a millipede up close
Millipedes may look frightening, but the truth is they are not dangerous to people or pets.

There are over 7,000 species of millipedes in the world and roughly 1,400 types of millipedes in the United States. This means that there are quite a lot of them, and you might come across many different types of millipedes without knowing exactly what type you’re dealing with.

Since we can’t tackle all 1,400 types of millipedes you might come across in the United states, let’s stick with some of the most common.

Seven common types of millipedes include:

  1. The North American Millipede
  2. The Crested Millipede
  3. The Greenhouse Millipede
  4. The Yellow Spotted Millipede
  5. The Flat-Backed millipede (Sigmoria)
  6. The Pink Feather Boa Millipede
  7. The Leache’s Train millipede

Let’s take a closer look now at some of the above types of millipedes we just listed. Keep reading!

1. The North American Millipede

4 a North American Millipede
North American Millipedes are often gray, brown, or brownish red.

The North American Millipede is a terrestrial arthropod, meaning that it spends most of its life on land. The North American Millipede is also known as the Common North American Millipede. Other common names include North American Millipede, worm millipede, iron worm

The North American Millipede can grow to be four inches and sometimes even longer. It is most commonly found in moist, dark places like under rocks, logs and leaf litter in woodlands and forests

The color of the North American Millipede color is brownish gray, black, or reddish brown. They have blunt heads with antennae that are usually longer than they are wide. There are no eyes on their heads but they do have tiny red ocelli (simple eyes) on their backs like most other arthropods.

This is one of our types of millipedes that is known to release noxious liquids when it feels threatened. These liquids contain benzoquinones, which are known to leave burns on skin.

2. The Crested Millipede

5 a black millipede on a window ledge
Crested millipedes are long and thin, often looking snakelike.

The Crested Millipede is a species of millipede in the family Spirostreptidae. It is found in North America.

The species is native to Texas and Mexico. It has been introduced to Hawaii and Florida.

The name “crested” refers to the dorsal ridges on the body segments of this species.

They are herbivorous, eating decaying vegetation or algae that grows on trees and rocks or other surfaces, such as concrete walls or road surfaces. The diet of this species also includes fungi, lichens and mosses.

Crested millipedes lay their eggs in a protected area in soil, under stones or among plant roots where they will not be disturbed by predators (such as ants) which may eat the eggs or hatchlings.

The larvae look like smaller versions of the adults but with shorter legs (or none at all), fewer body segments and no crest on their backs. They have a soft body that can stretch out into an oval shape if they need to get away quickly from danger.

3. The Greenhouse Millipede

6 a greenhouse millipede
Greenhouse milipedes are common throughout the US.

The Greenhouse Millipede (Oxidus gracilis), is a type of millipede that is native to SouthEast Asia. It has been introduced to many other parts of the world including the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

The Greenhouse Millipede resembles a snake or eel in shape, with a long body that tapers in at both ends. They have three pairs of legs on each segment of their body, which allows them to move quickly through leaf litter or soil when they are threatened. They can grow up to 7 inches long, but most adults are between 3 and 4 inches long.

Their bodies range in color from yellow-green to brownish-orange depending on the age of the animal and its diet. Their exoskeleton is covered with small bumps called tubercles that help protect them from predators and parasites while they are growing up inside their eggs.

Greenhouse millipedes eat decaying plant matter such as dead leaves, rotting wood and other decaying organic material found in their natural habitat. They prefer habitats that are rich in moisture and shade because these conditions allow them to thrive without having to compete with other species for food or habitat space.

4. The Yellow Spotted Millipede

7 the yellow spotted millipede
Yellow spotted millipedes have yellow spots, as their name suggests.

The Yellow Spotted Millipede (Harpaphe haydeniana) is a species of large, slow-moving, terrestrial myriapod arthropod. It is native to the Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges of California and southward through Baja California into Mexico.

The Yellow Spotted Millipede is a relatively small millipede, measuring about 2.5 cm (1 inch) long in adulthood. Its coloration varies from a bright yellow to orangish-yellow with dark brown or black spots along the length of its body. The head has two pairs of antennae and three pairs of legs on each side.

This millipede lives in moist habitats under rocks, logs, leaves and soil. It often hides under objects that provide shade from sunlight so it can avoid dehydration during hot weather. It prefers areas with high humidity such as under mosses or near waterfalls where there is plenty of moisture available to sip through its breathing pores on the ventral surface of its body.

