If you like to work outside of your home or in your garden, you have certainly come across millipedes. These dark brown arthropods measure about an inch and a half in length, and are characterized by their numerous legs, slow movements, and tendency to curl into a coil when they are threatened. Millipedes do not bite, and are actually a beneficial creature to have in the garden. In spite of their benign nature, if millipedes find their way inside, you might not want to share your home with them.
Millipedes do not generally thrive indoors. However, with the beginning of cold weather or heavy rains, they might look for a warmer or drier place to live. They usually find their way into basements or ground level floors by slipping through cracks in the foundation or under windows or doors. If millipedes are a problem, it will help to seal openings around the perimeter of the home using caulk to cut off their access. Installing door sweeps and window seals will also keep critters from crawling underneath.
Apart from physically impeding millipedes, there are a few easy steps that will create an environment inhospitable to millipedes. Since the arthropod feeds on rotting plant matter, having mulch or leaves around the home will attract millipedes. Raking away this debris and exposing the ground will keep millipedes away. If possible, leave a patch of dry soil as a barrier, or if you need to water, water early in the day so that the ground is dry before the nocturnal creatures awaken. Extend this fight against moisture to the interior of your basement by using a dehumidifier or fans. Minimize clutter and other millipede hiding places, and if they are still a problem, sticky traps can stop them.
It is easy to control millipedes without resorting to chemical pesticides, and most anti-millipede measures will help keep other creepy-crawlies from entering as well. They don't actually want to live in our homes and prefer our gardens where they can munch leaves in peace.