Pest Control
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How to Get Rid of Millipedes

Discover effective methods to eliminate millipede infestations from your home and garden. Learn how to get rid of millipedes and regain peace of mind.

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Coleman Spaulding
August 9, 2023
Last Updated:
October 10, 2023
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Coleman Spaulding
August 9, 2023
Last Updated:
October 10, 2023

Identifying a Millipede Infestation

Recognizing the signs of millipede presence, understanding vulnerable areas, and differentiating millipede species by their distinctive signs are crucial steps towards effective millipede control.

Signs of Millipede Infestation

  • Presence of numerous millipedes in and around your property.
  • Discovering millipede trails on the ground or along walls.
  • Noticing millipede droppings resembling tiny black or brown pellets.
  • Observing plant damage caused by millipedes feeding on vegetation.

Areas Prone to Millipede Infestation

  • Damp and moist environments, such as basements, crawl spaces, and bathrooms.
  • Gardens with abundant leaf litter, mulch, or decaying organic matter.
  • Underneath rocks, logs, and debris in outdoor spaces.

Differentiating Millipede Species by Signs

  • Counting the number of body segments to distinguish between millipede species.
  • Identifying millipede coloration and patterns, which can vary between species.
  • Noticing any unique markings or features specific to certain millipede types.

Remember that understanding these signs will empower you to take effective measures to manage and control millipede infestations around your property.

Removal of Millipede

Whether you prefer non-toxic and eco-friendly solutions or need to consider chemical options, this guide provides you with comprehensive strategies to address millipede infestations.

Non-Toxic & Eco Friendly

Baits & Traps:

  • Use homemade or store-bought traps to catch millipedes.
  • Place traps in areas prone to millipede activity.
  • Dispose of captured millipedes away from your property.

Natural Repellants:

  • Create barriers using substances like diatomaceous earth or cedar chips.
  • Sprinkle these repellants around entry points and infested areas.
  • Reapply repellants after rain or when necessary.

Non-toxic Repellant Products:

  • Choose natural repellants free from harmful chemicals.
  • Apply repellants in accordance with product instructions.
  • These products deter millipedes without posing risks to the environment.

Biological Control Methods:

  • Introduce natural predators like centipedes, spiders, and ground beetles.
  • Maintain a balanced ecosystem to keep millipede populations in check.
  • Enhance plant diversity to attract beneficial insects.

Chemical & Pesticides


  • Understand the types of pesticides available for millipede control.
  • Choose a pesticide suitable for your specific infestation.


  • Follow safety instructions provided on pesticide labels.
  • Wear appropriate protective gear during application.
  • Keep pesticides out of reach of children and pets.

How to Apply Pesticides Effectively:

  • Apply pesticides to areas with high millipede activity.
  • Treat entry points, cracks, and crevices.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of the treatment over time.

Millipede Removal Services:

  • Consider hiring professional pest control services for severe infestations.
  • Professionals have the expertise and tools to tackle millipede issues effectively.

By utilizing these removal methods, you can effectively manage millipede populations on your property while maintaining a safe and eco-friendly environment.

Dealing with Specific Millipede Species

Understanding the characteristics and habits of these species is crucial for effective millipede control. We'll provide insights on how to identify and manage them to keep your environment millipede-free.

North American Millipede (Narceus americanus)


  • Dark brown to black in color.
  • Reach up to 4 inches in length.
  • Segmented body with numerous legs on each segment.


  • Prefer moist environments like mulch, leaf litter, and damp soil.
  • Often found in gardens, flower beds, and wooded areas.

Control Strategies:

  • Remove excess mulch and leaf debris near buildings.
  • Ensure proper drainage to reduce moisture levels.
  • Seal cracks and crevices in the foundation to prevent entry.

Garden Millipede (Oxidus gracilis)


  • Slender, cylindrical body.
  • Dark gray to black coloration.
  • Shorter in length compared to other species.