It spends its entire life underground hiding during daylight hours and emerging after sunset seeking its next meal which consists mainly of dead plant material such as decaying woody roots but also includes small insects like springtails if they are available nearby.x

5. The Flat-Backed millipede

9 a red millipede
Flat-backed millipedes are identifiable by their flat back.

The Flat-Backed millipede (Sigmoria) is a species of flat-backed millipedes in the family Paradoxosomatidae.

The Flat-Backed millipede is found in North America. The coloration of this species ranges from dark brown to black with yellow or white bands running down its body. The average length of this species is one inch long.

This is one of our types of millipedes that is an insectivorous predator that feeds on small insects including ants, termites and beetles. The Flat-Backed millipede has two antennae at the end of its head that are used as sensory organs.

These antennae help it detect hazards as well as find food sources such as ants or termites which they will then consume using their mouthparts to bite off pieces of their prey’s exoskeleton so they can feed on them directly without having to digest them first.

6. The Pink Feather Boa Millipede

10 an orange black and yellow millipede
While many people do fear millipedes they are actually goo for the environment.

The Pink Feather Boa Millipede, (Gosodesmus claremontus) is a species of millipede in the family Paradoxosomatidae. It is native to South Africa and Namibia, but is now common in California where it lives under rocks in desert regions.

The Pink Feather Boa Millipede is a small species of millipede. The average length is about 10 mm (0.4 in). The body color is a light pink shade with darker red spots along the sides of the body. There are also two dark stripes on each side of the body, running from head to tail. These stripes are faint or absent in some specimens.

The legs are pale yellow or white with brown bands running down them. This species can be distinguished from other members of its genus by its small size and pink colouration.

This species occurs in Namibia and South Africa where it lives under rocks in desert regions, and it feeds on organic decaying material and even the fungi that grows beneath rocks.

7. The Leache’s Train millipede

11 millipedes on he ground.jpeg
This type of millipede can grow quite large.

The Leache’s Train millipede (Euryurus leachii) is also known as the American train millipede, due to the fact that it can grow to be quite large. These animals are slow moving and at first glance may seem like a small snake. In fact, they are not really dangerous to humans at all and can even be kept as pets if you have a large tank or aquarium available for them.

The Leache’s Train millipede (Euryurus leachii) was originally thought to be a member of the genus Euryuridion, but later studies showed that it was actually an undescribed species.

This is one of the types of millipedes that is found throughout much of the United States and other areas around the world where it has been introduced by humans. These animals are found primarily in wooded areas where there are trees or shrubs for them to hide under

Best Products For Different Types of Millipedes And Millipede Control

12 a millipede in leaf litter
Because millipedes can get out of control, it’s important to have a management strategy with thee pests in mind.

Millipedes are a common pest in many homes and yards. They are not dangerous, but you probably still don’t want to deal with a millipede infestation around your home or in your yard and garden.

If you have a problem with millipedes, there are methods you can use to help control and get rid of them.

One of the easiest ways to control millipedes is by using insecticides that kill them on contact or that slow down their movement. Some chemicals kill some types of millipedes directly while others make it harder for them to move around so they can’t find food or mates as easily.

Using different types of repellents, sprays, or insecticides may help to keep an infestation from getting out of hand quickly, but it’s important to remember that there are other factors besides investing in products that will affect how well millipede treatment and control works.

Here are some of our favorite products for how to get rid of different types of millipedes effectively.

Mighty Mint Peppermint Oil Garden Spray

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Mighty Mint Peppermint Oil Garden Spray is a natural solution for getting rid of millipedes. It can be used as a spray or as a foliar spray, and it works well on not just millipedes but also other pests like aphids and whiteflies.

Mighty Mint Peppermint Oil Garden Spray is made from pure peppermint oil mixed with water. The peppermint oil is the active ingredient that will help keep your garden free of millipedes and other pests.

The best time to use Mighty Mint Peppermint Oil Garden Spray is right before rain so it can get into the soil where you want it to go. If there isn’t any rain planned in the near future, you can water your plants directly with the Mighty Mint Peppermint Oil Spray to get the same results.

You should use this product every three days until all of the millipedes are gone from your garden.

