Late summer rainstorms may introduce a new guest to your home! Millipedes are common garden pests, typically feasting on decaying fruits, vegetables, and leaves.
While millipedes play an essential role in decomposition, they still cause issues when they migrate indoors. These are challenging pests to remove, and their creepy appearance makes these pests harder to eliminate!
If you’re worried about a millipede bite as you’re considering summer and fall pest control options, we can help! Here’s everything you need to know about the creepy pests that crawl into your home and how to avoid getting hurt!
Types of Millipedes in the United States
Surprisingly, Millipedes live in every state, including Alaska! There are over 7,000 millipede species, with around 1,400 living in North America. Their large numbers may rival most insect species, but millipedes are arthropods, like spiders, scorpions, and ticks.
Here are the most common millipede species in the United States!
Narceus americanus, also known as the worm millipede, live in many areas across the east coast and south. Similar to other millipede species, Narceus americanus feasts on decaying plant matter, like fallen leaves and rotting fruit and vegetables.
The Narceus americanus millipede is a dark grey or black color, segmented by red or yellow rings. Despite its name, Narceus americanus does not have a thousand or millions of legs. Most millipede species only have less than 100!
Typically, this species has around 300 red or yellow legs, with the exact color hinging on their ring coloration. These arthropods are the biggest millipedes in North America and can grow up to 5 inches long!
Kentucky flat millipede
Also common in areas near the east coast, the Kentucky flat millipede can cause a problem for many of proof.’s customers serviced by our Long Island branch. The Kentucky flat millipede is black with yellow rings and legs, only offset by a red or orange hue that borders the edge of their bodies.
While smaller than the American giant millipede, these pests can still pack a punch! The Kentucky flat millipede will release a cyanide substance when threatened. For many of the millipede’s predators, this line of defense can stop birds, beetles, and spiders in their tracks.
Spotted Snake Millipede
Originating from Europe, the spotted snake millipede has now spread to several areas within North America.
If you have a garden or flower bed, the spotted snake millipede can cause you trouble. These pests regularly feast on crops and plants in addition to their diet of decaying organic matter.
Most millipedes live surprisingly long lives, some lasting as long as seven years. In captivity, some species can live even longer. Their long lifespans are in part to their lengthy maturation periods. The spotted snake millipede remains a nymph for around three years before finally molting into its adult form. Other species can take even longer!
Occupying the southwestern regions of the United States, the desert millipede is a common sight for proof.’s Arizona clients! Often living more than ten years, the desert millipede is a long-lasting arthropod that can withstand overbearing Arizona and New Mexico summers.
Unlike other millipedes that head indoors, the desert millipede prefers its home within the soil. If you turn over a rock or dig around in the dirt, these critters may crawl around underfoot.
Can a Millipede Bite?
With many known for their toxins, it’s no surprise that you are concerned about a millipede bite. Like other creepy crawlers, millipedes have a reputation for being dangerous creatures.
So, can a millipede bite?
Thankfully, you shouldn’t worry about the possibility of a millipede bite. These little arthropods aren’t able to bite humans, so rest assured that they cannot cause harm if their mandibles get too close for comfort.
However, while a millipede won’t bite you, it can cause harm in other ways.
Are There Dangerous Millipede Species?
Millipedes have other defense mechanisms that differ from a traditional bite. Some release toxins capable of harming smaller predators like insects or birds.
Millipedes shouldn’t cause a fatal reaction for humans, but getting close to these pests may leave you uncomfortable. A Kentucky flat millipede can cause irritation if its cyanide secretions get in your eyes or mouth. Avoid touching these pests if you can, and always wash your hands after handling them!
Narceus americanus or the American giant millipede can produce a cloud of unpleasant odor or liquid to ward off predators. These secretions can cause skin discoloration or irritation called a millipede burn. A millipede burn may cause temporary pain but isn’t a long-lasting ailment.
Take a look at this video to learn how to treat a millipede burn.
While they can release mild toxins, millipedes aren’t generally considered dangerous, but you should always remain wary while handling these multi-legged critters if they stumble inside your home!
Think you Have a Millipede Bite? Check Again!
Did a long wiggling creature with a handful of legs bite you? It’s probably not a millipede creeping nearby! Despite their general physical similarities, centipedes differ from the common millipede you may find in your garden.
Like millipedes, centipedes don’t generally have one hundred legs. Some may have only dozens, while others can have over three hundred! Centipedes generally have thicker legs that flare out at their sides.
You won’t suffer from a millipede bite, but centipedes can leave you with a nasty mark. With their pincher-like appendages, centipedes can quickly latch onto your skin.
Some centipede species are venomous, meaning they inject venom as they attack. Depending on the species, you may have symptoms that range from mild pain and sickness to a debilitating reaction.
The Amazonian giant centipede’s venom can be fatal, but severe reactions like this are rare. Plus, this pest prefers to live in South American countries and won’t be a problem for most U.S. residents!
How Do Millipedes Come Inside?
During heavy rainstorms, millipedes come out in droves. These pests can even appear whenever hot temperatures rise without a raindrop nearby!
While millipedes are a common and often annoying problem for gardens, their indoor presence is an incredible nuisance for homeowners. Crawling through small cracks and crevices, many millipedes head inside to escape the weather or search for other damp places to stay.
Millipedes can’t stay alive for long unless you have significant water damage or leaks. Without access to moisture, they will quickly dry out and die. However, if these pests can find an area to stay, you may have a long-term guest!
Because millipedes aren’t dangerous to humans, their presence won’t cause you any harm. Just don’t try to touch a millipede curled up in a defensive position! proof. knows how annoying an unwelcome pest is, so we want to help when you have a millipede infestation!
These pests typically congregate in your basement or bathroom, where excessive moisture is common. You could spot a few crawling through your bathtub before you shower. Our technicians can survey these areas and discern where the millipedes are entering.
Covered under our Pest-free Guarantee, we can help you control millipedes throughout the year! Through scheduled seasonal visits, proof. technicians will visit your home and treat areas where pests are common.
Contact us today to schedule your treatment!