Each double-legged segment is a result of two single segments fused together. Most millipedes have very elongated cylindrical or flattened bodies with more than 20 segments.
First appearing in the Silurian period, millipedes are some of the oldest known land animals. Most millipedes are slow-moving detritivores, eating decaying leaves and other dead plant matter. Some eat fungi or drink plant fluids, and a small minority are predatory. Millipedes are generally harmless to humans, although some can become household or garden pests. Millipedes can be unwanted especially in greenhouses where they can cause severe damage to emergent seedlings.
All species of millipedes are either black, brown, and shiny reddish. They can be anywhere from 2 inches to 11 inches long in tropical areas. Local millipedes indigenous to the United States and Canada reach usually reach up to 3 inches.
Some millipedes are herbivorous, feeding on living plants, and some species can become serious pests of crops. Millipedes in the order Polyxenida graze algae from bark, and Platydesmida feed on fungi. A few species are omnivorous or in Callipodida and Chordeumatida occasionally carnivorous.
How to clean up millipedes?
- A heavy stomp.
- Spray an insecticide for Millipedes
- Lay a trap and bait them to capture them
- Don’t let the room get too humid
If you can’t find them, you can hunt for them in Mulch leaves, decaying grass, your lawn, and areas with high moisture. Millipedes are attracted to mulch and leaves.
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- Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (2022e, April 8). Millipede. Wikipedia. Retrieved April 15, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millipede#Habitat_and_distribution
2. Sierwald, Petra; Bond, Jason E. (2007). “Current status of the myriapod class Diplopoda (Millipedes): Taxonomic diversity and phylogeny”. Annual Review of Entomology.
3. Minelli, Alessandro (September 29, 2015). Treatise on Zoology – Anatomy, Taxonomy, Biology. The Myriapoda, Volume 2