How do you get rid of millipedes? Here is what to do. Millipedes do not sting or bite but can be considered unsightly for some people.
Plus, seeing a large population within or around your home may be a source of concern. It becomes necessary to find effective ways to get rid of them.
You’d find ample information here on how to exterminate millipedes in this article. We are providing such information and more to help you arrest this arthropod problem before it gets out of hand.
If you are looking for solutions to centipede problems instead, here is a guide.
What Conditions Are Favorable to Millipedes?
Every pest problem exists due to favorable conditions. The same is true for millipedes.
To get rid of them, knowledge of such conditions is necessary. Millipedes are attracted to damp areas. That’s it! But most of their dwelling is outdoors. However, they won’t hesitate to come in when such conditions aren’t favorable.
When millipedes come indoors, they go for garage doors, crawlspace vents, and basement windows as well as doors. You’d also find them underneath furniture and storage boxes.
Are Millipedes Dangerous?
Are millipedes harmless? And if not, what type of dangers do they pose?
Millipedes aren’t considered aggressive. But don’t get distracted by this because certain species can cause skin irritations.
This is due to secretions which has an adverse reaction when it comes in contact with your skin.
What Do They Eat?
Millipedes feed mainly on organic matter. Their feeding activity helps decompose organic matter.
So, while seeking to get rid of them, consider the fact that they are indeed beneficial to the environment.
You should only get rid of them when they get too close for comfort.
Best Ways to Get Rid of Millipedes Indoors and Outdoors
There’s no single way to get the job done. Millipede problems can be handled in a variety of ways. And this is what this section seeks to focus on.
But before anything else, spotting the problem will be the first step.
Spotting Millipede Problem
Getting rid of any pest problem requires identifying signs of infestation.
For millipedes, you wouldn’t find much apart from the actual sighting. Just that! These pests move in their numbers. So on sighting one, just know the others aren’t far away.
It all boils down to one thing; Finding effective solutions as fast as possible.
Using a Vacuum Cleaner
This is about the most immediate actions you can take. Millipedes will either climb up your walls or may remain on the floor. These can easily be vacuumed off such walls or floors using this tool. This strategy won’t kill them either.
You only need to find a safe place to release them. But this is only necessary during an emergency.
Moisture is critical to the survival of millipedes. This is why they migrate indoors when humid conditions outdoors are non-existent. Knowing this behavior is important.
As such, you’d need to control the humid conditions indoors. This can be achieved by installing a dehumidifier. There are many great brands in the market.
Dehumidifiers are used to dry up your home a bit. This takes away the favorable conditions provided by humidity. You don’t want actions to result in futility right?
To avoid this, consider fixing water leakages that result in dampness. This also helps in bringing out the best results.
Pick Them Up Using Hands, Brooms & Dustpans
Is it safe to pick up millipedes with your hands?
Oops! Don’t get it wrong. Millipedes move slowly. This means they can be picked up. But not with your bare hands.
Instead, you can place a piece of paper along their paths. Millipedes will walk right onto it. Take this out and dispose of it.
A better alternative is using a broom and dustpan to collect them. This is then disposed of outside.
Chickens Get the Job Done
Birds like chickens will gladly feast on millipedes. These birds won’t only feed on these millipedes but also other insects. This is a natural method which won’t cost you anything (Apart from buying a chicken of course).
Getting rid of millipedes found outdoors is even better using this strategy. However, those indoors can be cleaned and poured outside for chickens to feed on.
Diatomaceous earth kills millipedes by tearing or inflicting tiny cuts on their bodies. Such wounds will cause these insects to die by dehydration.
But, we mentioned previously that millipedes are beneficial to the soil. Due to the breakdown of organic matter. Hence, you might not want to consider this alternative.
Diatomaceous earth is sprinkled around the most infested areas. Its effects aren’t immediate. It will take some time. Probably some days before its effects are noticed.