  • Commonly found in gardens and landscapes.
  • Feed on decaying plant matter and organic material.

Control Strategies:

  • Maintain well-aerated soil to prevent excessive moisture.
  • Remove debris and plant matter that attract millipedes.
  • Implement barriers like diatomaceous earth around garden beds.

Common Millipede (Blaniulus guttulatus)


  • Long and cylindrical body.
  • Brownish-black with yellowish spots.
  • Have approximately 30 to 40 segments.


  • Thrive in damp and humid conditions.
  • Often found in gardens, under logs, and in leaf litter.

Control Strategies:

  • Improve soil drainage to minimize dampness.
  • Clear away hiding spots like fallen leaves and debris.
  • Use physical barriers like copper tape to deter millipedes.

Understanding the unique characteristics and behaviors of these specific millipede species allows you to tailor your control measures effectively. By targeting their preferences and habitats, you can significantly reduce millipede populations and create a more comfortable living environment.

Prevention Measures for Millipede

Preventing millipede infestations involves creating an environment that is less conducive to their presence. By implementing these proactive measures, you can minimize the likelihood of millipedes invading your space and causing inconvenience.

Regular Cleaning Practices

  • Keep your indoor and outdoor spaces clean and free from clutter.
  • Regularly sweep and vacuum areas where millipedes might hide, such as basements, garages, and storage spaces.
  • Dispose of organic debris and leaf litter from your yard to eliminate potential hiding spots.

Proper Food Storage

  • Store pet food, birdseed, and other organic materials in tightly sealed containers to prevent attracting millipedes.
  • Clean up food spills promptly and ensure that there are no crumbs left behind.

Sealing Entry Points

  • Inspect your home for cracks, gaps, and openings in doors, windows, and foundations.
  • Seal any gaps or crevices with weatherstripping, caulk, or wire mesh to prevent millipedes from entering.

Ant-Repellant Plants

  • Plant ant-repellent herbs and plants such as mint, lavender, and rosemary around the perimeter of your property.
  • These plants can deter not only ants but also other pests, including millipedes.

Natural Solutions

  • Create a barrier using diatomaceous earth around your home's foundation and entry points.
  • Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance that can help deter millipedes by causing them to dehydrate.

Regular Property Inspection & Maintenance

  • Regularly inspect your property for signs of excess moisture, such as leaky pipes or faulty drainage.
  • Address any maintenance issues promptly to prevent damp environments that millipedes thrive in.

Pest Control Subscription

  • Consider enlisting the help of professional pest control services for routine inspections and preventive treatments.
  • Pest control experts can identify vulnerabilities and provide targeted solutions to keep millipedes at bay.

By incorporating these prevention measures into your routine, you can create an environment that is less inviting to millipedes. Taking proactive steps to limit their access and remove attractive conditions can significantly reduce the chances of millipede infestations and help you maintain a comfortable living space.

The Different Species of Millipede

Millipedes belong to a diverse group of arthropods with various species inhabiting different environments. In the mid-west region of the USA, you may encounter several common millipede species:

Common Millipede (Narceus spp.)

  • Recognizable by their cylindrical body and numerous segments.
  • Typically black or dark brown, with reddish-orange markings.
  • Prefer moist environments like leaf litter and decaying wood.

Garden Millipede (Oxidus spp.)

  • Small, slender millipedes often found in gardens and urban areas.
  • Dark gray or black in color, with a distinct, two-toned appearance.
  • Known to curl into a spiral when disturbed.

Flat-backed Millipede (Polydesmida spp.)

  • Characterized by their flattened, rectangular body shape.
  • Various colors, often with patterns or markings on their dorsal side.
  • Occupy a range of habitats from forests to grasslands.

Bristly Millipede (Polyxenus spp.)

  • Unique appearance with bristle-like structures covering their body.
  • Generally smaller in size and often found in leaf litter or damp soil.
  • Often feed on fungi and decaying organic matter.

