Look Out For Fall Millipede Migrations!
By Chris Williams on October 15, 2012.
In fall, and sometimes in spring, millipedes occasionally migrate by the thousands, and can end up inside your home. What triggers these migrations? Our best guess is that it’s a combination of temperature and humidity. Millipedes like secluded damp areas where they can feed on decaying plant material. If their environment becomes too dry or too wet, they either move on or die. Unfortunately, when they move on, it is often into your home. Because millipedes require moisture, once indoors they gravitate toward the dampest areas of the house, almost always on the lowest level. They can be found in crawlspaces, basements, near washing machines and sump pumps. Millipedes are mostly harmless. They don’t bite, they don’t damage household furnishings, but they can excrete a strong-smelling defensive fluid if they’re handled. The fluid from some species can irritate the skin and eyes on contact. Millipedes don’t usually survive long inside because of the lack of moisture and they can be easily removed with a vacuum or broom. Because millipedes are so dependent on damp conditions, drying out their outside environment is a pesticide-free way to control them around the outside of your house. The more you can eliminate moisture around the foundation of your home, the fewer millipedes you will have. These tips work for other moisture-loving foundation pests, too, like crickets, sowbugs, and earwigs. Dry
5 Tips on How to Remove Millipedes
Below is a list on what I believe to be five of the easier things that a home-owner can do to remove millipedes from their home. If you find these techniques to not work it may be time to hire Colonial Pest Control for helping you with your insect issue.
1) Remove debris around the foundation
Stacks of boards, rocks, mulch, and grass clippings provide sheltered, damp hiding places for millipedes.
2) Dethatch lawns
Millipedes thrive in the dense thatch layer of plant material just above the soil surface. Removing some thatch will deprive them of this damp environment.
3) Mow lawns more closely and edge lawns
This allows the grass to dry more quickly and reduces millipede habitat. Some kinds insects can be helpful to your lawn and should not be removed.
4) Water in early morning
Watering first thing in the morning allows the grass to dry during the day instead of remaining wet though the night.
5) Create a vegetation-free barrier
Rake back mulch and/or remove thick grass and plants within 6-12 inches of the building perimeter. If you have to mulch around your foundation, use as light a layer as possible. Keeping millipedes away from your home’s foundation means fewer will find their way inside through gaps around doors or utility lines, or through foundation vents and other openings. Don’t forget to caulk and seal openings around the foundation and be sure that the gasket at the bottom of your garage door seals tightly. If you found this article to be an interesting read then you might enjoy reading our post on managing millipedes. If you’re just interested in getting these pests out of your home, quickly, please refer to our services page for insects.
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