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How to Get Rid of Millipedes

how to get rid of millipedes

Millipedes, from the class Diplopoda, are known for their many legs and their diet of dead and rotting vegetation. While they are mostly harmless, millipedes can become a nuisance in the garden by feeding on living plants, causing damage to flowers and vegetables. Even more unsettling is when millipedes invade your home, which can quickly get out of control if not dealt with properly. Learning how to get rid of millipedes is essential to maintaining a healthy garden and a comfortable living space. In this article, we’ll cover effective strategies on how to get rid of millipedes and prevent future infestations.

I’ve Got an Infestation

If millipedes are forced out of their home because of a flood, drought, or lack of food supply, they’ll migrate, sometimes by the hundreds or by the thousands. You might see them spread out throughout your property, or gathered together into large piles of them.

Millipedes like to hide. Outside, they’ll find dead logs, piles of mulch, yard debris, or grass clippings to hide underneath, or anywhere else dark and with higher-than-average moisture. Inside your home, basements are a perfect place for the pests, as there’s a lot of darkness and boxes to hide under.

And it’s not the only place in the home you’ll find them:

  • Laundry room
  • Bathroom
  • Crawl space
There are thousands of different species of millipedes.

These areas give millipedes the most desirable environment possible.

Is there only one type of millipede? Or are there many? You’d be surprised to find out. Go here for more information on the types of millipedes.

What brings them here in the first place?

There are three things that millipedes love to have:

  • Food,
  • Darkness,
  • Moisture.

When it comes to your yard, these creatures are in their element, with a huge amount of vegetation to feast on. All they need is a place to hide, preferably one containing some moisture. And they don’t just hide to eat, they hide to reproduce as well, meaning that you might not see how many millipedes are lurking around until there’s too many to go unnoticed anymore.

In My House

Millipedes get inside your home through tiny spaces. They can crawl through cracks in the base of your home and get into the crawl spaces beneath your floors. Doors without weather stripping at the bottom will let them right in, as well as poorly sealed doors and windows. Once inside, they’ll search for their ideal location and try to stay out of your way, although they’ll be forced to explore for some kind of food, which is when you may seem them out.

Don’t be too scared if you see a pile-up of millipedes during an invasion. There are simple ways how to get rid of millipedes if you’re brave enough. Take a broom and literally sweep them up, then dump them into a garbage can. You can also vacuum them and empty the canister into the garbage. Although using a shop vac would probably be the wiser choice, a regular household vacuum can hold less at a time.

Small worms invading your home

When you’ve got worms in your home, it can be very unnerving. Especially considering the fact that worms almost always live outside. They burrow through the dirt, loving soil, so how do they get in your home?

What seems to worm may actually be larvae, specifically millipede larvae. When a millipede egg hatches, it looks like a tiny little worm. Colors range from brown to white, to yellowish. They’ll crawl around looking for food, which is normally vegetation and debris.

Are you wondering if millipedes have a poisonous bite as centipedes do? With their hundreds of legs, they can sure look scary enough to have a nasty bite.

The Best Sprays and Repellents You Can Find

There are chemicals to help you get rid of millipedes. These products get the job done and can not only get rid of these pests but keep them from coming back as well.

Millipede larvae don’t have many legs and look like worms.
  1. Foam sealer with repellent: This spray is a foam that dries hard. Spray it around areas of your home that millipedes may get in through, such as cracks and poorly sealed windows. Not only will it provide a physical barrier, but the substance also has a repellent inside that animals and insects stay away from.
  2. Granules: This product is something you’ll sprinkle all over your yard. Clean up rotting plant life and law clippings, then apply the granules, making sure they get packed down into the soil. The product is made with Bifen, which is slow acting, but gets the job done. Even when millipedes are gone, apply every few months to keep them away.
  3. Raid House and Garden Bug Killer: Bug Killer by RaidThis spray is designed to get rid of many different kinds of bugs, from ants, to roaches, to millipedes.
  4. Bayer Advanced Home Pest Control: Home Pest Control by BayerUsed for many different kinds of insects, this liquid spray uses a deadly toxin to kill millipedes. Spray around your yard as well as in the cracks and crevices of the outside of your home to prevent them from coming back.

