Millipedes are often mistaken for centipedes. They are considered an arthropod and are closely related to spiders and crustaceans more so than to bugs. They eat dead and decaying plant matter and can live from five to seven years. The millipede will shed its exoskeleton and produce new legs each time. They can grow up to 400 legs in their lifetime.
They have the habit of moving into homes in the late fall to seek shelter for the winter and if there is too much rain they will seek shelters as well as they don’t like too much moisture. Once the reach maturity, a millipede can lay up to 300 eggs and this is a good reason to get rid of them in your home.
The first step should be to locate any nests around your home and destroy them so there are fewer millipedes having a chance to get into your home.
If the millipede can’t get into your home, they can’t become a problem. Although it’s not easy, it is doable. Check around the outside of your home and seal or caulk any cracks in your foundation. Look carefully at areas where wires and plumbing enter your structure. Remember they can get through incredibly small spaces so check very carefully and close even the tiniest crack to make sure.
Control the amount of moisture allowed to collect in your home. The millipede requires very high humidity to live and the dryer the area, the less likely you will find them. Dehumidifiers work well for this and also fans in rooms where there is not a lot of air flow. Make sure all water fixtures are secure and you do not have any leaky plumbing in your walls, under sinks or ceiling. Do not let faucets drip and move furniture around in damp spaces as they will hide in and underneath it. They prefer their area to be cool so turning the heat up will drive them out.
Make the outside of home uninviting by removing what they like to eat. It will be easier to get rid of the millipede or decrease their numbers by not using as much mulch in your garden or removing wood and compost piles from around the house. Do not let any dead or decaying material lay in your yard including leaves, brush or logs as this will create a food source for the millipede.
Using Pesticides to Kill Millipedes
The millipede is more annoying than anything else. They are harmless to you and your pets but most people just find them disgusting and do not want them in their homes. They will emit a stinky fluid when they die so they are not the best thing to have around. Avoid squishing them as they will leave a stain.
There are some good millipede pesticides on the market:
- Invader Aerosol
- CB Borid Turbo
- CB Intruder HPX
If you prefer the powder over the aerosol then you can try one of the following:
- Drione Dust
- Delta Dust
- MotherEarth D
Natural Methods to Kill Millipedes
If you prefer a more natural method to killing millipedes and want to stay away from chemical use; there are several methods open to you.
- Diatomaceous earth works wonderfully for killing the millipede. It is made up of thousands of fossilized diatoms that are very sharp. When the millipede crawls over it they receive lots of little cuts that will cause them to dehydrate and die.
- Boric acid which comes from mineral borate and when in powder form can be used to fill cracks the millipede can be found hiding in or using as entry to your home. It will stick to their legs and bodies and acts as a stomach poison.
- Chickens may not be possible for all of you to invest in, but these birds are great biological control for the millipede and other pests. They are great eaters and actually spend the better part of their day just walking around looking for little moving critters like the millipede to eat.
- Wood ash is a simple method to get rid of millipedes. The millipede likes to lay their eggs in moist soil. If you take wood ash and mix it into the soil around your home it will keep them away as it will dry out the soil.
Although said to be harmless it is a fact that few people want to share their homes with these unsightly worm looking creatures. Use these control and disposal methods to get rid of your millipede population.