In South Australia they are commonly known as “Black Millipedes” or the “Portuguese Millipede” As well as being an unwanted pest in homes, they are herbivores so in particularly high numbers they can destroy vegetation and seedlings.

If you’ve ever squished a millipede you’ll certainly be aware of the pungent odour they emit and is part of their natural defence mechanism that has evolved to ward off prey, particularly birds. Millipedes will also secrete a yellowish liquid that can stain hands and clothes and can be irritating if it comes in contact with your eyes. It can, however, be quickly removed by washing in water.