Don't Let Anaheim's Millipedes Take Over Your Yard
June 30, 2022 - Pest Control
After a rainstorm, it's common to see millipedes wandering around your property. Although they are a relatively harmless pest and an integral part of our planet's ecosystem, too many of them quickly become a nuisance. Their secretions can irritate people and pets, so it's important to get these bugs under control.
Don't try to tackle a serious millipede problem on your own. Read more in the following guide about the millipedes in Anaheim and how to stop an infestation.
How To Identify Millipedes
Millipedes are also known as "thousand leggers." The average millipede has between 30 and 90 pairs of legs, with some species known to have hundreds. They have a round, worm-like appearance and two small antennae. Most millipedes are black or brown, but some can be more orange or red. They range greatly in size and can be anywhere from one-sixteenth of an inch to four and a half inches in length. Millipedes aren't quick, so they rely on their protective outer coating whenever they're in danger. A millipede will curl into a spiral to protect its soft undersides when under attack.
There are over 1,000 species of millipedes in the United States. They are nocturnal creatures and feed on dead insects and decaying plants. These bugs require a high level of moisture to survive. Their preferred habitats include soil, mulch, piles of grass clippings, compost piles, and garbage.
Are Millipedes In Anaheim Venomous?
A millipede doesn't produce venom, but some species secrete fluids used when they believe they're in danger. They are fairly docile creatures that don't have the ability to bite, pinch, or sting. In addition to their curling defense, some millipedes produce fluids from glands on the sides of their bodies. These glands are also known as "stink glands," and the substance they produce has an extremely repulsive odor and taste to a millipede's predators. While these chemicals are relatively harmless to humans, the secretions may cause blisters when they come in contact with the skin. To be safe, wear protective gloves or wash your hands immediately after handling a millipede and avoid touching your eyes. It's essential to get a millipede infestation under control, as their secretions can be toxic to small animals and pets.
Millipedes are often confused with centipedes, another leggy insect. Centipedes are more aggressive insects that can bite when provoked. They also produce venom, which helps them kill their prey. While centipede bites can be painful to humans, their venom is hardly ever a cause for concern. Centipedes can produce venom with toxins that cause severe allergic reactions in rare cases.
What Attracts Millipedes To Anaheim Homes
Because millipedes require an abundance of moisture for survival, they seek out damp, dark places to live. While it's uncommon for millipedes to live indoors, they may thrive in moist or flood-prone areas like the basement. Even though these insects are beneficial to the ecosystem, as they consume decaying matter, they can be a nuisance to homeowners. Here are several ways to prevent millipedes from taking over your property:
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth or boric acid around your garden. The crystals in these naturally-occurring substances are sharp and pierce the hard exoskeletons of many nuisance insects. You can also sprinkle them inside your home in any areas where you see millipedes.
- Use essential oils, specifically peppermint and tea tree oil. Mix a few drops with water and spray it around your home or use an oil diffuser.
- Eliminate moisture from your home. Wipe up any spills in the kitchen and make sure all leaky pipes receive repairs. Use a dehumidifier in any damp rooms of your house. Outdoors, eliminate standing water sources, and avoid overwatering your lawn.
- Clean up piles of leaves and grass clippings from your lawn. Ensure your trash and compost piles are covered. Repair any holes or cracks in exterior walls and seal openings in window and door frames.
When preventative measures fail, it might be time to contact an exterminator experienced in millipede pest control.
How To Get Rid Of Millipedes For Good
For tough millipede infestations, rely on the experts at A1 Bonded Termite. Our professional team has been a trusted source of Anaheim pest control since 1976. Our eco-friendly extermination solutions are both safe and effective. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, give us a call.