Print page
Portuguese Black Millipede - Bayer - Pest Management
Scientific name: Ommatoiulus moreletii


Black and shiny in colour, these Millipedes have a long cylindrical shape and are multi-segmented. Typically, they reach 20-45mm and are distinguished by the large number of legs which usually number in the hundreds. They are known for their habit of curling into a flat spiral for protection.

A Portuguese native, the Black Portuguese Millipede was introduced into Australia in the 1950s.

As herbivores, these pests enjoy decaying plant matter and are most commonly found in leaf litter, decaying wood or mulch. They live in woodlands and grasslands but also like gardens which provide a variety of different preferred habitats.

The Black Portuguese Millipede is an invasive pest species and normally assembles in very large numbers. Millipedes are most active in autumn and typically, an infestation can be expected after the first rains, following a drought or dry spell. They are also visible in spring when the temperatures begin to rise.

The female lays her eggs in a small hole in the soil and when the juveniles emerge, they go through a considerable number of moults before reaching maturity in 2 years’ time.

Portuguese Millipedes have a series of glands running all along the underside of their body which secrete a yellow liquid with a strong odour when they are agitated.

More of a nuisance than a threat, Portuguese Black Millipedes can be distressing due to their ability to invade in their thousands.

They are active and visible at night but are drawn to the light which encourages them to enter buildings - where they can damage carpets, furniture, curtains and bedding with their pungent yellow secretion which stains fabrics and even skin.

There have been some reports of damage to crops but this is not typical behaviour.

Recommended products

Tempo Logo Envu Insecticide

Tempo AU & NZ

Suspension Concentrate

Tempo is a fast-acting, knock-down, broad-spectrum...

See product
Temprid 75 Logo Envu Insecticide

Temprid 75 AU & NZ

Suspension Concentrate

Temprid75 is a general insecticide that will control most...

See product

Ficam W AU & NZ

Wettable Powder

A residual broad spectrum spray for control of a wide range...

See product

Other Problems

book lice can damage food sources


Detailed information on the pest including classification,...

Read more
Spider - Bayer - Pest Control


Most spiders are harmless and play an important role in...

Read more
Carpet Beetle - Bayer Pest Control

Carpet Beetle

Including varied Carpet beetle, Furniture Carpet beetle,...

Read more
Flea - Bayer Pest Control


Adult fleas live exclusively as parasites of warm blooded...

Read more

Case-Making Clothes Moth

They are typically 7–8 mm in length when the wings are...

Read more
Hide and Larder Beetle - Bayer

Hide and Larder Beetle

Typically associated with materials with high protein...

Read more

Other Insects

Siverfish, Black Portuguese millipede, Banana Flower...

Read more
Tropical Warehouse Moth - Bayer

Tropical Warehouse Moth

Commonly also referred to as the Almond moth or Dried...

Read more
midge - biting flies

Midge - Biting flies

Midges (or "biting flies") are a group of insects that...

Read more


There are over 850 species of tick. They are all...

Read more
Grain Weevil - Stored Product Pest - Bayer

Grain Weevil

Grain weevils do not fly but instead, infestations often...

Read more


Silverfish are nocturnal and secretive insects that are...

Read more