University of Maryland Extension


coiled millipede

Key Points

  • Millipedes are cylindrical in shape, have 2 pairs of legs per body segment, and short antennae. They vary in length from less than an inch to more than two inches.
  • The most common millipedes that invade homes are brown and 1 to 1 1/2 inches long.
  • Millipedes live outdoors and feed on decaying organic material or plants.
  • They occasionally enter homes but cause no damage.


  • Prevent them from coming in by eliminating gaps around doors and screens.

  • Remove decaying vegetation, leaf litter, or mulch, and reduce moisture around the foundation.

  • Sweep up and return outdoors any millipedes found indoors. 

  • Chemical control is not necessary. 

Additional Resource

NC State Extension - Controlling Millipedes in and Around Homes. Provides good information on management but the use of insecticides for millipede control or prevention is not recommended. 

Rev. 2020

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2020. Web Accessibility

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your local University of Maryland Extension Office.