Image via flickr by Chris Wightman

Have you seen millipedes in or around your Flagstaff home? Millipedes aren’t insects; they belong to a subphylum of arthropods. These invertebrates have a long body that is made up of many segments. Each segment has two pairs of legs each. The majority of millipedes are herbivorous and shy away from light, choosing to live in the soil or under stones and logs. Their primary diet consists of decaying wood and dead leaves, but they will eat live vegetation when necessary to survive. Millipedes vary in size. When they shed their skin, which is commonly referred to as molting, they add new segments and legs.

Millipedes can live up to eight years and reproduce by laying eggs. They will lay 20 to 300 eggs in the soil yearly, during the spring. In ideal conditions — when there are excess moisture and abundant food sources — millipede populations can become quite large. When millipedes find that their natural habitat is no longer suitable due to weather conditions such as flooding or seasonal changes, they will migrate. These migrations can consist of a large number of millipedes, and they often end up invading homes and other buildings to find refuge.

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