Millipedes are quite common in gardens,and are generally found in damp areas such as under leaves, grass and dead plant debris, or in cracks and crevices.

Occasionally they may wander into dwellings!

They are mainly nocturnal and feed on decaying plant material, only occasionally causing damage to plants such as bulbs, potato tubers, seedlings and strawberry fruit.

The harmless adult millipede can grow up to 40mm (1½”) long, is black, brownish or creamy white in colour, and has two pairs of legs on each body segment.


The spotted snake millipede does most damage.

This one grows up to 20mm (¾”) long, and it is creamy white, with a row of red dots down the sides of the body.

Female millipedes can lay from 20-300 eggs in the soil,and hatch within a few weeks.


There are no pesticides available to the amateur gardener to control them.

To avoid plant damage grow less susceptible potato cultivars, and keep strawberry fruit off the ground by putting straw underneath them.

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