Guide To Millipede Prevention
Millipedes may not very big, in terms of size, but they can be a big problem when they decide to invade your home by the hundreds. And even before they get inside, they can be a nuisance in your entryway or yard. If only those creepy bugs would stay in the soil where they belong. Let's take a look at what goes on in the mind of a millipede, and see what we can learn that will keep these creepy pests out.
Millipedes are moisture pests. They love moist soil and wet organic debris. If your yard provides these, you're going to have millipedes. While millipedes can be beneficial by breaking down organic matter and aiding in aeration of the soil, they also eat vegetables, ornamentals, and seedlings.
Millipedes are drawn to:
Moist leaf litter
Areas where shade prevents rainwater from drying up
Vegetable gardens--feeding on decaying plants first
The ground underneath objects that block the sun
Areas where water from broken or obstructed gutters has moistened the soil
Tall grass where moisture is retained
Grass clippings--especially when wet
Firewood that is not covered
Any wet organic material
Removing or reducing these attractants can help to control the number of millipedes that come into your yard. Fewer millipedes in your yard will lead to fewer millipedes getting into your home.
Millipedes don't see your home and automatically want to get into it. They get in because they've come close to your foundation walls. It is important to always keep your perimeter dry. Look for all of the attractants listed above and remove them. If you have mulch, be aware that this can give harborage to millipedes, especially if you have any plants near your home. Millipede feed on dying ornamentals, as well as dead insects.
When millipedes start to come inside, it is usually because the conditions outside are unfavorable. Long periods of drought will make them uncomfortable enough to leave the soil and search your walls for entry points. Times of saturation that lead to flooding can cause them to seek higher ground. This will have them climbing your walls and can lead to invasion. And sometimes, hot temperatures outside make your cool basement seem more interesting. In all of these cases, you want to make sure those millipedes don't find any entry points. Inspect your walls for gaps, cracks, and holes. If you find any entry points, seal them. A great, all-purpose tool is a caulking gun. If you can't do official repairs right now, this can provide a good temporary fix. But bear in mind that sealing your walls may not be enough to keep millipedes out. These tiny insects can get in through some pretty tight spaces. For complete exclusion, it may be necessary to enlist the aid of a professional pest control technician.
The Good News
Millipedes can't live long inside your home. Sadly, that is where the good news ends.
The Bad News
If you have millipedes getting into your home, you're going to keep getting invaded until you create a barrier to keep them out. And, while millipedes won't last long in your home, they excrete a fluid that can be toxic to small animals and leave small blisters on humans.
Millipede Pest Control
For millipedes and over 30 other household pests, the best solution is ongoing pest control service. There are many opportunistic insects, rodents, and birds that can cause problems when they come into your yard or get into your home. And, while millipedes are mostly just a nuisance, it is nicer when they're not around. A professional pest control technician will keep you informed about the pest pressures in your yard and apply appropriate measures to manage pest populations. Most importantly, your technician will apply protocols established by industry experts to seal pests out of your home.
If you live in Massachusetts or Connecticut, find out about our Pest Guard Home Pest Control Plan. We'll give your home the protection it needs from millipedes, centipedes, carpenter ants, spiders, sow bugs, mice, and other household invaders. You can probably live with bugs, rodents, and birds, but isn't it so much nicer to live without them?