What do millipedes look like and why are they concerning?
Millipedes are small, slow moving insects. They have segmented, worm-like bodies that are generally brown or black. Each of the first three or so body segments has one pair of legs, and each of the rest has two pairs.
Adults usually grow to be about 2.5 to 4 cm long. Millipedes travel in large numbers, and while they do not cause damage to food, furniture, or structures, they can destroy gardens and infest homes and businesses. Millipedes do not sting or bite, but there are some species that, when handled, will excrete a defensive fluid that is foul smelling and can irritate skin. These species have red or orange markings on their bodies.
Where do millipedes live?
Millipedes like dark, damp climates and high moisture so they will generally live underneath debris piles, mulch, or soil.
They feed on decaying vegetation so any areas, like crawl spaces, that have dead leaves or damp and decaying wood are attractive to millipedes. They may enter a home or building if their outdoor climate becomes too dry and warm. Once inside, they’ll hide under boxes or furniture. They will not live long, though, as indoor areas do not generally have exceptionally damp environments or decaying vegetation for them to feed on.
Why do I have a millipede problem?
Millipedes will be attracted to any rotting firewood, trash, grass clippings or other organic matter that is lying around the yard.
They are also drawn to light, so they will gather wherever there is a light source, like patios, decks, and parking lots. Once they are near a building, they may find their way inside through cracks and crevices in the foundation walls or the gaps around windows and doors. They will enter if they are attracted to an indoor light source, or if their outdoor habitat becomes too dry.
When are millipedes active?
Millipedes are most active during rainy seasons, as they prefer very damp climates.
However, heavy rains may flood their habitat and lead them to migrate to a new area. They will also migrate in the fall, probably to find a place to spend the winter. During migrations, millipedes frequently find their way into homes and businesses. They are also known to invade buildings during extremely wet seasons or droughts
What’s the best way to prevent a millipede infestation?
In order to prevent millipedes from invading a home or business, all possible entrances should be sealed. This means repairing any cracks in the foundation and sealing gaps around windows and doors.
Organic debris should be removed from the property and there should be a barrier between the home and any mulch, soil, or grass. Using dehumidifiers to lessen moisture levels in areas like basements can greatly reduce the risk of luring millipedes inside. To get rid of millipedes on your property call EXCEL today and have one of our experts visit you.