Miami-Dade County's Complete Millipede Control Guide
September 17, 2021
There are about 50 species of millipedes in Florida. They usually live outside but will come inside to escape the weather. Millipedes eat living or dead plant material. They do not bite or sting and generally curl into a spiral when disturbed. They are not insects but are more closely related to lobsters, crabs, and shrimp.
Description Of A Millipede
Most millipedes are between one and four inches long and are dark in color. They have around 20 segments as an adult, and each segment has two pairs of legs on it.
Medical Significance Of The Millipede
While millipedes do not bite or sting, they are not entirely defenseless. They can secrete hydrochloric acid from glands where the legs join the body. The acid will burn skin and can discolor the skin, too. If the fluid gets in the eyes, it can burn them. It is best not to handle millipedes. However, if you handle one, wash your hands with soap and water until you can no longer smell the millipede.
Life Cycle Of The Millipede
In the spring, millipedes lay between 20-300 eggs in the soil, and these eggs hatch in several weeks, depending on the species. The baby millipedes have about seven segments but only three pairs of legs. As they molt, millipedes get more legs and more segments. Millipedes do not reach sexual maturity for 2-5 years.
Millipedes sometimes migrate in large numbers after heavy rains in the late summer or when the weather begins to cool. They can climb, so they may go up walls and across ceilings. They can’t breed inside and usually starve to death or die because it is not humid enough. Here are some tips to keep them outside, where they belong.
- Seal cracks in the foundation and walls with caulk.
- Caulk around the holes where pipes, electrical wires, and cables enter the house.
- Fix any water leaks inside or out.
- Make sure door sweeps are in good condition.
- Make sure window and door screens fit tightly and don’t have holes in them.
- Move firewood onto a rack at least 8 inches off the ground and 8 inches from any wall.
- Clean up yard debris that will shelter the millipedes.
- Cut back trees and shrubs, so they do not touch or hang over the house.
Get Professional Help
While millipedes are just a nuisance, they are not generally welcome in the home. If you try to sweep them out, be aware that they will stain if crushed. Insecticides do not kill millipedes because they are not insects. They also tend to hide in cracks that are tough to penetrate with pesticides. Since pesticides can be dangerous if misused, be sure to follow the directions on the label. Still, millipedes are hard to kill.
A better idea is to contact Amco Pest Solutions. When you call, we will send out a trained technician to talk to you. They will inspect the entire property inside and outside. They are not solely looking for millipedes but also looking at the conditions that favor them. Our technician will develop a home pest control treatment plan just for your property and pest problems. They will present that to you and, if you agree, they will treat the home and property. One of the things they will do is treat the foundation and the ground around it to lay a barrier that insects and millipedes cannot cross. Once the treatment is done, we will come out at intervals and renew the exterior treatments to prevent pests from bothering you. Contact Amco Pest Solutions today and get rid of the millipedes and other pests causing problems in your home.