Millipede Care

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

General care instructions for most millipede species.

Millipedes are a great additional to most bugs tanks, or ideal as a stand alone pet. They are generally easy to care for, come in a variety of colours, sizes and shapes, but all have very straight forward and simple care. Similar to cockroaches and woodlice, they live on rotting wood, leaves and dropped fruit.


Room Temperature 18-22 C. Spray ever few days, with wet areas. Additional heating is ok but be careful that it does not dry out your millipede enclosure too quickly


Normal lighting. Millipede may hide from bright lighting

Avoid direct sunlight


The deeper the substrate the better for all millipedes. At minimum the substrate should be 4-6 inches deep. Chemical free peat, coco fibre, rotting leaf mulch, bark and sphagnum moss are all idea, especially if mixed together. Most millipedes do also like to explore and climb so plenty of logs, plants and leaf littler on the surface will be appreciated. It is always preferable not to keep digging up your millipede. If it has burrowed under the substrate it may be laying eggs or shedding its exoskeleton and you will disturb this if you collapse the chambers. We would recommend an enclosure with a secure lid such as the faunariums or glass tanks as they are good at escaping and very strong. A good plastic storage box with ventilation holes will also work well. As these inverts are eating the substrate, do ensure it is chemical free and you harvest leaf little and logs away from the roadsides.


Millipedes get most of their nutrition from the substrate. It is important to include lots of rotting wood, moss and leaf littler. They will happily eat their way through this and replace with small black/brown pellets. They will also take a variety of fruit and veg. Calcium is important for millipedes. It is useful to provide this as crushed egg shell or cuttlefish bone. This will allow them to graze at their leisure.


Most millipedes can be relatively easy to sex. Males are missing their 6th or 7th pair of legs. You can quite often see the gonad in adult millipedes.


Most millipedes are harmless to handle. They can produce a yellow staining substance if threatened. This is similar to iodine. If handled regularly it is rare that they produce this. They will die if dropped from height also so make sure all handling is done at a low level or over their substrate.