Millipedes have two pairs of legs on every segment of their body, the majority of millipedes have at least 20 segments which equates to 40 sets of legs, or 80 individual legs; That’s a long way short of the 1,000 the name suggests but they certainly have a lot more legs than most creatures!
They are generally between 2 ½ and 4 cm long and a similar color to worms. Their food of choice is decaying plant material which is why you’ll often find them in your flowerbeds and mulch.
Surprisingly, despite the number of legs, millipedes are generally slow-moving and won’t bite you. In fact, they aren’t a threat to you or your health. But, if you have a large number of them in your house you’re going to want to contact your local pest control expert to have them removed.
The more important question is why you have so many in your home, knowing the answer to this will help you to prevent their entrance in the future. Again, your local exterminators will help you find out more about pest control methods.
Why They Enter Your Home
As already mentioned, millipedes like to feed on decaying plant material, which makes your garden an excellent spot for them. You’ll often find them under stones or even in your foundations.
But, when the weather gets colder, wetter, or even too dry, they’ll look for better shelter, your house is generally the best place on offer. They will head toward the dampest areas of your home, which means your laundry room, basement, and any crawl spaces you have.
In short, they enter your home because the weather isn’t good for them outside. The good news is that they will die quickly if they are deprived of moisture.
Eliminating The Issue
You can’t change the weather which means you have to persuade the millipedes that your house is not their best option as a shelter. There are several things you can do.
A standard vacuum will easily suck up millipedes, the journey up the pipes will usually kill them and, if it doesn’t, they’ll quickly dehydrate in your vacuum cleaner.
It’s simple and effective.
- Seal It Up
But, you should also consider stopping them from getting in. You’ll need to walk around your home looking for any cracks, gaps, and even hoes that a millipede could get through. They are small so the cracks will be small too.
Once you find a gap seal it up, it will prevent the millipede, or other pests, from getting into your home.
Don’t forget to do the expansion joints where patios and sun rooms join the foundations.
You’ll also have to make sure there are no holes around pipe and cable entrances.
- Reduce Humidity
Millipedes need humidity to keep them moist and alive. Add a dehumidifier to your home and lower the humidity levels. You can also increase the ventilation under your home, both will make it less attractive to millipedes.