What are millipedes?

Mostly seen wandering around gardens and in our homes millipedes are common household pests in Washington state. With numerous legs and body segments, millipedes are unique-looking arthropods. Millipedes are dark brown in color with some having red or orange mottled markings. They have two pairs of legs per body segment. Their bodies are wormlike and 2-155 mm in length.

Millipedes are slow-moving scavengers and feed on decaying organic matter. When living outside their feeding habits are helpful and work to break down decaying matter.

Why do I have a problem with millipedes?

  • Most of the landscaped areas located next to and near Washington homes are places where millipedes thrive. They hide under mulch, soil, landscaping ties, rocks, and woodpiles, feeding on dead leaves and decaying plant matter.
  • Millipedes are moisture-seeking pests and live a happy life outside, but if it becomes too hot and dry outside they will migrate to look for areas of moisture. 
  • Since millipedes live in close proximity to our homes they often find their way inside through cracks in the foundation or spaces under doors. Some of the most common areas of a home that millipedes invade include the basement, crawl spaces, areas under sinks, and near drains.
  • Once inside millipedes only survive if they find moisture, otherwise, they die very quickly.

Are millipedes dangerous?

Millipedes are not dangerous pests. They move too slowly to be any real risk to people, millipedes also are not known for spreading disease and they do not damage property. The biggest concern with millipedes is the liquid they secrete which has the potential to blister the skin of people. But, again because of their slow movements avoiding contact with these leggy pests is quite easy.

Do millipedes bite?

Millipedes do not bite people or animals.

How do I get rid of millipedes?

The best way to prevent problems with millipedes is to put into place a year-round pest control program for your home to stop millipedes before they are able to move inside.

At Prosite, our knowledgeable professionals will implement a plan of action that solves the current problems you are experiencing with millipedes and stop their future return. To learn more about getting rid of millipedes through our residential or commercial pest control services, reach out to us today!

How do I prevent problems with millipedes?

At Prosite, in addition to our high-quality pest control services, we recommend implementing the following millipede prevention tips:

  • Seal cracks in the foundation and gaps under doors.
  • Cover vents and other openings leading into your home with a mesh cover.
  • Install gutters to direct rainwater away from the perimeter of your home.
  • Create a barrier between garden beds and your home’s foundation.
  • Rake or cut back tall grass, weeds, and leaf debris from your home’s exterior.
  • Don’t place landscaping plants too close together. Spacing plants apart helps the sun hit and dry out the soil.
  • Repair leaky pipes and drippy faucets.
  • Use dehumidifiers to reduce humidity levels within your home.
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