How To Keep Millipedes Away From The House
Five Ways To Prevent Millipedes From Infesting Your Home
Here in Florida and especially the Tampa Bay area, homeowners are often inundated with millipedes crawling everywhere around their house. Millipedes ("one thousand feet") are commonly found right after rain storms. However, they can often be found wherever there is moisture around the house. First of all, these insects are completely harmless to humans. They just have a tendency to accumulate in large numbers and be a nuisance.
What Are Millipedes?
Often mistaken for centipedes, millipedes are often black and tan in color, have small antennae, mandibles and have hundreds of pairs of legs. They seek out moisture, so they are usually found outside your home where they can burrow into small moist spaces. However, on many days they can be found around doors and windows of your home.
Millipedes eat small insects and decaying plant matter. Unlike grasshoppers, millipedes are harmless to healthy plants since they mainly feed on rotting debris. Millipedes don't bite or sting, and many consider them beneficial to the environment since they consume debris and control population of smaller insects such as aphids.
They do have a tendency to wander around the home in large numbers. If this becomes a nuisance, there are a few natural methods of keeping them away from the house.
How To Prevent Millipedes In Florida
Build A Trap
Do it yourself millipede traps are cheap and easy to make. Grab a soda bottle and place a piece of fruit inside at the bottom. Next, insert a piece of vinyl tubing at least two inches inside the bottle. Ideally, you want to find tubing that fits snugly into the opening of the bottle. Once the tube is inserted, use tape or caulk to secure it in place. Lay the bottle on its side making sure the tube inside doesn't touch the side of the bottle. Millipedes will crawl inside to get at the fruit as it rots. However, they won't know how to crawl back out. You can leave these traps wherever you see heavy millipede activity.
Apply Diatomaceous Earth Around Your Home
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a crystalline powder that can be used to treat many types of crawling insects such as ants, roaches and fleas. It works for millipedes too. The crystals in DE puncture the hard exoskeleton of the millipedes basically putting small holes all over their bodies. The bugs then dehydrate and die over time. DE can be used around doors and windows or wherever millipedes are seen. DE is safe to use around people and pets.
Tea tree and peppermint essential oils are very effective as repellents rather than bug killers. These two essential oils will often do the trick as far as keeping millipedes at bay away from your home. Dilute the essential oils and apply in areas around the home, such as windows and doorways. It works in outdoor areas as well. Reapply in outdoor areas after a rain.
Use Cayenne Pepper
Similar to Essential Oils, cayenne pepper works as an effective repellent. You can buy the peppers and grind them up or simply use the powdered version. Sprinkle the pepper wherever you see millipedes inside and outside your home such as the foundation and around plants.
Eliminate Areas With Moisture
Millipedes are attracted to moisture, so eliminating wet areas and keeping the home as dry as possible will make the house less attractive. If you find millipedes in your home, be sure that you are cleaning up all water spills around kitchen and bathroom sinks. Outside be sure to completely dry your boat and vehicles when washing them. Store wet equipment and tools away from the home. Keep gutters cleared out regularly. Avoid overwatering your lawn and water in the morning to give it time to dry out by nightfall, which is when millipedes are most active.
If You Are Still Having Millipede Issues, Call Super D Pest Control
While millipedes are not harmful to humans or animals, they can be a nuisance around the home. During the summer months, homeowners will find them everywhere! Millipedes are good for the environment, but that doesn't mean they have to be all over your house. If you have issues with millipedes or any other pest, call Super D Pest Control at 727-433-5310 today for a free inspection or use the contact feature on our website below. We are experts at controlling all pests and are here to help serve you and keep your family safe.