Millipedes are a group of arthropods that are characterised by having two pairs of jointed legs on most body segments; they are known scientifically as the class Diplopoda, the name being derived from this feature.
Each double-legged segment is a result of two single segments fused together. Most millipedes have very elongated cylindrical or flattened bodies with more than 20 segments, while pill millipedes are shorter and can roll into a ball. Although the name “millipede” derives from the Latin for “thousand feet”, no known species has 1,000; the record of 750 legs belongs to Illacme plenipes.
There are approximately 12,000 named species classified into 16 orders and around 140 families, making Diplopoda the largest class of myriapods, an arthropod group which also includes centipedes and other multi-legged creatures.
Millipedes come in a variety of body shapes and sizes, ranging from 2 mm (0.08 in) to around 35 cm (14 in) in length, and can have as few as eleven to over a hundred segments.
They are generally black or brown in colour, although there are a few brightly coloured species, and some have aposematic colouring to warn that they are toxic. Species of Motyxia produce cyanide as a chemical defence and are bioluminescent.
Millipedes are not that harmful to humans, but they may enter a residence in numbers, killing them by squashing is not advised as it releases Hydrogen Cyanide, which can permanently stain materials and irritate eyes.
Number of precautions are advised by the Professionals at HMG Pest Control in order to keep your house millipede free. Our technicians are available 24/7 at your service to keep you and your loved ones safe.
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