Millipedes are fascinating creatures that belong to the class Diplopoda. With their elongated, cylindrical bodies and numerous legs, they can be a source of curiosity for some and a nuisance for others. In this article, we will dive into the world of millipedes, discussing interesting facts, information about different types, behaviors, and habitat, as well as the potential problems they can cause. We will also explore how Atlas Termite & Pest Control can help homeowners and business owners alleviate their millipede problems.
Types Of Millipedes
There are an estimated 12,000 species of millipedes found worldwide, with approximately 1,400 species native to North America. Some common types include:
Giant African Millipede (Archispirostreptus gigas): This is the largest millipede species, reaching lengths of up to 15 inches. They are found in Africa and prefer warm, humid environments.
North American Millipede (Narceus americanus): This millipede is native to North America and can grow up to 4 inches long. They are typically black or dark brown with reddish-orange bands along their bodies.
Flat-Backed Millipede (Polydesmida): Flat-backed millipedes have flattened bodies and are often brightly colored. They are found in various habitats, including forests, grasslands, and deserts.
Bristly Millipede (Polyxenida): These small, bristly millipedes are less than an inch long and have a unique brush-like appearance. They are found in damp environments such as leaf litter and rotting wood.
Millipede Infestation Problems
While millipedes are generally harmless and do not bite or sting, they can become a nuisance when they enter homes and businesses in large numbers. They are attracted to damp, dark environments and can often be found in basements, crawl spaces, and garages. Millipedes feed on decaying organic matter, so they are drawn to areas with leaf litter, mulch, and rotting wood.
An infestation of millipedes can cause several problems, including:
Foul odor: When disturbed or crushed, millipedes release a foul-smelling liquid that can stain surfaces and be difficult to remove.
Allergic reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to the defensive chemicals released by millipedes.
Damage to belongings: Millipedes can damage stored items, particularly if they are made of organic materials like paper or textiles.
Millipedes are generally slow-moving creatures, but they can coil up into a tight spiral when threatened, protecting their vulnerable underside. Some species can also release a toxic liquid or gas from their bodies as a defense mechanism, which can be harmful to predators and irritating to humans.
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Where Millipedes Live
Millipedes are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are most active during the night. During the day, they seek shelter in dark, damp places such as under rocks, logs, leaf litter, and mulch. In these hiding spots, they consume decaying plant material, contributing to the natural decomposition process.
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Damage Millipedes Can Cause
While millipedes are not known for causing significant structural damage, they can still create problems for homeowners and business owners. As mentioned earlier, millipedes can damage stored items and produce a foul odor if disturbed or crushed.
In addition, their presence can be a sign of underlying moisture issues in a building. Addressing these issues is essential not only for controlling millipede populations but also for preventing more serious problems like mold growth and wood rot.
Atlas Termite & Pest Control: Your Solution For Millipede Extermination Services
Atlas Termite & Pest Control: Millipede Extermination Services
Atlas Termite & Pest Control is an industry leader in providing effective and environmentally friendly pest control solutions. If you are dealing with a millipede infestation, our team of trained professionals can help you eliminate these pests and prevent future infestations
Our millipede extermination services include:
Inspection: Our technicians will thoroughly inspect your property to identify the extent of the millipede infestation and locate potential entry points.
Treatment: We will develop a customized treatment plan to eliminate the millipedes using safe, effective methods. This may include the application of targeted pesticides or the use of non-chemical control measures such as habitat modification and exclusion techniques.
Prevention: Once the millipede infestation has been addressed, we will provide recommendations for preventing future problems. This may involve addressing moisture issues, sealing cracks and gaps in your building’s foundation, and maintaining a clean, clutter-free environment.
At Atlas Termite & Pest Control, we understand that every situation is unique, which is why we tailor our services to meet your specific needs. With our expert knowledge of millipedes and their behaviors, we can help you protect your home or business from these nuisance pests.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Millipedes
Millipedes primarily feed on decaying organic matter, such as dead leaves, wood, and plant debris. They play a crucial role in breaking down these materials, which helps recycle nutrients back into the soil. Some millipede species may also consume living plants, fungi, and even small insects or snails.
Millipedes are not considered dangerous to humans, as they do not bite or sting. However, some species can release toxic or irritating chemicals from their bodies when threatened. These chemicals can cause skin irritation, itching, or burning sensations upon contact. It is important to wash the affected area with soap and water if you come into contact with these chemicals. Millipedes are generally harmless and prefer to avoid confrontation with humans.
To get rid of millipedes in your home, follow these steps:
- Remove potential hiding places and food sources by keeping your home clean and free of clutter, especially in damp areas like basements and crawl spaces.
- Seal gaps and cracks in your home’s foundation to prevent millipedes from entering.
- Address moisture issues, such as leaking pipes or poor drainage, as millipedes are attracted to damp environments.
- Use a dehumidifier to reduce humidity levels in damp areas of your home.
- If necessary, consider using chemical treatments like insecticides or natural remedies like diatomaceous earth to target millipedes directly. It is recommended to consult with a professional pest control service to ensure the safe and effective application of these treatments.
Millipedes and centipedes are often confused due to their elongated, multi-legged appearance. However, there are some key differences between the two:
- Millipedes have a rounder, more cylindrical body, while centipedes have a flatter, more elongated body.
- Millipedes typically have two pairs of legs per body segment, whereas centipedes have one pair of legs per body segment.
- Millipedes move slowly and feed on decaying organic matter, while centipedes are fast-moving predators that hunt and eat other small insects.
- Centipedes have venomous front legs (forcipules) that they use to capture and paralyze their prey, while millipedes lack such structures and do not possess venom.
The role of a millipede exterminator is to assess the extent of the infestation, identify the specific species (such as those within Polydesmida), and implement strategies to remove or control the millipede population safely from human habitats while preventing future infestations.
Mold can attract Polydesmida millipedes because these arthropods feed on decaying plant material and organic matter. Mold indicates high moisture levels, which creates an ideal environment for millipedes to thrive.
Polydesmida millipedes are not directly harmful to humans as they do not bite or sting. However, some species may secrete defensive chemicals that can cause skin irritation. Additionally, large numbers of them can be a nuisance and indicate excessive moisture that could lead to other issues like mold growth.
Homeowners should reduce humidity by fixing leaks, use dehumidifiers, seal cracks and entry points around foundations and windows, clear away leaf litter and decaying wood near their homes, maintain proper ventilation in crawlspaces, basements, and keep gutters clean to prevent standing water which attracts these pests.
Exterminators typically use a combination of physical removal; chemical treatments such as insecticides specifically labeled for millipedes; environmental modifications like reducing moisture levels; exclusion practices like sealing entry points; and sometimes using desiccants or diatomaceous earth around potential entryways as deterrents.
Atlas Termite & Pest Control offers thorough inspection, customized treatment plans, expert technicians, prevention strategies, and a satisfaction guarantee to effectively eliminate millipede infestations.