This photo was recently posted to our Facebook page:
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The user who posted the picture explained that she found the creature in her bed, which must have been quite an alarming sight to wake up to! She said that she took the photo and then released the creature outside. On the post, other users commented about what this creature might be and came up with the idea that this is probably a centipede.
She is on the right track! We believe this is a millipede. Like centipedes, millipedes are also arthropods that have a lot of legs. They are both dark brown or black. Millipedes are segmented and have two pairs of jointed legs per segment. Centipedes, on the other hand, have only one pair of jointed legs per segment. Centipedes also often have longer antenna, and their legs sometimes appear longer because they are more spread out.
Millipedes are scavengers that live in dark, moist environments. They enjoy living in leaf litter where they can eat and help break down organic matter to assist with decomposition and returning nutrients to the environment. They are crucial to the ecosystem! When millipedes end up inside someone’s house, they usually do not survive for a long period of time because the environment is so different from what they are used to. In other words, it’s great that our reader placed this millipede back outside! Since the millipede was found inside, she might want to check to make sure her windows, doors, and vents, are properly sealed so that critters don’t keep entering her home. If she usually leaves her windows and doors open, she might want to consider adding a screen so that small creatures don’t accidentally wander in.
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In summary, a reader posted a picture of critter that she found in her bed. She guessed it was a centipede, which is a great guess! However, we believe this is a different arthropod, a millipede!