from the wild side
North American millipede Narceus americanus
IDENTIFICATION — Unlike termites, 3-in.-long millipedes don’t eat any parts of buildings, so they’re mainly just nuisance pests. They find their way into your house as they’re looking for food and a place to hide. Millipedes eat rotting wood and plants and find damp, dark places to hide.
CONTROL — To keep millipedes outdoors, seal cracks in your foundation with caulk and correct moisture problems in your home. Also, keep the area around your foundation clear of inviting places to hide, such as mulch, rocks, grass clippings and leaf litter. When you find millipedes in your house, vacuum or sweep them up and dispose of them.
If you feel you must, you can use residual insecticides, such as Ortho® Home Defense®, to protect your home from insect invaders. Spray outside around the foundation and entry points and inside around the baseboards. You’ll need to spray these areas again in three months.