How to get rid of millipedes in the house

How to get rid of millipedes in the house
Photo by Vineeth Kumar

Millipedes are a group of arthropods that belongs to the class Diplopoda. These insects prefer damp places and sometimes find their way to the house. It behooves us then to find out how to get rid of millipedes in the house.

Millipedes are characterized by pairs of jointed legs on most body segments. No wonder their name means “a thousand legs.” Of course, they don’t have that many legs.

These insects are usually 1 to 2 inches long, and their legs appear to move in a wave-like motion.

They twist up into a small coil when resting or frightened. Common species of millipede are usually brown or black.

In this article, we will deal with how to get rid of millipedes in the house.

Ways to get rid of millipedes in the house

1. Eliminate them on sight.

Yes! You heard that right. Eliminate them immediately you see them. Don’t try to pick them up and release them outside. They would find a way to come back in. Right now, the enemy is millipede- eliminate it. This is just one of the most straightforward answers to how to get rid of millipedes in the house. It’s pretty simple. Kill them on sight- puff-puff, off course, not with a gun. You could stomp or squish them as soon as you spot them.

2. Use Traps.

A trap comes in handy for getting rid of millipedes in the house. It may sound unbelievable to you, but the truth is, millipedes can be dealt with traps. They are usually called tube traps.

You can get a millipede trap from the hardware store or design one yourself. Are you wondering how the trap looks? The traps are tilted sideways. It has a light in the center, which is the attraction mechanism for the millipedes. The millipedes get attracted by the light, climb into the trap, and viola! They can’t escape.

You could make one yourself. For DIY traps, get a small plastic. Put a piece of fruit inside the bottle to sit at the bottom. Insert a small plastic tube that fits snugly into the lip of the bottle and tilt the bottle on its side. You can use tape to secure the lip of the tube tightly.

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As the fruit begins to rot, it will attract the millipedes. They will crawl into the tube to get the fruit and fall straight into the bottles. They are well and truly trapped here.

You can place such traps at strategic points around the house where millipedes are active to get rid of them.

3. Remove Manually

Using a broom and dustpan, you can sweep them up and dump them in a bucket of soapy water to kill them. Manual removal is just one of the ways when it comes to how to get rid of millipedes in the house. You could also tie them up in a bag and dump them in the trash. After sweeping them, leaving them hale and hearty in your indoor trash can will bring them back inside.

A vacuum cleaner can also be used here to suck them up before disposal. Remember, if the millipedes are not dead, tie them up in a nylon bag before dropping them in th trash can. Am sure you don’t want them coming back inside.

4. Use indoor pesticides.

Using an indoor pesticide is a sure-fire way when it comes to how to get rid of millipedes in the house. An example of such pesticide to use is Diatomaceous Earth. Diatomaceous Earth is a crystalline powder that can be used to deal with a host of pests. It’s safe to use around humans and animals. So, you can sprinkle it around the rooms, foundations, under door gaps, even in houseplant soils, and under the fence. This will effectively kill the insect slowly.

Another pesticide that can be used here is boric acid. It works faster than Diatomaceous Earth, but the downside is that it isn’t safe to use around kids and pets. Nevertheless, it’s a great way of getting rid of millipedes.

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You could check out safe indoor spray insecticide from the local pesticide store around you to get an insecticide spray. They work wonders in dealing with these unwanted visitors too.

5. Essential Oils

The use of essential oil also answers the how to get rid of millipedes in house palaver. Essential oils are pretty popular in the world of beauty and medicine. Well, in the world of insects, they aren’t quite popular. Always dilute your essential oils with water before use.

Certain insects look at essential oils as the bogeyman. To the millipede, essential oils are bogeyman, especially when used in conjunction with soap. Adding a little dish of soap to your essential oil mix kills the millipede on contact immediately. Examples of essential oils used here are Tea tree oil and Peppermint oil.

These oil mixtures can be applied around entry points like windowsills, door gaps, basements, vents, foundation cracks, and crawlspaces. You can use them as spray in conjunction with soap on the insect directly if you aim to kill them immediately.

6. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper can also be included in the how to get rid of millipedes in the house arsenal. The pepper contains a natural compound called capsaicin, which can kill millipedes by damaging their nervous system. It’s an excellent repellent weapon too.

7. Hire a professional.

You’ve done what you can, and the millipedes’ don’t just seem to want to leave anytime soon. Or perhaps you can’t go through the hassle of dealing with them yourself. At this point, call a professional. Hiring a professional pest control is a great option when it comes to how to get rid of millipedes in the house. You can check call listings, peruse online reviews or even ask your neighbors for recommendations on how to get a professional to rid you of this unwanted guest.

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The professionals would help you get rid of the millipedes and help prevent millipede infestation.

Talking about prevention here when it comes to dealing with millipedes, it is worth noting that preventing millipede infestation is much better than dealing with them. So let’s take a brief look at how to avoid them. After all, prevention, they say, is better than cure.

So, how do we stop this insect from getting into the house? Let us take a look at some preventive measures.

Preventive measures in dealing with millipedes

  1. Seal up any cracks in the foundation of your house, crevices around wiring, and plumbing where millipedes may enter. Repair leaky faucets, air conditions, or leaky pipes that can attract these insects
  2. Use dehumidifiers to dry the air or use fans in rooms that don’t have good airflow. Millipedes are decomposers. They require high humidity. The bottom line is always to provide adequate ventilation in your house to reduce humidity.
  3. Clean out rain gutters, remove dead plant matter (dead plant matter store moisture and attract millipedes), and keep your grass and shrubbery trimmed neatly. Divert rainwater away from the house. This will divert water away from your home’s foundation.

Conclusion

Although millipedes are considered beneficial because they eat decaying matter and help control populations of smaller insects, they can also be annoying. One’s reaction to finding them is often one of disgust and hence the question of “how to get rid of millipedes in the house?”

As we have examined thus far, we can eliminate millipedes by removing them manually, using traps, using pesticides, and hiring professionals to get rid of them for us, amongst others. Nevertheless, stopping these insects from getting into the house is much better than trying to get rid of them. As we have examined above, they are preventive measures one can put in place that will deter this insect from getting into the house.

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