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Home > General > Do Giant Centipedes & Millipedes Make Good Pets?

Do Giant Centipedes & Millipedes Make Good Pets?

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Dogs and cats might be the easiest and most obvious choice when youʻre deciding on a new pet but what if you want something different? The world of exotic pets offers a dizzying array of options from more well-known choices like snakes or birds to more unique specimens.

If you searching for an out-of-the-box pet, they donʻt come much more unique than a giant centipede or millipede. These giant arthropods come with more legs than you can count but can you count on them to make great pets? Giant millipedes do make great pets for even inexperienced exotic pet keepers. However, giant centipedes do not and should only be kept by experienced exotic pet owners due to their temperament and toxic bite.

divider-foodWhy Giant Millipedes Make Great Pets

So what makes giant millipedes great pets, even for the first-time exotic pet owner? After all, these creatures look a bit like snakes and grow as long as 10 inches! Despite their size and appearance, giant millipedes are slow-moving and docile. They can be handled safely, even by kids with supervision. Giant millipedes get along with each other as well, and several can be kept together.

Giant millipedes are also easy pets to keep. They donʻt require a complicated housing setup and are inexpensive to feed. In addition, giant millipedes are generally healthy and donʻt need any specialized care beyond feeding and proper housing.

Giant Millipedes half_H1nksy_Shutterstock
Image By: H1nksy, Shutterstock

Why Giant Centipedes Donʻt Make Great Pets For Everyone

Giant centipedes can be kept as pets but arenʻt a great option for everyone. All centipedes, tiny or giant, are speedy predators with venomous bites. The bite of a giant centipede is painful and can cause serious health concerns. Giant centipede bites are especially dangerous for children.

Giant centipedes are not a pet suitable for handling, but one for observation and interest only. While giant centipedes wonʻt initiate aggression towards people, they are high-strung and wonʻt hesitate to bite if touched or if they feel cornered.

Unlike slow-moving giant millipedes, giant centipedes are fast and excellent escape artists. They require a secure, escape-proof enclosure, similar to those used for poisonous snakes.

Even the most routine general care tasks require extra care with a giant centipede. Experienced, cautious exotic pet owners are the only ones who should attempt to keep these creatures as pets.

Image By: skifbook, Shutterstock

How to Keep Millipedes and Centipedes As Pets

No matter what pet you are bringing home, itʻs necessary to be prepared to care for them correctly. Here are the basics of how to care for a pet giant millipede or giant centipede.


Giant millipedes and centipedes should be kept in a glass terrarium or aquarium, 10-15 gallons in size. Both species are natural burrowers, so provide them several inches of substrate in the bottom of the tank. Bark pieces and other hiding spaces are also necessary. Their housing space needs to be kept warm and humid. Use a heating pad and mist the aquarium as needed.

The enclosure lid must be secured, especially when housing a giant centipede, to thwart any escape attempts.


Millipedes and centipedes have polar opposite diet requirements. Millipedes are herbivores and can eat a variety of soft fruits, vegetables, and decaying leaves. Centipedes are carnivores and predators who must be fed live food, like crickets and cockroaches, to allow them to hunt like they would in the wild.

Both millipedes and centipedes should have a shallow water dish with clean water.

African Giant Black Milipede_Wandel Guides_Shutterstock
Image By: Wandel Guides, Shutterstock

Where to Buy

Always purchase captive-bred giant millipedes and centipedes from a reputable breeder or pet store. Wild-caught specimens may not be legally acquired or healthy.

Before you buy, be sure to check the laws concerning exotic pet ownership where you live. Some states or cities may ban certain exotic pets or require a permit to possess one. If you live in an apartment, be sure you are allowed to keep a giant centipede or millipede before you bring one home.


Giant millipedes and giant centipedes are unique and fascinating invertebrates, but as pets, theyʻre not created equal. Giant millipedes make great pets for all ages and experience levels, easy to care for and handle. On the other hand, giant centipedes are only for experienced exotic pet owners, familiar with their temperaments and safe handling. Before committing to bringing home any pet (no matter how many legs they have!) make sure youʻre prepared for the responsibility of caring for them for their entire lifespan.

Featured Image Credit: Dennis Van De Water, Shutterstock

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