||Blackish or brownish, some red, orange or with mottled patterns.
||Long, cylindrical and wormlike
||1/16 – 4½ ” (2-155 mm)
||Found throughout U.S.
Millipedes are sometimes called "thousand-leggers" because of
their many pairs of legs, but they can actually have anywhere from
30-90+ pairs of legs, depending on the species. The leggiest is
Illacme plenipes, which can have more than 333 pairs of legs.
Most millipedes are nocturnal and are primarily scavengers,
feeding on decaying plants and occasionally dead insects. In the
autumn, millipedes are known to migrate in great numbers.
Millipedes are found throughout the world, with about 1,000
species occurring in the United States alone. They are typically
found in areas of high moisture and decaying vegetation, such as
under trash, in piles of grass clippings, flower-bed mulches, piles
of leaves, etc. Millipedes do not usually survive indoors for more
than a few days unless there are high moisture conditions and a
food supply is present.
Some millipede species give off an ill-smelling fluid through
openings along the sides of the body. Underscoring the importance
of millipede control, this fluid can be toxic to small animals and
pets, and can cause small blisters on humans.