Contrary to popular belief, millipedes do not bite. They are safe and harmless insects that some people actually keep as pets. Millipedes’ main diet consists of plant material that has decomposed. They tend to reside in damp, dark places—beneath flower pots, boards, stones, or wherever there is excess moisture. Millipedes may enter buildings in large groups just after a rainfall or during times of cooler temperatures. They are often found within mulch and are generally considered beneficial organisms within the environment. Some cite the fact that secretions from the millipede repel other insects as a reason why they are beneficial.
While millipedes do not bite, the sight of them can still be unnerving, especially when they appear in large numbers. They have the ability to crawl up walls and enter homes through small openings. A common moniker for the millipede is “thousand leggers.” They carry a passing resemblance with worms and have multiple segments to their body. Each segment has a couple of pairs of legs. When they are bothered, they tend to curl up in a ball; some even go so far as to produce a very unpleasant-smelling fluid.
Millipedes tend to dwell in larger numbers in areas where there is an abundance of rotting plant matter and in wooded areas. These conditions provide an excellent environment for the millipedes to obtain food and reproduce. Millipedes have the ability to deposit anywhere from twenty to three-hundred eggs at a time. In just a few weeks the young millipedes emerge from their eggs. They develop through several stages known as instars before fully maturing.