Greenhouse Millipede (Ommatoiulus spp.)

  • Commonly found in greenhouses and indoor settings.
  • Slim and elongated body with a variety of colors, including green.
  • May become pests in certain agricultural or horticultural settings.

Each millipede species has specific behaviors, habitats, and preferences. Understanding the differences between these species can help you develop targeted and effective strategies for controlling and managing millipede infestations. Keep in mind that some millipede species play important roles in nutrient recycling and ecosystem processes, so careful consideration is needed when implementing control measures to avoid disrupting the natural balance.

Everything you should know about Millipede

Millipedes are fascinating creatures that play important roles in the ecosystem. Understanding their behavior, life cycle, and interaction with the environment can help you manage their presence and ensure a harmonious coexistence. Here's a comprehensive overview of millipedes:

Life Cycle

  • Millipedes undergo a gradual metamorphosis, with distinct stages: egg, nymph, and adult.
  • Eggs are laid in soil or decaying matter, and nymphs resemble adults but are smaller and lack some segments.
  • Millipedes molt as they grow, shedding their exoskeleton to accommodate their increasing size.

Foraging & Feeding Habits

  • Millipedes are detritivores, feeding on decomposing organic matter like leaves, wood, and plant debris.
  • They play a crucial role in breaking down decaying materials, contributing to nutrient recycling.

Seasonal Behavior

  • Millipedes are most active during warm, damp conditions, such as spring and fall.
  • They often emerge at night to forage and seek shelter during the day to avoid desiccation.

Millipede in the Ecosystem

  • Millipedes contribute to soil health by aiding in decomposition and nutrient cycling.
  • They provide a food source for various predators, including birds, amphibians, and some insects.

By understanding the biology, behavior, and ecological role of millipedes, you can make informed decisions about managing their presence. Balancing control measures with environmental conservation will help you coexist peacefully with these remarkable creatures while maintaining a pest-free living space.

Impact of Millipede Control on the Environment

Balancing effective millipede control with environmental conservation is crucial to maintain ecosystem health. Here's a look at how different control methods can impact the environment:

Environmental Footprint of Chemical Pesticides

  • Chemical pesticides may harm not only millipedes but also beneficial insects, animals, and plants.
  • Their widespread use can lead to soil and water contamination, affecting other organisms in the ecosystem.
  • Non-target species can be disrupted, leading to imbalances in predator-prey relationships.

Eco-Friendly Pest Control Methods

  • Natural repellents, traps, and biological control methods are more targeted and pose fewer risks to the environment.
  • These methods focus on specific pests and avoid harming non-target organisms, promoting ecological balance.
  • They are safer for pollinators, birds, amphibians, and other animals that contribute to ecosystem stability.

Sustainable Practices for Millipede Control

  • Implementing prevention measures like habitat modification and moisture reduction reduces the need for intensive control.
  • Regular property maintenance and inspections can address millipede issues without resorting to harsh chemicals.
  • Adopting integrated pest management (IPM) approaches emphasizes a holistic and environmentally conscious strategy.

Considerations for Pest Control Services

  • Pest control professionals should prioritize eco-friendly methods and assess the potential impact on non-target species.
  • Select services that incorporate sustainable practices, minimizing harm to the environment and ecosystem.

Striking a balance between effective millipede control and environmental responsibility is essential for maintaining the delicate equilibrium of ecosystems. By choosing methods that minimize harm to non-target organisms, you can protect biodiversity and contribute to a healthier environment.

How can I prevent millipedes from entering my home?

Preventing millipedes from entering your home involves a combination of proactive measures:

  • Seal cracks and gaps in doors, windows, and foundations.
  • Ensure proper drainage to prevent excess moisture around the house.
  • Remove leaf litter, mulch, and debris from around the perimeter.
  • Trim vegetation away from the exterior walls.
  • Use weather stripping and door sweeps to create a barrier.
  • Keep indoor areas clean and dry to discourage millipedes.

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