These “thousand-legger” insects, otherwise known as millipedes, are segmented species, with two pairs of legs per segment, appearing brownish. They are between one to four centimeters long. Like centipedes, millipedes love moisture and thrive best in moist, damp environments. Millipedes are a common insect in homes that experience very wet springtimes.
Millipede Behavior, Habitat & Diet
Millipedes thrive in damp environments with moist soil. They tend to be found under leaves, mulch, in grass clippings, and under sheds and other outside structures. As herbivores and detritivores, millipedes eat leaves and decaying wood particles.
When millipedes enter homes, they ascend through the foundation and enter through basement doors, windows, crawlspaces, and garages. They will search for decaying leaves and damp wood in these spaces, and may even move in large numbers inside homes that lack weather stripping. Millipedes do not have a preference of space inside homes, usually occupying any room they can, including kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. If there is moisture present, millipedes will thrive.
Millipedes are not poisonous and do not present any extreme harm to humans. When millipedes feel threatened, they release a foul-smelling fluid which can contribute to human skin irritation. Certain species of millipedes can cause minor allergic reactions. Within and around homes, millipedes can easily become a threat if you live in an area with wet springtimes. If the environment is moist and ideal for millipede population, they will occupy in large numbers, creating damage to your plant roots and becoming a nuisance within your home.
Millipede Prevention & Treatment:
If you suspect a millipede infestation within or around your home, it is best to contact your local pest control professional to conduct a thorough and comprehensive inspection to identify the millipede source. Treatment plans may include non-chemical or chemical treatment methods. In the meantime, homeowners may utilize a non-chemical method by using their vacuum to remove millipedes. Ridding millipede food sources, such as decaying plant material and harborage sites, is also beneficial.