Pest of the Month: Millepedes

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Starting in August, Miller Pest Control and Termite is bringing you monthly pest facts so you can identify and take action when you come across these pests, whether it be in your home, garden or business.

Millipede Facts

Millipedes are most commonly characterized by their two sets of jointed legs. The word millipede is Latin meaning, “thousand legs.” Although one-thousand legs is a bit of an exaggeration, some millipede species can grow over 500 legs. Even with their hundreds of legs, unlike centipedes, millipedes are slow movers. They will enter your home and hide out in moist areas. Even though a millipede does not pose a threat to humans, they can be a nuisance in your home and disturb your belongings. If an infestation of millipedes takes over, call Miller Pest & Termite for millipede extermination in Des Moines, Iowa.

Identifying Millipedes

The common millipede is very easy to see. They usually grow to be about 1 to 2 inches in length, and can sometimes grow to be larger. They resemble a black or brown oval-shaped worm with two sets of tiny legs. You can distinguish a millipede from a wire worm or centipede, because when it feels threatened, is injured, or dead, it will curl its body into a coil.

The Millipede Diet

Most millipedes are detritivores, meaning they feed on decomposing vegetation and organic matter. They play a huge role in the decomposition of leaf litter. Some millipedes are herbivores, feeding on living plants. These types of millipedes are commonly a nuisance to your flowers and plants in your garden. There are very few millipedes that are considered omnivorous, feeding on insects, such on centipedes and earthworms. The detritivores millipedes will clean up your lawn and garden by eating away at dead vegetation.

A Millipede’s Habitat

When millipede’s aren’t living in your home, they enjoy gathering in moist organic matter such as leaves and piles of wood. If you notice your plants in your garden getting eaten, millipedes might be the victim. Mulch is a millipede favorite, because it usually stays wet from watering or rainfall.

Millipedes in Your Home

Millipedes are slow moving, ground crawlers that typically stay on the ground. Because of this, they usually enter your home through your basement or ground floor. To keep millipedes and other creatures out, it is important to make sure your basement doors and windows are properly sealed and your foundation is secure with no cracks. It is advised not to keep any mulch or dead vegetation near the edge of your basement. Millipedes will find a home there and move indoors when the weather becomes colder.

Millipedes often thrive in bathrooms and basements. If your basement has a bathroom, millipedes often live in the moist environment. If your basement is not used very frequently, routinely check your rooms for unwanted creatures.

It is important to remember that millipedes do not cause any damage to your home, although they can be a nuisance when they enter your home in large numbers. Millipedes are not hazardous to humans, but when they feel threatened they can release a foul smelling fluid that could cause skin irritation to some individuals with sensitive skin. If this fluid gets on your skin, you should wash your skin off immediately.

Millipede Pest Control in the Des Moines Metro Area

Miller Pest Control specializes in millipede extermination for your Des Moines area home. We also specialize in other types of pest control and extermination such as bed bugs, boxelder bugs, cockroach, and silverfish. Call us today for a free pest inspection in Des Moines, Ames, Ankeny, Altoona and more in Central Iowa!