These insects bring “creepy crawly” to a whole new level. Millipedes are members of the arthropod family, meaning they jointed bodies and legs, and no backbone. Millipedes get their name from the Latin words mille, meaning “thousand,” and pes, meant “foot.” Despite it’s name, no known millipede has a thousand feet. Millipedes are similar to centipedes, another creature with many legs. They differ in that millipedes have 2 pairs of legs per segment, whereas centipedes have only a single leg pair per segment. Only a few experts can tell the difference between the 1,000 species of millipedes found in the United States.
Millipedes are not dangerous and will not bite, however, some species exist that will produce a defensive liquid that will irritate or burn your eyes.
Adult millipedes spend the winter in the soil where they lay their eggs. Young will grow gradually, increasing segments and legs as they reach full maturity. This may take between 2 to 5 years, and they can live for several years after this. Millipedes will live in and feed on decaying plants like leaves and wood. They are not usually a nuisance because they help break down dead organic plant matter. Millipedes only become a problem when there a lot of them because they can damage seeds and ripening crops that are in direct contact with the ground.
Types of Millipedes
Millipedes have long, thin, spinless bodies protected by an exoskeleton, and are known for their abundance of legs. They have a pair of antennae on their head, and a chewing mouth at their fronts. Many millipedes are dark brown or black. However, there are some species that are brightly colored, indicating a toxic nature. More peaceful than the similar centipede, millipedes are slow-moving and are not prone to biting.They have either two or four legs per body segment and walk in a wave-like motion. Mature millipedes can be anywhere from 1⁄2 an inch to 6 and 1⁄2 inches long. If a millipede is provoked, it will curl up.
Millipedes In The Home & The Apartment
If a millipede is found inside the home, it will most likely die in a short period of time because it will not be able to adapt to the dry environment and lack of food.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you control a millipede infestation?
It is rare that millipedes will need to be managed. They do not pose any threat to humans and they will not do damage indoors. They can be picked up or swept out. To keep them out, make sure to seal any cracks or openings that might serve as entry ways. If they do begin to invade, it will last, at most, only a few days. If you can get rid of their hiding places, millipedes will further be discouraged from sticking around. This means getting rid of rotting wood, leaves, and other decaying organic matter. Doing this will also remove their food sources. Reducing moisture, too, will help keep the millipede at bay.
Benefits of Professional Millipede Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a millipede problem. Finding and treating the millipedes can be challenging, especially if they are spread throughout your yard. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the millipede infestation.