Actual Size: ½” to 6 ½”

Characteristics: Brownish, elongated, and cylindrical

Legs: Common species have between 34 and 400 legs

Antennae: Yes

Wings: No

Habitat: Usually harbor under rocks, vegetation, and logs. Attracted to areas of moisture.


  • Need moisture to survive.
  • Nocturnal and stay hidden during daylight hours.
  • Cannot survive indoors for more than a few days.

Millipedes in Bristol

Sometimes called “thousand leggers”, millipedes are a common pest. Millipedes normally live outdoors where they feed on damp and decaying wood and vegetable matter, as well as tender roots and green leaves on the ground. Many millipede species protect themselves by means of glands that secrete an unpleasant odor. Millipedes are a common household pest across the United States, including right here in Tennessee. They usually are seen outside, but it’s not uncommon for them to get indoors in the fall months as the weather shifts.

Millipede Habitat

In nature, millipedes are scavengers and feed mainly on decaying organic matter. They occasionally feed on young plants but the damage inflicted is seldom significant. Millipedes have high moisture requirements and tend to remain hidden under objects during the day. Millipedes often leave their natural habitats at night and crawl about over sidewalks, patios, and foundations. At certain times of the year, especially during autumn, they may migrate into buildings in great numbers.

Millipede Behaviors & Dangers

Millipedes may be a nuisance when they get inside your property, but they do not bite, sting, or transmit disease. They also do not infest food, clothing, or wood. Millipedes are simply a nuisance by their presence, often invading crawl spaces, damp basements and first floors of structures at ground level. Frequent sightings of these pests indoors usually mean that there are large numbers breeding on the outside in the lawn, or beneath mulch, leaf litter or debris close to the foundation. Because of their moisture requirement, millipedes do not survive indoors more than a few days unless there are very moist or damp conditions.

If you are dealing with excess millipedes in your Bristol property, contact your local exterminators.