If you’ve ever come across a millipede or centipede in your home, you know how unsettling it can be. These long, many-legged creatures can make even the bravest of us feel a little creeped out. While they are generally harmless, having them crawling around your living space is not ideal.
The good news is that there are several steps you can take to get rid of millipedes and centipedes and prevent them from coming back. In this blog, we’ll share some effective tips and tricks for dealing with these unwelcome guests. Whether you’re dealing with a full-blown infestation or just a few stray insects, these tips will help you keep your home millipede and centipede-free.
Understanding Millipedes and Centipedes
Centipedes and millipedes are arthropods from the subphylum Myriapoda but belong to different classes. Millipedes in the house are classified as Diplopoda due to their two pairs of jointed legs per body segment, while centipedes have one pair of legs per body segment and belong to the class Chilopoda.
Though they have similar names and appearances, these two species differ in terms of behavior and habitat. Both centipedes and millipedes are known to occasionally invade homes and gardens, especially during the spring and fall months. They usually feed on decaying plant matter and small insects and may seek shelter indoors during hot and dry weather.
How to Get Rid of Millipedes and Centipedes in Your House
1. Minimize Moisture
Minimizing moisture is one of the most important steps in preventing millipedes and centipedes from taking up residence in your home. These pests are attracted to damp environments, so keeping your home dry and well-ventilated can go a long way in keeping them away.
Make sure to fix any leaky pipes or faucets, clean up any standing water, and use a dehumidifier in areas that are prone to moisture buildup. Additionally, be sure to keep your gutters and downspouts clear of debris, as clogged gutters can lead to water buildup around the foundation of your home. By minimizing moisture, you’ll create an environment that is less hospitable to millipedes and centipedes, making it more difficult for them to thrive in your home.
2. Move Them Outdoors
If you’re not too squeamish about handling live insects, moving millipedes and centipedes outside could be an effective way to get rid of them. Simply scoop them up gently using a piece of paper or a cup, being careful not to harm them in the process. Then, release them back into the great outdoors, ideally in a wooded area where they can continue to feed on decaying plant matter or small insects.
Not only is this approach humane, but it also allows these creatures to continue performing their important ecological functions. However, keep in mind that this method may not be practical if you’re dealing with a large infestation or if you’re uncomfortable handling live insects.
3. Bring in Professional Pest Control
If you’ve tried all the DIY methods to get rid of millipedes and centipedes but they still persist, it might be time to call in professional pest control. Experienced pest control specialists have the necessary tools and expertise to effectively eliminate these pests from your home. They can identify the root cause of the infestation and implement targeted treatments to eliminate the insects and prevent them from coming back.
Professional pest control services may involve the use of chemical treatments, but many companies offer eco-friendly and non-toxic options as well. If you’re dealing with a severe or persistent infestation, bringing in a professional may be the most effective and efficient way to deal with the problem.
4. Remove Debris from Your Home and Garden
Removing debris from your home and garden is an effective way to prevent millipedes and centipedes from invading your living space. These insects love to hide in damp, dark places, so removing any clutter or debris from around your home can make it less hospitable for them. In addition to removing debris, consider adding plants that keep pests away from your garden. Certain plants, such as lavender, mint, and marigolds, have natural insect-repelling properties and can help keep millipedes and centipedes at bay.
5. Seal Their Entry Points
Centipedes and millipedes have the ability to enter indoor spaces through small openings such as cracks, crevices, and gaps in your building’s foundation. To prevent their entry, it’s important to conduct a thorough inspection of your outside foundation wall for any cracks or gaps and carefully seal them off as necessary. Additionally, make sure your doors and windows fit tightly and cover any openings above the building foundation. By sealing all possible openings in your house, you can effectively prevent these crawling creatures from gaining entry indoors.
Millipedes vs. Centipedes
|Number of legs
|Two pairs per body segment
|One pair per body segment
|Slow, steady crawl
|Fast, agile crawl
|Decaying plant materials
|Small insects and other invertebrates
|Harm to humans
|Generally harmless, can cause mild skin irritation
|Can deliver painful bites, some species may be venomous
Are Centipedes and Millipedes Dangerous?
Although centipedes and millipedes are not considered dangerous pests, their large population inside or near our homes is not desired. While these occasional invaders may not pose a threat in the traditional sense, direct contact with them can present certain risks to humans.
Centipedes can deliver painful bites. Fortunately, the venom they inject is not potent enough to cause significant health problems, but the bites can still be quite uncomfortable.
Millipedes, on the other hand, have a defense mechanism where they spray an unpleasant-smelling liquid, which can cause skin reactions upon direct contact. While these insects may not be dangerous, it is still best to avoid having them in large numbers near or inside our homes.
Getting rid of millipedes or centipedes doesn’t have to be a hassle. By following these tips, you’ll have no problem making your home free from these creepy crawlies. It’s important to remember that prevention is the best way to keep them away, so make sure to do your part in reducing humidity and moisture around your home. Additionally, if you’re having trouble with a large infestation, don’t hesitate to call a professional exterminator.
When people find their homes and offices infested with pests, it is not uncommon for them to panic. Raymond Web has taken upon him the task to educate people on pest prevention and control strategies helping them keep their surroundings healthy, safe and pest-free. Being the digital marketing manager for Take Care Termite and Pest Control, in Tracy, CA, he has in-depth understanding of people and their pain points due to pests, which he efficiently uses in his content to educate people and add value to their lives.