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  • Color: brown or black; but some species are orange or red.
  • Size: 5/8-inch to 4 inches in length.
  • Most species are long, cylindrical, many-segmented, worm-like creatures, however, a few millipedes appear to be flattened.
  • Millipedes have two pairs of legs attached to each apparent body segment.
  • The young initially have only three pairs of legs and seven segments.

Habits of Millipedes:

  • Females lay their eggs in nests in the soil which hatch after several weeks.
  • Developmental time (egg to adult): typically two years; some, however, require four or five years.
  • Life span of adults: several years.
  • Most species overwinter as adults or young.
  • Movement to indoor areas typically results from standing water in their natural habitat, drought and/or their natural migratory and mating instincts.
  • They usually die within a few days of entering a structure unless there is a source of high moisture and a food supply.
  • They are active at night.
  • As scavengers, they feed on decaying organic matter.

Damage Caused by Millipedes:

  • Millipedes become structural pests and a major annoyance when they invade homes and other structures, sometimes in staggering numbers.
  • Most species produce a foul smelling fluid that comes out the sides of their bodies which is toxic to some insects and small animals and which can cause blisters on human skin.

Look for:

  • Millipedes outdoors where there is moisture and decaying organic matter, e.g., under trash, grass clippings, mulch, rotting firewood, leaf litter, etc.  Millipede
  • Large populations which typically build up tremendous populations in forest litter and compost heaps.

How to Control and Kill Millipedes:

  • Moist harborages, such as wood debris, rocks, grass clippings, and leaf litter, decaying and other accumulations of organic material should be removed.
  • Firewood should be stored off the ground.
  • The lawn should be kept dethatched, mowed, and edged in order to promote drying and watered in the morning in order to promote drying by the afternoon.
  • Flower beds should not be over-mulched.
  • Entry into buildings should be prevented by sealing and caulking gaps around siding, windows, doors, pipes, wires, etc.
  • Large numbers of these structure-invading pests can be easily controlled by vacuuming and discarding the collected material.

Innovative Pest Management serves the Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, and Maryland area. Call us at (240) 755-0077 to schedule a free quote or appointment.