What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

What’s this centipede/millipede?
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
November 7, 2010 8:37 pm
Hello! I’ve lived in the same house for 3 years now and just started seeing these bugs around in the last year. (S. Florida, Ft. Lauderdale) I think it’s odd that I did not see them for the first 2 years we lived here. The largest ones are about 2-2.5 inches long and about the diameter of a pencil. They curl up into a ball when startled but will also crawl over my hand easily. I grew up in this area and don’t recall seeing them in any other house I’ve lived in. I live in a single family home in a well-maintained residental neighborhood. We do have a canal in the backyard (but so did other houses I lived in). Thank you!
Signature: Jen from S. Florida

Rusty Millipede

Hi Jen,
We did not have an opportunity to post your letter on the day it arrived, and we decided to try to research your questions this morning.  We learned on BugGuide that this is a Rusty Millipede,
Trigoniulus corallinus, and that it is an imported species from Asia according to a comment by Rowland Shelley on BugGuide.  We would like to research this a bit more to find out when it was introduced and how far it has spread in North America.  Right now, BugGuide only reports it from Florida.  Though we do not have access to the entire article, BioOne indicates that an article entitled INTRODUCTION OF THE MILLIPED, TRIGONIULUS CORALLINUS (GERVAIS, 1847) (SPIROBOLIDA: TRIGONIULIDAE), IN FLORIDA, U.S.A was published in Entomological News in 2005.

Rusty Millipede

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Florida

14 Responses to Rusty Millipede

  1. ryanhegarty says:

    As an interesting note on this post, I live in Gravenhurst, ON, Canada. Part of the Muskoka, and while working on the East side of Miller Island, I saw this exact Millipede. I was cutting some rock and after having been stopped for a few minutes, this Millipede crawled out from a large crack running through the rock and on to a deck. I scooted it out of my way and let it be on it’s merry way. Unfortunately, didn’t have the time to snap a photo.

  2. Kylie says:

    Omg I love millipedes! I have bunch of these in where I live right now! You can find these around humid places, where they thrive. Aren’t they so cute? Look at their faces up close! 🙂
    I don’t think they bite at all. I’ve touched them numerous times and they are harmless to humans. You can just pick them up from your hand, wait ’till they unroll and let them crawl around your hand. If you see one and would like to get rid of it, please don’t squish or step on them. Just simply get a broom and dust pan and place them somewhere else that is far away from your house. Or, you can use the paper method. Place the paper in their direction and let them crawl onto it. Then, you just let them free. 😀 I remember stepping on a black millipede before (I had no idea) I felt it under my shoe and it made a loud crunching noise (it sounded very crunchy, as if you were stepping on a potato chip). If they are in your house, it is probably because of the humidity or maybe you have other insects that are attracting them into your house, so you might want to check your house for other bugs 🙂

  3. Mark Hudson says:

    My place in Coral Springs, Florida is infested with these things!! Every morning there are over 30 around my front door and my neighbors. They somehow get inside my condo and die. These things are so freaking annoying. Does anybody out there know how to prevent them coming into your home?

  4. Sandra Statner says:

    I live in South Florida (Coconut Creek). I’ve been noticing an unusual amount of these Rusty Millipedes lately. Never had this many before. Lived here 13 years. I am wondering why we are seeing so many. Friends have also noticed them around South Florida lately.

  5. Otis says:

    I found a hairy backed pie dish beetle in the Karri forest,king jarrah!! PS I love your work mr bug man PPS. I am only 11

  6. Mary Lanser says:

    We just found one of these crawling on our bedroom floor and we live on Maui. I’m glad they are harmless!

  7. Andy says:

    Hi there! I have seen a lot of them in Vietnam! As Kylie said, they are cute when you look up close at their heads 🙂 Wasnt sure if they release any irritating secretion so didnt handle them, but apparently not- Love their color. Thanks for this post!

  8. Lisa Meador says:

    I too have these and live on Maui, I had one crawl on my leg yesterday and found another 4 in the house and 1 in the bedroom which freaked me out! I’m glad they aren’t hurtful but just kinda gross…

  9. Brandi says:

    I live in St Petersburg Florida and i just saw a bright red one of these on my porch. Uh uh that thing is creepy. I took a video of it as ive never seen one before.

  10. ihatebugs says:

    They are cute until they creep up while you’re sleeping and you wake up with horrible burns.
    (PS it happened to me)

  11. Arquetta says:

    Hello! I am a preschool teacher here in St. Pertersburg, Fla. and our mulched playground is littered with them! We teetered back and forth on centipede or millipede and then of course Googled it! It’s a fun science inquiry activity that we incorporate with our students. We’ve found them “hugging” often as well!

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