Wondercide Outdoor Pest Control Spray

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Wondercide Outdoor Pest Control Spray is an all-natural and environmentally safe solution that can be used to get rid of different types of millipedes. This non-toxic spray is made from natural oils, which means it won’t harm your home or family. Wondercide contains no harsh chemicals, so you can feel confident using it around children and pets.

The product is suitable for use on hard surfaces such as concrete and asphalt, and can also be sprayed on plants or lawns. The active ingredients in Wondercide include peppermint oil, lemongrass oil and cedar oil. These ingredients are proven to repel insects without harming the environment.

When using Wondercide Outdoor Pest Control Spray to get rid of millipedes, be sure to apply the product directly onto any areas where you have spotted millipedes. If there are any other areas where they might hide, such as under mulch or in cracks in your foundation, apply the product there as well.

Harris Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer

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You can also get rid of different types of millipedes using Harris Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer. Also known as DE, this is a natural product that is safe for humans, pets and the environment. The product provides long lasting relief from millipede problems as well as a variety of other pest issues.

Harris Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer has been used to control millipede infestations in homes and businesses. This product is a powder that is mixed with water and sprayed onto areas where millipedes are present. It works by dehydrating the millipedes, killing them.

The product can be used in gardens, garages, attics and crawl spaces, basements and other areas where millipedes may reside.

Spectrum Brands Spectracide Triazicide

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Spectracide Triazicide is an insecticide that has been proven to effectively kill millipedes. You can use this product indoors or outdoors to kill these pests quickly.

Before using any product, it’s important that you shake it up as directed on the label. This ensures that all of the ingredients are properly mixed together so you get maximum effectiveness from your treatment.

Next, spray the product directly onto your millipede infestation or where you think they might be hiding (such as under rocks or logs). The spray will kill any millipedes that come into contact with it immediately upon contact.

Pamkelle Ultrasonic Pest Repeller

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Millipedes are common pests that live outdoors, but they can also invade your home, as we’ve mentioned. One good way to deal with different types of millipedes indoors is to use an ultrasonic pest repellent that uses high frequency sound waves to drive them away from your property.

The Pamkelle Ultrasonic Pest Repeller works by emitting an ultrasonic sound wave which is too high for humans and other mammals to hear, but which keeps insects away. These sound waves are similar to those produced by bats and other animals that use echolocation to navigate in the dark or find food sources at night.

The repellent comes with a built-in LED light which will keep you safe at night while you’re walking around your yard or garden inspecting for pests like millipedes or other insects.

Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer For Indoors

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Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer For Indoors is a ready-to-use solution containing permethrin that kills millipedes by contact. This product also kills other crawling insects including spiders, ants, roaches, crickets and more.

It comes in a spray bottle with an adjustable nozzle that allows you to apply it where it is needed most. Once applied, Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer For Indoors provides up to 60 days of residual protection against crawling insects indoors!

How To Manage Millipedes In Your Garden Properly

Using different types of repellents, sprays, or insecticides may help to keep an infestation from getting out of hand quickly, but it’s important to remember that there are other factors besides investing in products that will affect how well millipede treatment and control works.

The first thing you will want to do is make sure you get rid of all the food sources for your millipede infestation. This means removing any leaves or mulch that may be harboring eggs or larvae for future generations.

In addition, make sure you remove any dead branches from trees or bushes and clean up any decaying vegetation on the ground. If there are any piles of leaves, grass clippings or other organic material, make sure they are removed as well.

You should also consider using products designed to control these pests and their insect food sources, like those products listed above. If you do this, make sure to use an insecticide or product that specifically targets millipedes and contains ingredients such as bifenthrin or permethrin. Of course, also make sure to follow all label instructions and precautions when using pesticides around your yard and garden area.

Next, look around your house and make sure there aren’t any cracks or openings where millipedes might enter. If there are any holes in your foundation or around pipes or drains, seal them up. While most types of millipedes prefer to live outdoors, some may accidentally wander inside if they find easy access.

And remember, if you notice that millipedes are getting out of control in your yard or garden, it may be best to contact a professional pest control expert. Although most types of millipedes are not dangerous, an infestation could be a sign of a worse pest problem, and one that you will want to nip in the bud right away.

We hope this has been a helpful guide on the different types of millipedes you might come across in the United States!

Have you ever seen any of the above listed types of millipedes? Share your thoughts or stories with us in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading!

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