It is good to have a few millipedes in your yard and in your garden. As millipedes move around in your yard, they return fertilizing nutrients to the soil and help with aeration. When they get into an outdoor garden, they can assist with the breakdown of dead plant matter and remove fungi. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Lots of millipedes can be bad. They can kill seedlings, feed on vegetables, and damage some plants in your landscaping. They can get into your home as well. This can turn into a nightmare. Here are a few more quick facts every Springfield resident should know about millipedes.
Easy Millipede Identification
If you're not familiar with what a millipede looks like, it is actually quite easy to tell them apart from all the other living creatures in your yard. Millipedes have as many as two hundred pairs of tiny legs underneath their hard-shelled, worm-like bodies. That's more legs than any other Springfield bug that will come into your yard. You can also quickly differentiate them from other bugs in your yard by touching one. We wouldn't recommend using your bare finger. Use a garden tool or some other item. When you touch a millipede, it will curl up into a spiral. The only other pest that you might think is a millipede is a centipede because they have fifteen pairs of legs. But centipedes don't have a hard shell and they don't curl up when you poke them.
Threats Millipedes Present
A millipede does not bite or sting, but it can present a mild safety concern. They have a secretion that can cause your skin to burn or itch. If you rub your eyes, it can lead to swelling, redness, irritation, or eye pain. While these are mild issues that can be corrected, it is wise to always wear gloves if you're going to handle millipedes.
Why Millipedes Get Into Springfield Homes
Millipedes can't live inside your home. While they have a life span of more than seven years, they won't last more than two to four weeks indoors. So why do they come in? Here are a few reasons millipedes might enter your home.
By accident: If you have entry points in your foundation walls or exterior walls, millipedes can find their way in by accident.
Because it is cold outside: While they can survive the winter cold by hiding in the ground, inside a log or tree, or under a rock, they might slip into your house to overwinter.
Because it is too dry outside: Millipedes need moisture to survive. If we have a period of drought, it can drive millipedes inside.
Because it is too wet outside: Millipedes love moisture, but flood conditions can kill them. When the ground becomes oversaturated, millipedes can get into your home as they seek higher ground.
How To Prevent A Millipede Infestation
There are three things you can do that will have a big impact on whether or not millipedes will get into your home. They will require you to roll up your sleeves and do some work.
Exclusions — Do a detailed inspection of your exterior walls, paying close attention to areas that are close to the ground. If you see any gaps or cracks, seal them to keep millipedes out.
Alterations — You can change conditions around your home to make your perimeter less habitable for millipedes. Remove leaves, grass clippings, and woodpiles. Remove objects that sit on the ground and create a dark, damp hiding place underneath. Address clogged cutters. Address plumbing leaks. Water your plants in the morning to allow the sun to dry the moisture before nightfall when millipedes come out to move about.
Control Interior Humidity — If millipedes get into your home, you don't want them to find humid or damp conditions. Use dehumidifiers, fans, and plastic barriers to control these conditions inside your home.
Millipedes are not a big threat; they are mostly just nuisance pests. But there are many pests that are far more than a nuisance. When you have ongoing residential pest control service, you can keep them all out of your home. We can assist you with this. Reach out to American Pest Solutions to establish ongoing, always active pest protection around your Springfield home. We're standing by to help.