How to Get Rid of Millipedes

These bugs are something people usually run away from at first, seeing as how they’re creepy looking and can grow to be long. But there are many different ways to kill them. If you see one, the obvious solution would be to smash it, but what about the ones you can’t see. They love to hide, after all.

Using traps

Let’s take a look at the different types of traps you can use as a solution for how to get rid of millipedes:

  • Sticky traps: Sticky trapThese sheets are incredibly sticky, so much so that insects, including millipedes, get stuck and can’t move once trapped on it.
  • Light traps: This product uses a bright LED light that millipedes are attracted to. There is a ramp that the millipede can climb to get to the light, and then they’ll fall from it into the bottom of the container that the light sits in, unable to get out. You can do this yourself by digging a hole and placing a bucket in the ground with a light of some kind right next to it, or in the middle of it. The millipedes will come to investigate the light and fall into the bucket. Also, you may want to put water into the bucket or store-bought trap, ensuring the millipedes will drown after falling in.
    Envirapest Solutions Trap

How insecticides work

Insecticides are substances that are specifically designed to kill insects. They can be natural – using compounds that plants already make to keep bugs away, inorganic – which are metals, or organic – using only organic chemical compounds.

Systemic insecticides work by killing the bugs right away and also having a long-term effect by keeping them away. Contact insecticides don’t have any long-term effects, but kill the insects right away on contact.

If you’re using pesticides or insecticides, take care to make sure children or pets can’t get to it. Dogs or cats might lick the areas where you’ve sprayed, and children might get it on their hands, transferring it to their mouth or eyes. If you use these products and have small children or pets, make sure you do so carefully.

What about pesticides?

Pesticides are very similar to insecticides. The ways that they differ are by their chemical composition and different formulations, making each one different for varying types of pests.

Another difference is that pesticides will also kill fungus and bacteria that may harm crops, while insecticides will only kill insects.

What are these creatures really about? Details about millipedes might surprise and intrigue you, despite the fact that they’re a pest. Go here to learn more about what are millipedes.

The Best Millipede Killers

When you’re looking for a way on how to get rid of millipedes, save time and try one of these great go-to products:

  • Trap by Envirapest Solutions
    Envirapest Millipede Light Trap
  • Traps by Alazco
    Alazco Insect Sticky Trap
  • Ant Killer by Terro - ShakerBag
    Terro Ant Killer Multi Purpose Insect Control Granules
  • Home Defence Insect Killer by Ortho
    Home Defense Insect Killer Granules

The Natural Way

A natural way for how to get rid of millipedes uses methods that don’t have chemicals or products harmful to humans or pets. Light traps are a good option for natural millipede control, as they use simple light to attract them.

Other ways include:

  • Diatomaceous Earth: This white powder is made up of fossilized marine phytoplankton and is sharp on a microscopic level, yet completely harmless to people and pets. However, when a millipede crawls over the substance, they’ll get tiny little cuts all over the underside of its body which will make it dry out and die.
  • Borax: Similar to Diatomacous Earth, Borax is derived from boric acid and dries the millipedes out. It also acts as a stomach poison that will kill millipedes if ingested.
  • Wood Ash: This substance dries out the soil. Since millipedes need moisture to live and reproduce, dried-out soil will make them leave the area in search for a better habitat.
    Natural products for millipedes

Millipedes can be annoying to deal with and creepy to look at. And the way they hide make them even more difficult, seeing as you may not even know you have a problem before it’s too late. But know that there are things you can do to get rid of the pests, from natural, to chemical, leaving your home free of those slithery creatures forever. Hopefully this article has taught you a little bit about how to get rid of millipedes in your life.