Q:

How do you get rid of millipedes?

A:

The best way to discourage millipedes from invading a home is to make it inhospitable to the creepy crawlies. Millipedes require cool, damp hiding spaces, and they will not often travel in areas without such resources.

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Homeowners should remove all boards, trash or debris from the walls inside and outside the home to keep them away. Additionally, if the basement or crawlspace is damp, take steps to increase the ventilation. After drying out the area, the millipedes will not return.

If habitat alteration does not reduce the local millipede population, pesticides are an option. Homeowners must always use care when applying such toxic chemicals and follow the manufacturer’s instructions while applying the chemicals. Chemical control should only be used in conjunction with habitat modification.

Millipedes are invertebrates, but they are not insects; millipedes are an entirely different kind of animal, known as a diplopodan. Although the number of legs they possess varies from species to species, all living millipedes have far more than six legs. Millipede literally means “1,000 legs,” but most millipedes have between 50 and 400 legs. Millipedes do not bite or sting, but some species do emit toxic or foul-smelling substances. Millipedes are herbivores that consume dead and living plants and organic material.

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