RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Household pests are typically limited to eight legs or wings. This time of year however, you may be finding a different kind of creepy crawler.
Researchers at North Carolina State University say millipedes typically make dark, cool, moist environments like mulched shrubs and flower beds their home. They like to hide and feed and decomposing vegetation.
While their preferred home is outside in nature, you may have already spotted a few in your home.
Experts say they’re being driven indoors because of hot and dry conditions.
They often move inside in the fall to avoid extreme colds. Millipedes often find their way inside through door thresholds or voids in concrete walls.
If you’re seeing a lot inside your home now, that could mean there’s a significant breeding ground in the lawn, under mulch or near your house’s foundation.
Good news is, millipedes won’t live in your home for very long. The last of moisture will kill them in a few hours or days. If they find a significant source of moisture, that could keep them alive a little longer.
What should I do?
There are steps you can take to reduce the limit the number of millipedes coming into your home.
Removing sources of moisture or debris immediately outside your home may be helpful.
NCSU experts recommend keeping mulch, grass clippings, boxes or stones at least six inches away from the wall of your home.
Keeping your foundation, basement walls or crawl space free of water or leaks will create a less favorable environment for millipedes to live in. Sealing cracks or openings around your foundation can help keep them at bay as well.
Experts caution against insecticides along your baseboards as they say won’t keep them from making their way indoors.
Using them on the exterior of your home may be more effective in keeping millipedes or other pests out.
However, as noted earlier, any invading millipedes will likely die off fairly quickly.
While having these multi-legged crawlers in your home may be a nuisance, the insects are largely harmless. They breed in organic and moist environments so they won’t be laying eggs in your home.
Still, with this just being the beginning of the summer season, millipede sightings may continue for several weeks.