Cayenne pepper is a great millipede repellent. It acts by creating a hot or burning sensation on them. But this strategy may not be advisable for pet owners.
If you own a pet, you’d have to put it on a leash. Otherwise, it will be affected (not life-threatening to pets though) by getting hurt.
Take your powdered cayenne pepper and sprinkle around entry points. Also, sprinkle around the most affected areas of your garden. Millipedes are instantly irritated and will keep away.
Use Sticky Traps
Sticky traps are used widely against a variety of insect pests including millipedes. These aren’t hard to find as you can purchase them in your local stores.
For this method to be successful, find the most frequented paths, cracks, and openings used by millipedes. Just fix them correctly and go your way.
Before long, you’d find these pests trapped and unable to get off.
Simply remove and dispose of safely. If you’re unsure if there are more remaining, put a new strip. This is repeated until millipede populations are depleted.
Mothballs are great millipede remedies.
Know that these are also effective against other types of pests. Drop some mothballs at different points within and around your home. Its smell irritates them and keeps them at bay.
Though this strategy is effective, your pets and kids may be in danger.
So you may want to reconsider using it. If at all you must, caution must be exercised. This helps reduce the chances of harming your beloved kids and pets.
Sulfur powder helps you get rid of millipede problems fast.
Just like cayenne pepper, this powder is sprinkled along their paths. It is also sprinkled at crack openings as well as other openings used to gain access.
This has an adverse reaction and irritates them. Care should be taken when applying this method. This is because it can be poisonous when used incorrectly.
Do Not Mulch Excessively
Mulching your yard is good. But doing so excessively may just present the perfect condition for millipedes to thrive.
Apart from that, ensure you don’t mulch too close to your building’s foundation. Doing so will create an ideal condition for these pets to move in.
Check and Maintain Your Gutters
Gutters are meant to channel water away from homes. But not maintaining this may cause stagnant water.
This is likely to seep in through cracks into your building’s foundation. Thereby creating the perfect condition for millipedes to thrive. You can stop this through frequent inspection. Cracks should be fixed and the gutters cleared if blocked.
Consider replacing it entirely if damaged beyond repair.
Don’t Over-Water Your Lawn
It’s great to water your lawn. But excessive watering will attract millipedes. Know just when water is adequate and stop. If your lawns have been poorly maintained, de-thatch it.
This reduces the amount of organic matter which millipedes find inviting.
Cut Your Grass Low
Millipedes love overgrown grasses. You can deny them this attraction by mowing them down. The lower the better.
By mowing them finely, you create a mulch that helps make such an environment unsuitable.
Clear Your Surroundings of Leaves and Wood Debris
Millipedes feast on leaves by breaking them down.
Therefore, wooded areas tend to be the most attractive to them. To mitigate their feeding activities, frequent cleanup of leaves will be required.
Wooden debris is another thing to consider. You should clear your surroundings as much as you can. The purpose is to eliminate all forms of organic matter which may attract them.
Poor sanitation heightens the chances of having millipede infestation. The solution for this is one of the easiest. You only need to improve sanitation.
By cleaning your home frequently, you’re making it increasingly less likely for millipedes to move in. You’re also likely to discover an infestation earlier.
Your Foundations Should Be Free of Any Form of Piles
Whether it be wood shavings, mulch, or leaves, etc. Such should not be allowed close to your home’s foundation. This is to help limit the chance of having this pest problem.
Whatever the pile may consist of, you must know they hold a greater amount of moisture. This is what millipedes thrive on.
It’s best to avoid this problem altogether.
Seal All Openings
Openings or cracks should be inspected and sealed or caulked.
Never overlook a crack or opening, no matter how small. Millipedes can squeeze themselves into such cracks. When sealed, you reduce the chance of dealing with an even bigger pest problem.
The sealing of cracks is also effective in preventing other pest types. You will also be improving the lifespan of your building.
These are some of the best ways to get rid of millipedes.