How to control millipedes
Millipedes normally live in the garden. They are beneficial insects helping with the re-cycling of dead plant material. They don’t hurt anyone. However, sometimes they do find there way inside homes. If you are worried about millipedes inside your home, there are certainly some tips to reduce their presence. If they do find their way in and you don’t fancy sweeping them up and throwing them back outside, there are a number of products to help you out!
It is also important to know the difference between the slow-moving millipede and the fast-moving centipede, as centipedes have a very nasty bite and should not be picked up! The house centipede is also carnivorous, eating cockroaches and flies – it could probably bite humans but there are no recorded bites.
WHAT DO MILLIPEDES LOOK LIKE?
- Millipedes vary in size and colour (depending on species). May be up to 100 mm long.
- Millipedes may vary in the number of body segments, but they always have 2 pairs of legs per segment (centipedes have one pair of legs per segment).
- Young millipedes look just like the adults (only smaller).
SIGNS OF AN INFESTATION
- For many homeowners, the millipede may only be an occasional invader and are unlikely to experience an infestation. However, on occasions there can be local population explosions, which can result in large numbers entering homes.
MAIN PEST SEASON
- Millipedes are more active in the warmer months, and if you are to experience an infestation, it will most likely happen in the late summer / autumn, when the population is at its maximum, or as winter approaches and they are looking for hibernation sites.
- Millipedes are not insects, although they are members of the Arthropod Phylum, which includes insects and spiders
- Millipedes generally live outdoors in damp areas such as garden beds. However, they happily live in damp sub-floors in cardboard boxes
- Although millipedes are generally harmless, they can release pungent excretions (to avoid being eaten by birds), which can stain skin and clothes and irritate eyes
- Most millipede species are nocturnal and generally avoid light
MILLIPEDE PREVENTION TIPS
- Keeping the perimeter of the home clear of garden beds and mulch is the best preventative step However, if this is not possible / desired, non-plant mulch (pebbles) should be used and watering should be kept to a minimum.
- Potential entry points to the home should be sealed up appropriately and draft excluders / screens should be in good condition
- If you are prone to millipede invasions, place smooth rounded physical barriers around the perimeter of the home at ground level to prevent millipedes climbing into your home (they cannot climb smooth surfaces)
MILLIPEDE CONTROL TIPS
- Millipedes are easily killed with a direct spray of insecticides either with an aerosol or ready to use pump pack
- Preventing the entry of millipedes is best achieved by carrying out a perimeter spray with an insecticides, focusing on good coverage at ground level and around potential entry points
- Avoid squashing millipedes and their noxious body fluids and burn and stain skin and materials
PESTXPERT MILLIPEDE PRODUCTS
- Both Pro-Spray Crawling and Pro-Spray Flying aerosols are good options for direct spray onto millipedes and the occasional spot treatment around potential entry points.
- Pro-Spray Crawling is the best option for longer lasting residual control around the perimeter and outside entry points.