March 1, 2024

How To Get Rid of Millipedes

With their many legs and unassuming demeanor, millipedes are often regarded as harmless inhabitants of gardens and natural landscapes. However, when these moisture-loving critters head indoors or overrun your lawn, they can quickly overstay their welcome.

But do you know how to get rid of millipedes when they invade your space? In this guide, we'll explore practical strategies for eliminating millipedes and reclaiming control of your home. Keep reading to find out more!

Why Are Millipedes in Your Home?

These multi-legged marvels prefer to live in damp, decaying environments— think moist forest floors or lush garden beds overflowing with organic matter.

So, why do these creatures occasionally find their way indoors when they thrive in outdoor settings?

Brown-black millipede against a birght yellow background

Moisture and Shelter

During periods of excessive rainfall or high humidity, these moisture-loving creatures may seek refuge indoors, drawn by the promise of a cozy, damp sanctuary. Cracks in your foundation walls, gaps around doors and windows, and even tiny crevices in basement floors provide convenient entry points for wandering millipedes searching for respite from the elements.

Accidental Intruders

Despite their reputation as household pests, millipedes don't intentionally invade homes to cause mischief or mayhem. Instead, they're often accidental intruders. Some may hitch a ride indoors on flowering plants or meander in without realizing they’ve left the safety of your garden bed.

Seasonal Patterns and Migration

Seasonal patterns and migration habits are important factors to consider when dealing with millipedes. In some areas, mass migrations of these creatures can occur at certain times of the year, often prompted by changes in temperature or reproductive cycles. As a result, large numbers of millipedes may unintentionally end up in homes, seeking shelter from harsh outdoor conditions.

Why Millipedes Are Problems

While common pests, millipedes still cause problems when they overtake your home or garden. Here are a few reasons why you may want to keep them at a distance:

Plant Pests

Millipedes can be beneficial decomposers in your garden's complex ecosystem, breaking down organic matter to enrich the soil. Yet, when their numbers increase, and food becomes scarce, they may turn to your plants. Tender seedlings, delicate leaves, and ripening fruits can become targets for these voracious herbivores, potentially causing significant damage to your cherished greenery.

Soil Disruption

Below ground, millipedes continuously tunnel and burrow, altering the structure of your garden soil. While this activity can aid soil aeration and nutrient cycling in natural settings, it may disrupt the balance of your garden beds. Compacted soil, compromised root systems, and reduced water infiltration are among the consequences that can affect the health of your plants.

Attracting Unwanted Guests

Millipedes can inadvertently draw others to your garden, leading to a number of pest-related issues. Their attraction to decaying organic matter acts as a lure for predators and opportunistic scavengers seeking an easy meal. From slugs and snails to fungi and bacteria, your garden may face an influx of unwelcome visitors enticed by the millipedes' presence.

Safety Precautions

While most millipedes pose no direct threat to humans, some species have chemical defenses that can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions upon contact. Although incidents of harm from millipedes are rare, it's essential to handle these creatures with care, especially for individuals with sensitive skin or respiratory conditions.

How to Get Rid of Millipedes

When millipedes invade your living spaces or garden, it's time to take action. Luckily, there are several effective strategies you can use to say goodbye to these unwanted guests:

Remove Moisture Sources

Millipedes thrive in damp environments, so one of the first steps in mitigating their presence is to eliminate excess moisture around your home and garden. Make sure gutters are clean and free of debris, fix any leaky pipes or faucets, and improve drainage in areas prone to pooling water. Additionally, consider using a dehumidifier indoors to reduce humidity levels.

Seal Entry Points

Prevent millipedes from infiltrating your home by sealing off potential entry points, such as gaps around doors, windows, and utility pipes. Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal cracks and crevices in your home's exterior walls, foundation, and siding. Pay special attention to areas where utility lines enter your home, as these can serve as entry points for millipedes and other pests.

Remove Organic Debris

Millipedes feed on decaying organic matter, so reducing their food sources can help deter them from congregating around your home and garden. Keep your yard tidy by removing leaf litter, mulch, and other organic debris from around the perimeter of your home. Regularly rake and dispose of fallen leaves and trim back overgrown vegetation to minimize hiding spots for millipedes.

Use Natural Predators

Introducing natural predators of millipedes, such as ground beetles, centipedes, and certain species of birds, can help control their population outdoors. Encourage biodiversity in your garden by planting a variety of native plants and providing habitat features such as birdhouses and rock piles to attract natural predators of millipedes.

Consult with Pest Control Professionals

If millipede infestations persist despite your best efforts, consider seeking assistance from pest control professionals. They can assess the extent of the infestation, recommend appropriate treatment options, and provide ongoing monitoring to ensure effective control of millipedes and other pests.

Whenever you’re struggling with a millipede infestation in Auburn, Washington, and other surrounding areas, give us a call! Our expert technicians know how to tackle any pest infestation and can eliminate these garden pests with ease. Contact us today!

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