Unusual Pets
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Unusual Pets

You probably are wondering why would anyone want a creepy and crawling creature like a millipede for a pet. You might be surprised to learn that many people keep them as pets. You can not cuddle them or teach them tricks but the are many people that like them as pets.

Giant black millipedes are creepy looking but they are harmless and are good pets for some people.  Giant black millipedes are very large. Most giant millipedes are collected as adults so it is hard to know how long they will live in captivity but is usually 3 to 5 years.

They can be comfortably housed in a standard 5 to 10 gallon terrarium with a secure screen lid.   If you plan on keeping  several millipedes, you will need to provide a larger tank.   They are very social and you can keep as many as you have room for together as long as you provide plenty of food for them.

Giant black millipedes like their temperature to be between 75 and 85 degrees.  The way to provide heat for millipedes is to use under tank heating pads designed for this purpose. Red or purple low wattage bulbs can be used but they will quickly dry out the environment.

Millipedes do not need a special light source to be happy.  Do not use bright lights as they will dry out their home and make them miserable.  The room light is usually enough for them but if you want more light to view your pets us a non heat producing fluorescent bulb.

These millipedes need high humidity and you will need a substrate that will help maintain healthy humidity levels.  Orchid bark, peat moss and Bed-a-Beast work very well.  They will all retain moisture very well.  Avoid anything absorbent or drying like sand, gravel or paper products.  Small patches of sphagnum moss and live pillow moss added to the enclosure will help with humidity.  It will also keep the enclosure moist for the millipedes so they do not dry out.

Giant black millipedes like to climb so provide them with  slabs of cork bark as well as various sticks and logs to climb on.  You can add live and artificial plants and vines for them to crawl on.  Your millipedes will nibble on the plants so make sure they are not toxic.

Your millipedes will need a shallow dish of water. You can put in more than one dish is you have several millipedes.  They will get their water dirty so you must check it regularly and make sure it is clean.  The water bowl will need to be disinfected regularly.

Their humidity can be as high as 80 percent.  Regular misting of the entire enclosure is necessary.  Misting in the morning and again at night will work very well but be sure not to let the bedding get soggy.

Millipedes are vegetarians and they are not fussy eaters and will eat just about anything you give them.  A few of their favorite foods are bananas, apples, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes and carrots.  You can also give them a bit of bread or high quality dog food on an occasional basis.  You must dust their food with calcium powder.  You can also put a cuttle bone in their enclosure.

Giant black millipedes are friendly and will quickly learn to tolerate being held.  Newly acquired millipedes may demonstrate a defense mechanism of curling into a tight ball.  With regular and gentle handling this behavior will stop.  They are a creepy looking pet but some people really enjoy having them as pets.

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Comments (2)

I have not kept millipedes as pets, but have kept stick insects as pets.

I have not seen people having insects as pets. Thank you Norma, for the great info and support.