No creature embodies the phrase “creepy crawly” quite like millipedes. Although they’re harmless, they can be very alarming to find in your home. Their rolling legs and armored bodies have no place in a comfortable living room.
Read on to learn a little bit more about millipedes, and what you can do to prevent them in your Utah home.
Millipedes versus centipedes
One common mix-up is thinking that millipedes and centipedes are interchangeable. While they’re part of the same family of insects, there are some important key differences.
First of all, centipedes have less legs, and the best way to tell the difference between a centipede and millipede is that a centipede will have one pair of legs per segment on their body, whereas a millipede will have two pairs of legs per segment. Centipedes usually have a very flattened appearance and are commonly yellowish to brown in color. Millipedes, on the other hand, look rounded and are usually dark brown or dark gray.
Neither species presents a health risk or danger, but millipedes are more likely to be found in large groups while centipedes often fly solo. A few species of centipede in Utah can cause painful stings. However, centipedes are seldom found indoors in Utah. You’re much more likely to have millipedes in your home.
Millipedes’ habitat and diet
Millipedes feed on decaying and moist organic material, like fallen leaves or rotting wood. They require a lot of moisture to thrive. Very rarely do millipedes carry disease, and they don’t bite or sting. Therefore, the biggest problem that millipedes present is that they’re a nuisance. Additionally, they might be a sign that there’s excess moisture in your home, perhaps from a leaky pipe.
Millipedes can be found in any area of the home, but they’re especially common in basements and crawlspaces.
How to handle millipedes
Since millipedes don’t pose a danger to your health or property, the major task is simply to clean them up and prevent more from getting comfortable in your home. Millipedes can easily be cleaned up by vacuuming. You’ll also want to check for excess moisture in your home and seal and caulk cracks in the walls, windows, and doorframes.
You can also prevent millipedes in your home with pest guard perimeter spray. Our Bug Barrier Program deters spiders, ants, millipedes, and beetles from migrating into your home. If you find yourself commonly encountering millipedes in your home, give us a call!