Pest Control Service for Miami, Broward, & Palm Beach
Dade, Broward, Palm Beach

All about millipedes

Millipedes are commonly seen in yards and occasionally enter homes. They do not damage furnishings, home or food. Their only importance as pests is that of annoying or frightening individuals.

Millipedes are commonly known as "thousand leggers" and belong to a group of arthropods called Diplopoda. Millipedes are worm-like, cylindrical animals with many body segments. Most of the body segments bear two pairs of legs. They range from two to 100 millimeters in length. Millipedes tend to coil up tightly when disturbed and some species can secrete a foul smelling fluid.

Millipedes feed on decaying vegetable matter and are often found under stones, flower pots, boards or similar debris where there is abundant moisture. Occasionally after rains or during cold weather, large numbers of millipedes may migrate into buildings. They can climb foundation walls and enter homes through any small opening. These pests are generally more troublesome in wooded or newly developed areas where decaying vegetation provides excellent food and breeding conditions.

Female millipedes can lay from 20-300 eggs singularly or in clusters in the soil. The eggs hatch in a few weeks, and the young go through seven to eight stages before maturing to adults.

Indoor chemical treatment will eliminate only the millipedes already inside. Spot treatments applied to infested areas will aid in control. Removal of individuals with a broom or dustpan will sometimes be sufficient.

A large indoor population usually indicates large numbers of millipedes or centipedes surrounding the structure. Removal of breeding sites and harborages will aid in control. Compost piles and decaying vegetation should be removed from areas close to the home. Outdoor treatments with sprays should help control outdoor populations. Dusts and granules may be applied to crawl spaces and around foundation walls.

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