Millipedes are largely the safest pest you can find in your home. Some varieties of millipede excrete dangerous substances when threatened, so all of them should be handled with care. But, unlike their cousins the centipede, they are not carnivorous and they do not bite. They don’t cause significant damage to property. They don’t breed in or contaminate food. They are not vectors of any diseases. They largely remain underground, or at the very least under decaying objects. Yet when you see a millipede in your home and garden, there’s still probably a good chance you feel your skin start to crawl.
A big part of the reason millipedes scare so many people is that they tend to swarm. There is something inherently unsettling about removing a box or raking up a pile of leaves and seeing a writhing, wormlike mass wriggling under it. If this happens once, it’s startling. If this is happening constantly, it’s a nightmare. An unmanageable infestation of millipedes is always a problem. Consult a professional to see what you can do to stop it from happening.
But how do you keep them from reentering your home? The biggest thing is to look for signs of moisture around the house. Moisture around the house, like the kind caused by leaky faucets or roofs, can always attract pests. Far from an exception, millipedes in particular are one of the likeliest pests to find if there is water damage in your home. Other things to watch out for are boxes or leaf piles in wet areas. Removing things like that, which can build up moisture on the bottom, can remove millipedes food sources. Millipedes without a food source don’t stick around.
But don’t worry too much if you find millipedes. Millipedes are fairly commonly kept as pets by insect lovers. One of the most prevalent forms of millipede is the pillbug, which can regularly be found being safely investigated by toddlers in gardens throughout the country. Too many millipedes are a nuisance that you should have removed as soon as possible. And keeping your garden from being overrun by millipedes is essential to the life of your plants. But don’t let their appearance frighten you. Millipedes are largely the safest kind of pest you can deal with.