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Are Millipedes Dangerous?

In: Pest Prevention Tips

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millipede on floor

Hawaii certainly has lots of exotic pests. Some of them are harmful; others are just a nuisance. In this article, we will talk about the tiny millipede, some interesting facts about them, and what you can do if they invade your home.

The term millipede means 1,000 legs, but they do not actually have this many. Most of these worm-like creatures have less than 100 legs, two on each segment of their body, except the first segment which has no legs. When a baby millipede hatches, it only has three pairs of legs, but each time it molts, it adds more body segments and legs. So the longer they live, the longer they become, and the more legs they have. The largest millipede known had 750 legs!

Millipedes are known to be found under piles of dead leaves and mulch or under grass clippings eating dead leaves and decaying wood. They also love to live underneath structures like storage sheds and dog houses—any place that stays damp. These creatures usually migrate in the fall, moving out of their normal habitat. Scientists believe they may be trying to get ready for winter. However, they are also known to migrate when their habitat has been flooded. This is a time when millipedes are likely to find their way into your Hawaii home.

If millipedes migrate into a home, they are usually found on porches, patios, or foundations where they find ways to get into the basement. They also find their way inside through basement doors and windows, garage doors, and crawl space vents. Once inside, they are likely to hide in dark, damp places such as underneath furniture or boxes. If they find a nice damp basement, they will be glad to take up residence and stay a while.

Although millipedes in Hawaii are not dangerous to humans, they can be a major headache. They sometimes invade homes by the thousands, especially at times when there is a lot of heavy rainfall, and will put off a noxious fluid to defend themselves. Some varieties of millipedes are able to spray this fluid several inches and, for some individuals, it can cause irritation to the skin. If this happens, the area should be washed immediately.

There are things you can do to try to keep millipedes out, such as sealing up all gaps and cracks in your foundation and keeping your home dry with fans and dehumidifiers, but once these critters have invaded, they are notoriously difficult to completely eradicate. Do-it-yourself solutions do not work well and pesticides, if not used properly, can be dangerous to people, pets, and plants.

If you are experiencing millipedes in your home, it is important to have a professional take a look at your problem. Though millipedes will not survive long in a home separated from its natural habitat and food sources, this is a crucial time to see where they are coming in. Not only will sealing these entry points keep more millipedes from coming into your home, it can also keep other pests from getting in. Millipedes may not be dangerous, but there are many pests that are. Protect your home from these pests as well as many others with a call to the professionals at Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions.

Tags: Hawaii pest control  |  millipedes  |  millipede prevention tips

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