The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Northamptonshire, England Eng

What is the name of this insect, and is it destructive to garden plants, please? (Thanks in anticipation.). About an inch or more long, caramel brown colour, lots of legs, often found in garden composter. (Rather resembles a centipede but much thinner, lighter colour, and more legs.)



Millipede. I think they eat dead leaves and wood.

9 Aug, 2017


Yup they do Hywel

9 Aug, 2017


Thank you. So they don't pose a threat to garden plants, either above or below ground?

9 Aug, 2017


If disturbed millipedes they coil up like a garden hose. Centipedes run away usually or stand their ground and bite, rare. They are of great value both in the compost bin and the garden in that they consume dead plant materials. Don't worry, be happy.

10 Aug, 2017


I agree, be thankful you have them along with wood lice to consume dead plant matter.

10 Aug, 2017


could also be a centipede many several different species. if its a fast runner more likely to be a centipede as they are predators. if its slow more likely to be a millipede. both to be found in compost bins.

They are not insects either but myriapods and the difference between these 2 major sub groups are :if each body segment has 1pr of legs its a centipede, if 2 pairs per body segment its a millipede.

10 Aug, 2017


Thanks everyone. I will never willingly kill another!

10 Aug, 2017


I think both centipedes and millipedes are fascinating creatures, something prehistoric and alien about them - it's all those legs I suppose. Just imagine being tiny and having a predator centipede racing towards you, something to give you nightmares if you are that way inclined! As it is they are helpful little creatures and fun to watch disappear when they get disturbed!

12 Aug, 2017

How do I say thanks?

Answer question


Not found an answer?