Actual Size: ½ to 6 ½”

Characteristics: Brownish and elongated bodies with small legs.

Legs: Common species have between 34 and 400 legs

Antennae: Yes

Wings: No

Habitat: Drawn to dark, sheltered, and damp areas. Usually found beneath rocks, logs, and other outdoor debris.


  • Requires plenty of moisture to survive.
  • Most active at night and tends to stay hidden during the day.
  • Generally cannot survive indoors for more than a few days.

Millipedes in Memphis TN Metro Area

Millipedes, commonly referred to as “thousand leggers,” can be household pests. Typically, these creatures inhabit outdoor environments where they feed on moist and decomposing wood, vegetable matter, tender roots, and green leaves on the ground. To defend themselves, many millipede species possess glands that release an unpleasant odor. Millipedes can be found in all U.S. states, including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as in Puerto Rico.

Millipede Habitat

In their natural habitat, millipedes serve as scavengers, primarily consuming decaying organic matter. While they may occasionally nibble on young plants, the resulting damage is typically minimal. Millipedes have a strong preference for moist environments and typically seek shelter under objects during daylight hours. However, they become more active at night and may crawl across sidewalks, patios, and foundations. During certain periods, particularly in autumn, they may migrate in large numbers into buildings.

Millipede Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Although millipedes may enter buildings in significant quantities, it’s important to note that they do not bite, sting, or transmit diseases. Furthermore, they do not infest food, clothing, or wood. Millipedes are primarily considered a nuisance due to their presence. They often invade areas such as crawl spaces, damp basements, and ground-level floors of structures. If you frequently spot millipedes indoors, it usually indicates a large breeding population outside in the lawn or in close proximity to the foundation under mulch, leaf litter, or debris. Since millipedes require moisture, they typically do not survive indoors for more than a few days unless there are persistently moist or damp conditions present.

If you are dealing with excess millipedes in your Memphis TN Metro Area property, contact your local exterminators.