Millipedes are unique creatures that are most known for having lots and lots of legs. They are generally harmless and benefit the environment as decomposers, but sometimes population explosions can mean that they may begin to damage crops and become a nuisance in homes. Millipede control may become necessary in these situations. 

What do millipedes look like?

Millipedes are slow moving animals that typically grow to be 20-45 mm long, though some species can be much larger. They have long, smooth, cylindrical shaped bodies that are usually gray, brown, or black in color. Millipedes have many different body segments with 2 pairs of legs per segment. They can have anywhere from 30 to 350 pairs of legs!

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Where do millipedes live?

There are over 1,000 species of millipedes that are found all over the world. They generally like to live in leaf litter, decaying wood, compost, and other moist areas. In Australia, there are native millipedes and invasive ones. The species that causes the most problems is the Portuguese millipede. This species tends to emerge in large numbers in autumn and spring.

Why are millipedes considered pests?

Millipedes are not harmful to animals or humans, but they can invade gardens and homes in large numbers, especially after rain. When they congregate in these large numbers, they can do damage to crops, especially melons, tomatoes, and strawberries. When millipedes are threatened or disturbed, they will usually curl into a tight ball. Sometimes, however, they will also secrete a smelly yellow liquid that can stain clothing and irritate eyes. This fluid contains organic chemicals called quinones that you do not want to get on you. Since millipedes do not have many natural predators, the population can get out of control very quickly. 

How do you control millipedes?

Millipede control is best achieved through exclusion, habitat management, and chemical methods. Try some of these tips if you are worried about millipedes.

  • Seal up the exterior of your home so they can’t enter
  • Turn off outdoor lights because Portuguese millipedes are attracted to them
  • Keep compost piles away from the home
  • Clean up leaf litter
  • Trim and maintain shrubs and plants
  • Reduce clutter in the yard
  • Get rid of excess moisture by fixing leaky pipes, clearing gutters, and re-landscaping troubled areas
  • Use a residual pesticide around the house, yard, and garden bed

Sunshine Coast Pest Control

Millipedes are only one of the pests that we can help you get rid of. From termites and ants to rodents and roaches, Radar Pest Control can take care of them all. We offer pest control in Nambour,  Buderim, and everywhere in between. For professional, fast, and friendly service, trust Radar Pest Control to get the job done right!