Millipede Invasions: Prevention and Control
Who doesn’t love springtime in the South? The days get longer and warmer, flowers bloom, and the trees get full and lush with beautiful green leaves. Here in Georgia, we can get excited about Braves baseball, the Masters, celebrating Easter, and the upcoming summer.
There’s no doubt—springtime is amazing, but it’s not perfect. It also brings some things that aren’t so fun: like cold snaps, thunderstorms, pollen—and millipedes. Chances are you’ve seen them around your house or place of business in the spring, but you don’t have to put up with them. Thankfully, it’s not especially difficult to get rid of them for good, but you do need millipede experts to do the job well.
All About Millipedes
Millipedes are unlike most other pests in that they don’t do damage to your property, get into your food, or spread disease. They’re a harmless nuisance and nothing more, which is great. But you still don’t want them in your house.
So how do you identify millipedes when they’re in or around your house?
They kind of look like worms, but they’re not. Millipedes are small arthropods with hard exoskeletons, and they generally crawl slowly around on the ground. You’re not likely to see them crawling on ceilings or walls. Instead, they belong to the same family as insects, spiders, and crustaceans.
The word “millipede” comes from the Latin phrase for “thousand legs,” but millipedes have less than a thousand legs. In fact, you often won’t see a millipede’s legs unless you examine them close up. If you see something crawling around with long visible legs, it’s a centipede rather than a millipede. Centipedes differ in that they have one pair of legs per body segment, whereas millipedes have two pairs of legs per segment. When millipedes sense threats, they curl up into a tight coil and remain motionless. They can also emit a substance with an odor as a way to protect themselves.
Millipedes don’t inhabit the indoors naturally; they prefer to live outdoors, where they feed on decaying organic matter like rotting wood. They only move indoors when the outdoor areas are either too warm and dry or too wet. You may also see them in large numbers around swimming pools, where they might fall in and drown.
When millipedes stay outside, they actually perform an important service to nature. Because they eat organic matter as it decomposes, they help replace organic compounds in the soil much more quickly than decay alone does. Scientists also believe that millipedes are some of the oldest creatures to crawl along the surface of the earth.
Like so many other creatures, millipedes like to search for ideal conditions in which to live, which means you might see them on the move when seasons change, especially in the spring and fall. When they make their way inside, it’s usually through the lowest levels of the home, like crawlspaces and basements. This means you’re more likely to see them closer to the ground than in higher spots in your house or building.
Preventing Millipede Invasions
Keeping millipedes out of your home or office building is similar to the way you prevent other pests. A little advanced planning and common sense can go a long way in making sure you don’t have to deal with an invasion of millipedes.
- Move Organic Materials Away— If you can keep organic material away from your foundation before it begins to decompose, you’ll have more success in preventing millipedes from entering your space. This type of material is what millipedes thrive on, so move organic items a farther distance from your house or building.
- Trim Grass and Weeds— Sometimes it’s easy to neglect the grass and weeds that rest up against your home or office, but keeping them trimmed is just as important to keeping millipedes from making themselves at home.
- Keep Moisture from Building Up— Making sure that you don’t have standing water and moisture pooling up around your office our house can help prevent millipedes from wanting to come inside or even into your yard. Repair or replace leaky spigots and check hoses for leaks. Clean out gutters and make sure downspouts aren’t clogged or blocked. Make sure that the drain lines of your HVAC units don’t allow moisture to pool. Dehumidify your basements and crawl spaces as well.
- Seal the Places Where Critters Can Enter— Ensuring that cracks in your foundation, doors, and window sills are sealed reduces the number of places where millipedes can get in.
Getting Rid of Those Pesky Millipedes
If you see millipedes in or around your house or office building, it’s easy to sweep or vacuum them up and move on. But if you have a major millipede invasion, no matter where you are in the metro Atlanta area, trust your home or business to the professionals at Pest Force.
Pest Force has the expertise to get rid of millipedes and other pests in a way that’s not intrusive or dangerous. Our friendly employees will utilize our tried and true solutions that are effective and fit your budget or bottom line. We are a family owned company, so we understand the needs of families and businesses of all sides, and we love to serve our neighbors and community with effective pest control solutions.
If millipedes invasions or pests of any kind get out of hand and you’re at the end of your rope, give Pest Force a call for pest control that you can count on.