Millipedes are common pests that can be found just about anywhere in the United States. Most of the time they can be found outside under leaves, mulch, compost, and rocks, although occasionally they will come indoors – in search of water during droughts or in search of shelter after heavy rains. They can usually be found infesting basements, garages, and crawlspaces. If you find a millipede in your home, there’s a good chance they are breeding somewhere on your lawn.
Millipedes are decomposers with their diet primarily consisting of damp, decaying plant material. Because of this, they are quite beneficial to have in your garden. Millipedes are harmless to humans but they can become a nuisance if they are present in large numbers. Prevention is the best start to millipede control. Keep millipedes away from your home with these millipede prevention tips.
Get Rid Of Moisture
What attracts millipedes is moisture, especially in crawlspaces and around foundations. Keep gutters clear and in good repair. Consider installing gutter guards to help prevent clogs. Make sure downspouts are pointed away from foundations and use splash blocks to keep water away from foundation walls. Consider installing tiles or drains or sloping the ground so water drains away from foundations. Repair any leaky pipes, appliances, or faucets. Reduce the humidity in your crawlspace and basement with dehumidifiers, sump pumps, or soil covers.
Get Rid Of Attractants
If there is nowhere for millipedes to breed or hide, they can’t get into your home. Keep millipedes out by removing mulch, leaves, grass clippings, boards, woodpiles, rocks, boxes, etc. from your yard, especially if they are near foundations. If you are unable to remove them completely, try to elevate them off the ground. Try not to overmulch your flowerbeds.
Keep Your Lawn Maintained
Millipedes thrive in the moist layer of thatch that can accumulate on lawns. Keep your grass mowed short and dethatch the lawn as this will make it less appealing to millipedes. Try not to overwater your lawn. Don’t water at night since there is no sun to help evaporate the moisture.
Seal Your Home
Millipedes can get into your home through cracks in the exterior. Seal any cracks or openings in the outside foundation. Use thresholds or door sweeps on all exterior doors. Caulk the outer edges of the thresholds. Seal any expansion joints where sunrooms, patios, and sidewalks are next to foundations. Seal any expansion joints or gaps at the bottom of basement walls.
Millipedes can only survive for a few days once they get inside your home. The conditions indoors are too dry for them to be able to live long periods of time. The infestation will be short lived and eventually they will die off. Once this happens, you can sweep them up with a broom or vacuum them up.
Contact The Pros
While millipedes don’t cause damage to homes and aren’t harmful to humans, they can become quite a nuisance when they infest in large numbers. If you have a problem with millipedes or any other pests, contact a professional pest control company who can provide you with the most up-to-date prevention and treatment techniques.
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Where Did These Ants Come From?
Seeing “thousand legger”, creepy-crawly, slithering, worm-like pests in mass amounts inside your home? You’re not alone. They’re called millipedes and millipedes in houses are common at certain times during the year, particularly after heavy rains, during drought, or when temperatures drop – all conditions that can make their outdoor habitats less comfortable. Once millipedes are in the house, they’ll search for shelter and a source of moisture – preferring damp areas such as basements, laundry rooms, and crawlspaces.
Here’s everything you need to know about millipedes, what attracts them to your house, and how to prevent a millipede infestation:
What Do Millipedes Look Like?
Millipedes are arthropods, not insects, that typically have hundreds of legs (not thousands as their nickname implies). Their size depends on the species but they usually range from 1/4 to 2 inches long with slender, round bodies – similar to worms.
Are Millipedes Dangerous or Harmful?
Although creepy to some, millipedes are not dangerous or harmful to humans or pets. They don’t bite or sting, infest or damage wood, food or clothing – but they can release an unpleasant-smelling fluid if threatened that may cause skin irritation. If you come directly in contact with millipedes, rinse the affected area immediately after.
What Do Millipedes Eat?
Millipedes feed on dead and decaying matter – anything that’s rotting, dead insects, vegetable matter – which is vital in the decomposition of plants and animals, an important step in the soil fertilization process. They will occasionally eat young plants but the damage is usually minimal.
Where Do Millipedes Come From?
Millipedes prefer to be outdoors and can be found in areas with a lot of moisture – under rocks, piles of wood, flowerpots, in leaf litter or grass clippings, in gardens and flowerbeds, under mulch – any hiding spot that’s damp and undisturbed. You’re more likely to see them at night, when they leave their habitats, crawling around on sidewalks, driveways, patios, etc.
What Attracts Millipedes?
When weather conditions aren’t ideal outdoors, millipedes can migrate into structures in large numbers via doorways, expansion joints, and/or wall voids. Once inside, millipedes will die quickly, especially if there is no abundant source of moisture. If you’re seeing millipedes inside frequently, it may be a sign that they are breeding outside around your home, or that you have moisture issues that need to be corrected.
How to Get Rid of Millipedes
The best way to prevent a millipede infestation is to eliminate debris and decaying matter from around your home and yard – especially around your home’s perimeter, and correct moisture issues. Repair leaking pipes or faucets, check to be sure lawn sprinklers are functioning properly, consider upgrading your gutters with a gutter guard system, and ensure basements or crawlspaces are adequately ventilated. One of the most effective methods to reduce moisture and improve overall home health is to enclose your crawlspace.
If you’re seeing millipedes inside, a quick fix is to use a vacuum to get rid of them. If you’re experiencing a millipede infestation, it could be a sign of other issues, and it’s recommended to get your home inspected by a pest control company that can identify and correct entry points, check for and make suggestions related to moisture problems, and get you on a routine pest control service – to prevents future millipede and other pest infestations. Request a free estimate now or call (888) 466-7849.