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University of Wyoming

Millipedes in the Home


Millipedes are wormlike, cylindrical arthropods with many legs. They look like centipedes, but centipedes have 1 pair of legs per body segment, whereas millipedes have 2 pairs of legs per body segment. A centipede's legs also stick out to the side, whereas a millipede's legs are somewhat hidden by their body. This is important because centipedes are predatory and have a painful bite, whereas millipedes won't hurt you.

The primary millipede that citizens send our diagnostics lab for identification is the duff millipede featured below. Compare this arthropod with the larva of an insect, the carpet beetle, featured on our Insects in the Home page and in an extension link below.

Duff Millipede: