What are millipedes?
Millipedes are arthropods found throughout the world. They feed on decaying organic matter and dead pests, making them a vital part of our ecosystems. Unlike centipedes, which are carnivorous, millipedes feed largely on plant material. Although millipedes are not generally considered harmful to humans, they can secrete an unpleasant solvent when agitated or distributed that may result in skin or eye irritation to some people. For this reason, it is not advisable to pick up or contrarily disturb millipedes.
What do millipedes eat?
Millipedes feed largely on plant material, dead insects, and other decaying organic substances in the environment.
Where do millipedes live?
Millipedes are generally found in regions of high moisture and decaying organic things such as under trash bins, in piles of lawn residue, around flower beds, beneath mulch and another ground cover, and other similar regions. Although millipedes try to get inside buildings when the population outside is a lot, millipedes do not normally survive indoors for more than a few days unless higher-than-normal moisture situations exist along with an adequate food supply of decaying organic substance.
Difference between millipedes centipedes
- Both millipedes and centipedes are arthropods, with segmented structure.
- Millipedes are more like worms with legs (2 pairs of legs each body part), while centipedes have only one pair of legs each body parts, are dull in color, and they have two pairs of antennae, one on each end of their bodies.
- Another major difference you’ll note is that millipedes crawl very slowly and they dig, while centipedes are known for their skill and speed (they will peek around). Shorter species of millipede will also coddle in a ball when threatened, like roly-polies.
- Centipedes can sting if dealt with, though they aren’t generally a threat to humans.
How to get rid of millipedes naturally
1. Trim your lawn frequently
Cut your grass often to stop it from growing tall and retaining moisture. Tall grass operates as a perfect hiding spot for millipedes because it remains moist near the base, which develops the perfect habitat for them. Another landscaping advice is to water your grass in the dawn so the grass has time to dry by dusk when millipedes are the most active.
2. Get rid of all of the rain water from your house
Make sure your rain canals are take all the water away from your home. The moisture from water accumulating around your house attracts millipedes.
3. Eliminate all hiding spots
Piles of dead leaves and sticks should be discarded off from your yard as soon as they serve a perfect hiding base for this pest, and may attract other insects like termites. Hiding spots that useless to you like loose rocks, junk, and leaves should be cleaned out of your lawn to keep away the moisture. If you can keep things like mulch or decorative stones at least 5 ft away from your home.
4. Seal all holes that lead into your home
- Millipedes are tiny and they can find the smallest entrance to get into your home. Pertain to new weather stripping to your doors and windows if you see any holes or feel any drafts coming through. Also, make sure you seal up any cracks in the fences or foundation in your home with caulk.
- Fix any door or window that do not fit appropriately
- One way you can fix your weather stripping is with two people and a flashlight. Make one person stand outside the door and another person inside with the lights off. Blaze the flashlight around the openings and if you see any holes, you know you need to add or apply weather stripping. Also, new weather stripping will have a few other advantages, such as keeping some other creepy insects out of your home, like spiders and cockroaches.
- Make sure any exterior holes are covered with a screen to keep out millipedes.
5. Remove inside moisture
- Millipedes are attracted to surplus moisture, so install a dehumidifier to get rid of any surplus moisture.
- Give extra attention to the subfloor crawl area and basement, if your house has these regions. These areas are usually damp, so if millipedes are getting in your home, it might be through these regions.
- Once the moisture is eliminated, the millipedes will not last for long.
- To check on whether or not moisture is big trouble in your living room, place hygrometers in the dampest regions of the house. These are methods that measure the humidity in a given region. If the hygrometer indicates that room has humidity at 50 per cent or higher, the area is moist enough to invite millipedes and allow them to prosper.
- Adopting these measures will make it nearly difficult for millipedes to find their way inside.
Frequently asked Questions
1. What attracts Millipedes?
Leaves, mulch, grass clippings, boards or woodpiles, boxes, stones, and similar items that are on the surface, are the things that attract millipedes the most.
2. Why do I have millipedes in my house?
Excess snow, drought, rain and cooler climate can make their outdoor environments less favorable for them and you will frequently see millipedes in the house during these conditions.
3. Where are millipedes found?
Millipedes needs moist habitat. You are most likely to see them in your lawn or yard, particularly where the thatch is loose. Although a few species feed on animal remains, most millipedes feed on decaying leaves and other dead plant components.
4. How to prevent millipedes from entering the house?
- Seal any cracks and gaps in the base, around wiring, and plumbing where millipedes can reach.
- Millipedes need high humidity. Use dehumidifiers to keep the air dry or install fans in rooms that may have adequate air flow.
- Cover any leaks. Leaky taps or pipes can attract millipedes.
- Clean out and eliminate waste from canals. Gutter build-up can result in water from draining correctly.
- Keep your lawn clean by discarding dead plant matter. Reduce piled up mulch or wood piles that conserve moisture and attract millipedes.
5. Which are poisonous millipedes or centipedes?
Millipedes, other than centipedes, are not really dangerous and are primarily considered to be non-poisonous. Though, there are some millipede species that produce infuriating fluids from glands situated inside of their body.
So now we hope there is no confusion about the removal of millipedes as you can easily get rid of them by just following simple precautionary steps and if the infestation is high you can follow natural methods or even buy the products.