17 Facts about Millipedes & Centipedes | Millipedes vs Centipedes |

Millipedes belong to the Arthropoda family; they are usually black, grey, and red in color and have many segments on their body.

The average length of a millipede is about 1 to 2 inches. You can found them in your house or garden very easily because they need a moist environment to survive and dead decayed plants to eat. Millipedes have elongated cylindrical bodies with many pairs of legs which helps them crawling.

If you have millipedes’ infestation in your house then you should definitely get rid of them, although they don’t harm any humans they can emit foul smell which can irritate your skin. Here in the article, we will tell you some interesting facts about millipedes.

1. How far do millipedes travel?

Millipedes are small insects and their approximate length is about 2 inches only but they can travel for 50 feet in search of a suitable living environment which is still not very far.  Millipedes started moving towards houses when outdoor surroundings become dry and unsuitable for their living.

2. How many feet do millipedes have?

Millipedes generally have 30 to 400 legs. But it also depends upon the segment on their body; one segment has 1 pair of legs that means that the more segments there are, the more legs will also be in his body, almost every segment has one pair of legs. The maximum number of legs in a millipede has recorded was 750 legs, which is still not broken.

3. How millipedes move?

If you have ever looked at millipedes closely, you will find that they are moving in a wave pattern from one end to another that means for walking, they pick up one pair of the leg from one end and some pair of legs touched the ground for the next movement, and then the second pair of legs start to moving up and again goes down and this motion repeatedly executed for moving forward.

4. How millipedes glow?

Not many but some specific species of millipedes glow in the dark the one species of millipedes that glows in dark is Motyxia, a protein produces in their body that helps them in glowing.  Many millipedes also glow in the day when they see any predators; millipedes use their glowing effect as a defense but in some cases, millipedes glow while adapting their bodies to heat.

5. What millipedes eat?

Millipedes are considered as omnivores that mean they eat dead decayed plants and sometimes dead insects also. In very extreme conditions, they start to eat healthy plants, flowers and bugs but mostly they depend upon the old dead pieces of plants. In animal, they eat small snails and earthworms; basically what they will eat depends upon the environment they are living in.

6. What millipedes can live together?

Millipedes that have the same requirements can live together, if you are going to have different species of millipedes in one single room then make sure they have the same characteristics and same requirements of food and shelter.  You should know that different species of millipedes can be together only if you provide enough food and a moist environment so that they don’t need to compete with each other for shelter.

7. What millipedes are harmless?

All millipedes are generally harmless to humans but they generate a fluid with pungent smell that can cause irritation when it comes in skin contact, so it is recommended that you should wear gloves while handling millipedes.

8. When do millipedes go away?

Millipedes leaves their place when it  became dry and moist-less, during summer and spring when outside environment become more warm and rough, they move towards houses or yards in search of humid places. In early summer, they start crawling towards your houses for their survival and reproduction.

9. When do millipedes come out?

After summer in the early rainy season, these millipedes start to head outdoors. Millipedes rely on the fallen leaf so the fall season is also very likable for millipedes and they tend to go and attack trees for eating those fallen leaves in the fall season.

10. When are millipedes most active?

Millipede generally are most active at night, they start roaming  in search of food, because in summer, even the houses tends to be dry and humid-free, but nights are more damp than day, that’s why they start crawling at night.

11. When do millipedes migrate?

Millipedes migrate in the summer season, towards residential buildings and houses for survival because they require a damp place to live in. during summer and spring, the outdoor surroundings become dry especially in the day so they migrate towards houses for shelter.

12. Where do millipedes come from?

Millipedes come from damp location like near to the sea under the bridge, or your local dustbin. Their favorite location is under the rock or log of wood, where they can find lots of junk to eat. If there is a lake or small garden near your locality, then there are chances that there will be tons of millipedes living in that area. 

13. Where do millipedes live in the house?

Millipedes can live under the sink or wash basin or near your dish washer or washing machine, basically they live wherever they find moisture. But mostly millipedes don’t survive much in houses because at some point the houses also become dry with the season.

14. Which millipedes smell bad?

No millipedes smell bad because they don’t release bad smell every time, they only release bad smell when someone touches them or trying to squeeze them, almost every millipede has this characteristic.

15. Which are poisonous millipedes or centipedes?

Centipedes are more venomous as compared to millipedes because they can bite or sting you if you try to kill it. A centipede’s bite can leave a mark for several days, although it doesn’t cause any serious problem but their bite may leave marks and pain.

16. Why do millipedes stink?

Millipedes don’t always stink, they stink when you try to hurt them, they have glands which activates when they found themselves in difficult situations.

17. Why are millipedes bad?

Generally millipedes are not very bad; in fact they protect your house from other insects, and they are harmless. But they look creepy and release foul smells and that makes them nothing but nuisance for us. 

Difference between Millipedes and Centipedes

  • Both millipedes and centipedes are arthropods, with segmented structure.
  • Millipedes are more like worms with legs (2 pairs of legs each body part), while centipedes have only one pair of legs each body parts, are dull in color, and they have two pairs of antennae, one on each end of their bodies.
  • Another major difference you’ll note is that millipedes crawl very slowly and they dig, while centipedes are known for their skill and speed (they will peek around). Shorter species of millipede will also coddle in a ball when threatened, like roly-polies.
  • Centipedes can sting if dealt with, though they aren’t generally a threat to humans.


The best thing about millipedes is that they don’t lay eggs in your houses, so there will be very less chance of their infestation again in your house if you cleaned your house well. Millipedes look horrifying at night especially for kids so it is necessary to get rid of them even if they don’t harm any human. An average millipede can live up to 10 years which makes them more passionate about their survival.