What's worse than the average bug? A bug with hundreds of legs. Seeing a bug in your home is never pleasant, but seeing a big skittering across your floor with hundreds of legs can be disturbing and unsettling. Millipedes are the definition of a creepy crawly. Let us help you figure out the mind of a millipede, and how to avoid getting them in your home.
Luckily, millipedes do not usually survive indoors for more than a few days unless there are high moisture conditions and a food supply is present. This means that if you follow the advice given below, you will likely never have an indoor millipede problem or can quickly solve an existing one.
How they get in
Any damp areas around your home will attract millipedes. Once it becomes too hot and dry outside, millipedes migrate inside your home and hide underneath boxes and furniture.
To get inside, millipedes will climb up your home's foundation and enter through basement doors, basement windows, crawlspace vents, doors with missing weather stripping, and garage doors. Knowing this, you probably already know a few of the things we're going to suggest you do to keep these bugs out.
Because millipedes are mostly active at night, it is difficult to identify that your home is in fact infested with millipedes without visually seeing them, usually curled up dead on your basement floor.
How to get rid of them
1. Mow your lawn frequently- Cut your grass often to keep it from growing tall and retaining moisture.. Tall grass serves as a perfect hiding spot for millipedes because it stays moist near the base, which creates the perfect habitat for them. Another landscaping tip is to water your grass in the morning so the grass has time to dry by night when millipedes are the most active.
2. Redirect all rain water away from your house- Make sure your rain gutters are diverting all water away from your home. The moisture from water build up around your house attracts millipedes.
3. Remove all hiding spots- Piles of dead leaves and sticks should be removed off of your lawn immediately as they serve as perfect hiding ground for these pest, and may attract other insects like termites. Hiding places that have no benefit to you like loose rocks, trash, and leaves should be cleaned out of your yard to keep moisture from collecting. If you can, keep any coverage, like mulch or decorative rocks at least 5 ft away from your home.
4. Seal all cracks that lead into your home- Millipedes are small and they can find the smallest openings to enter your home. Apply new weather stripping to your doors and windows is you see any gaps or feel any drafts coming through. Also make sure you seal up any cracks in the walls or foundation in your home with caulk.
Replace/apply weather stripping to any doors or windows that do not fit properly
One way you can check your weather stripping is to use two people and a flashlight. Have one person stand outside the door and another person inside with the lights off. Shine the flashlight around the openings and if you see any cracks, you know you need to add or replace weather stripings. Also, new weather stripping will have a few other benefits, such as keeping some other creepy pests out of your home, like spiders and cockroaches.
Make sure any exterior vents are covered with a screen to keep out millipedes.
5. Remove inside moisture- Millipedes are attracted to excess moisture, so install a dehumidifier to get rid of any excess moisture.
Pay special attention to the subfloor crawl space and basement, if your house has these areas. These spaces are usually among the most damp, so if millipedes are entering your home, it might be through these locations.
Once the moisture is removed, the millipedes will not survive for long.
To check on whether or not moisture is a big problem in your living space, place hygrometers in the most moist areas of the house. These are tools that measure the humidity in a given area. If the hygrometer indicates that a space has a humidity at 50 percent or higher, the area is damp enough to invite millipedes and allow them to thrive.
Taking these measures will make it nearly impossible for millipedes to find their way inside. If you notice a problem with millipedes, or any other bugs, put your problem in the hands of the professionals. At Breda Pest Management we know the ins and outs of all your pest problems and would be more than happy to handle them. To get schedule a service or request a free consultation, contact us at (770) 466-6700.