Millipedes live outdoors in damp areas such as under leaves, needles and dead plant debris, or in cracks and crevices. They feed on damp and decaying vegetable matter and are beneficial as "recyclers" of organic matter. However, they become a pest when they migrate into buildings. Millipedes are usually found in the garage, basement or lowest level although they may wander into other parts of the house. They are most active at night and usually hide during the day in cracks and other moist locations. Millipedes are harmless; they do not feed upon building structures or furnishings and they cannot bite or sting.
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Identification and Control Information
- Entomological Notes: Millipedes (PDF)—Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension
- Integrated Pest Management In and Around the Home: Millipedes and Centipedes (PDF)—University of California
[Photos, left to right: Gary Alpert, Harvard University, Bugwood.org; Joseph O'Brien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org; Gary Alpert, Harvard University, Bugwood.org]