Loosely translated from Latin, the word "millipede" means "thousand feet." While these creatures don't have that many legs, they do have quite a few. Millipedes are non-insect arthropods. Numerous hard-shelled segments make up their worm-like bodies. As millipedes mature, they add body segments. Common millipedes reach 1/2 to 2 inches long, but some species grow three times that length or more.

Millipedes and centipedes look similar, but these distant relatives are easy to tell apart. Each segment of a millipede body has two pairs of short legs. Each centipede body segment has one pair of long legs. When disturbed, slow-moving millipedes curl into a tight spiral. Disturb a centipede, and it runs for cover.


Under normal conditions, millipedes feed on decaying leaves and other decomposing garden debris. Living plants aren't typically on the menu unless millipede numbers increase and decaying food gets scarce. Then young, tender seedlings take the brunt of the damage.

Because millipedes feed at night, you'll rarely catch them in the act. Signs of nighttime feeding include irregular chewing marks on plant stems and on new plant growth. If you suspect millipedes, inspect areas with moist or decaying material, including garden mulches and fallen leaves, around injured plants.


Millipedes spend most of their time hiding in soil or damp plant debris, but they often enter homes after heavy rains or when fall temperatures start to drop. Once inside they don't live long, but they're unwelcome just the same.

Effective millipede control reaches these pests in their hiding places and stops them before they come indoors. Amdro® brand products can help you keep millipedes outdoors where they belong:

  • Amdro Quick Kill® Home Perimeter Insect Killer Granules are ideal for creating a barrier of protection immediately around your home. The sand in this product helps the active ingredients penetrate surface material, such as mulch, to work quickly and effectively. It kills millipedes by contact and keeps protecting your perimeter for up to three months.
  • Amdro Quick Kill Lawn Insect Killer Granules II catch up with millipedes before they breach your home perimeter. Apply the granules with a standard lawn spreader, then water the treated area lightly. The soil penetrating formula reaches millipedes above and below the surface to kill within 24 hours and keep killing millipedes for up to three months.
  • Amdro Quick Kill Outdoor Insect Killer, available in ready-to-spray and concentrate liquids, works in minutes to kill millipedes by contact and protect your property and your plants for up to three months. Use it on lawns, landscape plantings and flower gardens. You can even treat your foundation up to a maximum height of 3 feet.


Repair foundation cracks and leaky faucets that create damp, millipede-friendly hideaways. Then keep your foundation and gardens free of leaf and plant litter so millipedes will find another home.

Always read product labels and follow the instructions carefully.
Amdro and Amdro Quick Kill are registered trademarks of Central Garden & Pet Company.

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