How To Get Rid Of Millipedes Around Your Kittitas County Home And Garden
May 21, 2023
Millipedes are a common visitor to our backyards and gardens, easily identified by a large, wormlike body supported by dozens, sometimes hundreds of legs (also known as "thousand leggers").
Millipedes are arthropods found in every state in our country, usually in places with high moisture content, like leaf piles or under the bottoms of trash cans. They are scavengers, feeding on decaying plant matter and dead insects, and rely on their hard exoskeleton as their main defense mechanism when threatened.
Let's take a look at how you can identify a millipede infestation, what to watch out for if your house or yard is infested with them, what you can do to make your property unattractive to these little invaders, and what the Kittitas pest control professionals at Prosite recommend as the most effective way when it comes to millipede control in your home.
What Do Millipedes Look Like?
Millipedes in Kittitas County are one of the most commonly misidentified pests, often because, at first glance, there are very few differences between centipedes and millipedes in appearance.
The easiest way to separate the two is to pay attention to the body shape and number of legs per segment-centipedes will always have a single pair, while multipedes will be supported by two pairs in each segment of their body. Millipedes will also have a more rigid, cylindrical body shape.
Adult millipedes vary greatly in size, from bristly millipedes averaging 1/16 to 1/8 inches in length to giant African millipedes growing over a foot long and holding the record as the largest millipede discovered.
All millipedes have long, wormlike bodies that roll into a tight spiral when threatened, presenting hard exoskeletons to the predators. Millipedes are most commonly black or brown, but certain species can have red or orange patterns on their bodies.
They start their lifecycle as a millipede egg, usually laid in a moist pile of leaves or a rotten log. When hatched, multipedes have fewer body segments and legs at that time, acquiring extra size and appendages as they grow and molt.
Millipedes Are More Of A Nuisance Than A Danger
Unlike centipedes, multipedes are not venomous and will not bite if threatened. Certain millipede species will eject a foul-smelling fluid from the areas between their legs to discourage the attacker. This liquid can be dangerous to smaller pets and produce blisters if it ends up on your skin.
Millipedes also are not likely to spread any pathogens being one of the cleanest animals likely to make their way into your home. They spend a considerable amount of time grooming themselves and even have a special set of brush-like hairs on the second set of their legs specifically for grooming and polishing their bodies.
Eco-Friendly And Effective Millipede Prevention Tips
While not much of a threat and more of a nuisance, millipedes quickly grow their numbers and sharing your home with a bunch of these creepy crawlers is no one's idea of a good time.
Thankfully, in many instances, you can prevent a millipede infestation by natural means, such as:
- Don't leave piles of grass clippings of leaves on the ground - it's one of the millepede's favorite places to lay eggs.
- Keep the grass cut short around your house to keep millipedes from reaching its walls.
- Don't store firewood on the ground near the house- millipedes like to hide in damp, dark places.
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of the house - it works well against all exoskeletons by damaging their outer surface as they make their way across.
- Apply essential oils or cayenne pepper around window sills, doorways, and vents as a potent deterrent.
- If you're living in a house without pets or children, apply boric acid around the perimeter of your home - it damages multipede's exoskeleton, similarly to diatomaceous earth.
- Make sure your basement or crawl space is well-ventilated, and consider installing a dehumidifier as millipedes are attracted to the dampness.
Since these little invaders can only survive for a short time in a dry environment, an effective millepede preventative approach always centers on removing their access to moisture-rich places. Making sure your home and yard have limited access to these spaces can go a long way to keeping their numbers down and the risk of infestation low.
How To Get Rid Of A Millipede Problem
Unfortunately, sometimes even the best preventative approaches fail. Since millipedes are exceptionally good at staying out of sight and can increase their numbers quickly, it's best to get a professional involved as soon as possible if you're seeing them in your home.
Our experienced Prosite technicians will design an effective treatment program to clear your Kittitas County home of millipedes, getting rid of adult millipedes and ensuring there are no places suitable for them to lay eggs in the vicinity of your home and on your property.
Reach out today if you have millipedes on your property, to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Kittitas County.