Millipedes on the Move

millipede control

millipede control

“I have these weird brown worms all throughout my house….Please help!”

The frantic calls, emails, and texts have begun for our old friend the Millipede. Millipedes are part of a group of bugs that the pest control industry labels as “Occasional Invaders.” They are given this name because unlike some insects like Roaches, Ants, and Spiders they don’t really enter homes and businesses on a regular basis. When a Roach or a Spider enters your home through a crack or seem in the exterior it’s never by accident. They are there because they’re actively seeking food, water, or shelter.

When it comes to the occasional invaders they often unwittingly enter your home due to a random occurrence. This means that we may not see these pests indoors for long periods of time until all the environmental factors line up perfectly. The main issue is that when all of the stars do align we can see very large numbers of these bugs in a short period of time. This means that even though their invasions are certainly “occasional” they can still be quite severe, not to mention disturbing to homeowners, when they do occur.

So why then are we seeing Millipedes entering homes in droves right now? The answer lies in exterior moisture levels which directly effects where these bugs live, eat, and breed. Millipedes live in dark damp environments where they feed on decaying vegetation. Around the typical home we see them under thick vegetation, mulch beds, dead leaves, wood plies, landscaping rocks, and pretty much any place that stays dark and moist. When the moisture level in their habitat changes they are often forced to move in search of a suitable habitat. When their harborage areas get too dry or too wet this is when we see them start to enter homes and buildings. As of right now we’ve been experiencing a drier than usual spring which is causing Millipedes to leave their traditional habitat in search of a new home which just happens to be your home as well!

When we see this happen it’s not usually one or two millipedes. It can be more like dozens per day. At one of our commercial accounts a few years back I swept up almost 50 in a single room! The good news is that these pests don’t bite, sting, or cause damage to the house but their sheer numbers make them a legitimate concern. So how do to do millipede control?

First step for millipede control is seal up entry points (Weatherstripping on doors, caulking cracks around windows, doors, utility pipe penetrations, siding)

Then we reduce the likely habitat around the home for the millipedes by limiting irrigation, pulling mulch, soil, and dead leaves away from the perimeter of the home, and eliminating wood debris or piles around the home

Although non-chemical methods are preferable for millipede control, in the long run calling a professional pest control company like Hunter Pest Control is another option to help control all unwanted pests, including millipedes.