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How to Get Rid of Millipedes

By DoMyOwn staff

Millipedes thrive in damp, soggy areas and can be a nuisance, especially if they get inside your building. A combination of insecticide treatments and prevention methods can help you get rid of a millipede problem.

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Video Transcript

Millipedes are segmented insects that are often confused with centipedes. While they don't bite or sting, large infestations of millipedes can be a nuisance, especially if they get inside your home or building. If you see millipedes in your lawn or home, you can eliminate them with a combination of insecticide treatments and prevention methods.

The best way to get rid of millipedes around your home is to create a pest barrier with a liquid insecticide spray. Start by mixing an insecticide labeled for millipedes together with water in a hand pump or backpack sprayer. Vigorously shake the solution to combine the ingredients. Then, evenly spray the insecticide mixture around the home’s foundation, up and out 3 feet, or according to the specifications on the label. Be sure to spray around pest entry points including door and window frames, where cables, pipes, and wires enter the structure, around vents and soffits, and in any cracks and crevices around the perimeter of the building.

Repeat this treatment every 30-60 days as needed.

Consult the mixing instructions on the product label for measurement and application specifics. And, as always, be sure to wear your PPE including long sleeves, pants, and gloves while mixing and applying.

If you have an infestation of millipedes in your lawn or garden, you can use a granular insecticide to eliminate them. Check product labels to ensure the granule you buy is effective against millipedes and can be safely used around plants and shrubs.

Apply the granules using a broadcast or handheld spreader. First, calibrate your spreader before use according to the instructions in your user’s manual. Then, pace up and down your lawn in rows, slowly applying the granules to ensure even coverage. As a final step, you may need to water your product to activate it. You can find information about application rates and instructions on the product label.

Millipedes generally do not survive inside the home unless they have ready access to very damp areas for food and harborage. If you see them inside, you should spot treat with an insecticide labeled for indoor use on millipedes. Spray the areas of your home where pests may enter or hide such as the corners of rooms, under appliances, behind toilets, beneath sinks, around door and window frames, and where the baseboard meets the floor. Do not blanket spray the insecticide across a room, but instead focus on cracks, crevices, and voids.

In addition to an insecticide spray treatment, insecticide dusts are also recommended. Dusts are simple to apply, long-lasting and are ideal for hard-to-reach areas like wall voids, cracks, and crevices. When choosing an insecticide dust, make sure you read the label to ensure it can be used in damp areas where millipedes are typically found.

To apply the dust, fill a hand duster halfway with the dust of your choice. Secure the lid on the duster and turn it upside down. Then, apply one to two puffs where baseboards meet floors, in wall voids behind electrical outlets, behind toilets or sinks where pipes meet the wall, in eaves and soffits, around the foundation of the home, and in other cracks and crevices around the home. Be careful not to apply too much dust at once as overapplying will make your treatment ineffective.

Preventing a millipede infestation is often easier than controlling one. To prevent an infestation, you’ll want to focus on two key essentials: eliminating their ideal environment inside and outside of the home and sealing off potential entrances into the home. Millipedes nest and feed in damp, soggy areas rich in decaying organic matter. By reducing damp areas in your home and lawn, you will ensure millipedes won’t have an environment in which to thrive. To eliminate these damp areas, fix leaking pipes and sprinklers, remove leaf piles and other yard debris, aerate and dethatch your lawn to ensure proper drainage, and water your lawn in the morning so it will have time to dry by nightfall.

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