A Guide To Millipedes For West Palm Beach Homeowner

November 5, 2020


There should be a limit to how many legs a creature is allowed to have. Two legs? Great. Four? That makes sense. 400? Whoa now, isn’t that a bit excessive? If you have ever seen a millipede, you might feel the same way. Something about their bending bodies, slippery appearance, and a multitude of legs make these pests creepy to witness. If you are having trouble with millipedes around your West Palm Beach home or looking for a way to keep these pests from coming inside, here is a guide for you to use.

a millipede crawling in a home

What Are Millipedes

Although you might think millipedes are insects, they are, in fact, arthropods. The main distinction is that millipedes have a growing number of body segments according to their age, and insects always have just three. At birth, most millipedes have six body segments and three pairs of legs. Each time they molt, new segments and legs form. This process happens several times, sometimes stopping at adulthood, other times continuing for life, depending on the species of millipede.

Millipedes here in West Palm Beach are typically black, brown, red, or orange and have mottled patterns, and grow to be anywhere from 1/16-4 ½” long. Most millipedes have anywhere from 30-90 pairs of legs. The longest recorded millipede had a staggering 750 legs and was over a foot in total length.

Millipedes live primarily on a diet of decaying plant matter and will occasionally eat dead insects. During fall, these pests migrate in large numbers, seeking a warmer climate to spend the winter months. 

Are Millipedes Dangerous?

Although millipedes look scary, they are not classically dangerous pests. You don’t have to worry about them spreading dangerous diseases, biting you, or leaving welts on your skin from stings. The worst danger these pests pose is with the irritating chemical they release from their body. When handled this chemical can cause rashes on human skin. We should mention that this characteristic is only exhibited by certain species of millipedes. If you are unsure if a millipede will irritate your skin if you pick it up, it is probably best to avoid doing so.

The biggest problem millipedes cause is simply with their presence. Millipedes are annoying pests known for invading homes in large numbers, especially around the colder months. If your home does not have the proper defenses in place this fall, you could have serious problems with these pests inside your West Palm Beach home.

How To Prevent Millipedes

Millipedes invade through cracks, gaps, and openings in the exterior of buildings and stay indoors if they find a reliable source of food, water, and shelter. To make sure these pests stay out of your West Palm Beach home this fall, use these simple prevention tips:

  • Make sure your gutters are working properly
  • Fix leaky piping and fixtures in and around your home
  • Use a dehumidifier inside to keep moisture levels down
  • Seal gaps, cracks, and holes in your home’s exterior foundation using a caulking gun
  • Make sure weatherstripping, door sweeps, and window/door screens around your home are in good repair
  • Mow your lawn at least once a week
  • Water your lawn in the early morning so it can dry out by the mid-day

If your home is already crawling with millipedes, or you are looking for a more reliable solution to keep these pests out, turn to the experts at Native Pest Management. Our team will put in place advanced exclusion methods and treat your home for any existing pest problems to ensure it gets and stays pest-free. Reach out to us today at Native Pest Management to learn more about our pest control, or to get a quote for your West Palm Beach home and property.




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