Millipedes

Identification

  • Colour Black, dark brown, shiny reddish
  • Size From 1.5 cm to 8 cm long
  • Description Have hard, cord-like bodies made up of multiple segments with two pair of legs on each segment.
  • Notes Some have almost 100 legs, but because they are so closely arranged, millipedes tend to move slowly, with their legs pushing in a wave-like pattern.

General Facts

Why do I have millipedes?

There are about 60 species of millipedes in Canada, all of whom live outdoors in dark places with lots of moisture such as piles of leaf litter or rotting logs. They also burrow in areas where soil stays moist, like under rocks or piles of mulch. Millipedes feed on decomposing organic matter, such as leaf litter and dead wood, although they can also eat the delicate roots of seedlings or ripening fruit lying on the ground. They sometimes venture into the basements of homes, but usually die of dehydration a day or two after entering.

How worried should I be about millipedes?

Millipedes play an important role in ecosystem, helping to break down plant matter, but can damage sprouting seeds, seedlings, and ripening fruit. When alarmed or handled, millipedes coil up in a tight spiral shape and emit toxic chemicals, which can result in millipede burn. Symptoms include skin irritation, brown staining of the skin, blistering, and itching or burning of the skin. Millipedes don't usually visit in numbers requiring pest control, but if your home is overwhelmed, you'll need the help of professional pest control services.

How can I prevent millipedes invading?

Keep basements clean, dry, and free of clutter, Seal exterior cracks and crevices, Look for hard, shell-like remnants

Other pests related to Millipedes

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