You will know a millipede when you see it: their many pairs of legs are hard to miss. Although people call them “thousand-leggers,” millipedes usually only have 30-90 pairs of legs, depending on the species. Even the “leggiest” millipede species, the Illacme plenipes, generally only has 333 pairs of legs.
Still, these insects are the definition of creepy-crawlies, and they can give off an unpleasant-smelling fluid out of the side of their bodies. This fluid can be very dangerous for pets and small animals, and humans can develop blisters from it. If you see millipedes in your home, you should get them removed.
Occurrence of Millipedes in Western New York
Millipedes thrive in dark, damp conditions with plenty of rot and decay around. They are scavengers, eating decaying plant material and dead insects. This tends to be good news for homeowners because millipedes won’t survive very long indoors without a food source and a damp area to live in. However, if your home does have damp areas, that could lead to problems.
Your Personal Millipede Prevention Plan
A few simple steps can keep millipedes outside and away from your home, where they belong. The most important thing to remember is that they like damp conditions, so making sure that your home is dry will prevent many problems.
- Run a dehumidifier in areas that are likely to be damp, like the basement.
- Cut your grass regularly and only water the grass in the morning. This will keep your lawn from retaining moisture.
- Don’t let firewood, leaf piles, and grass clippings stay on the ground, where they can rot and attract millipedes.