With the fall season here, you may have noticed the millipedes are back again. Specifically, the North American millipede. The cooler, rainy weather provide the millipedes reason for them to appear seemingly out of nowhere and indicates the migration season is here. It could be a few on your patio area. If you look around, you may even see them climbing the foundation of your home, or around the entryways. Millipedes tend to be active at night. While they do have a beneficial need by feeding on decaying wood, plant or other organic matter outside, seeing them inside your home can bring the ick factor up a notch. No one likes waking up in the middle of the night to hear that small “crunch” sound under their feet.
Simple preventative measures you can do will help avoid or diminish the possibility of seeing them in your home. Identifying areas where millipedes and other insects gain access to your home and locating and treating harborage sites will go a long way to reducing the population and keeping a pest-free home. Check around your home and seal/caulk gaps around windows, doors, siding or other gaps that can provide easy access for these and other small pests.
Installing or replacing old weather stripping and door sweeps under entry ways will also go a long way to keep out these unwanted pests.
While the North American millipede is not a huge threat to people, pets or property, handling them with bare hands should be avoided as they can release a defensive secretion that can cause a skin irritation that resembles a mild chemical burn. Simple vacuuming or using gloves are recommended if picking them up by hand. For further control, contacting your pest professional to treat the perimeter of your home and yard now will help keep them from moving right on into your home in great numbers.