Millipedes are insects that are in the arthropod family and have separate sets of legs. It has several sections that make up the body and each one has a pair of legs, with several segments. Most often they are elongated and have a cylindrical shape that can be fused together to show off one. They are mistaken by many for creatures that have 1,000 legs, but despite the name there are no known species of insect that has that many appendages. The most legs that have been found on this insect type have been 400, but more commonly there are around 36 legs. Among the largest species include the African millipede, which can grow quite large.
Despite so many legs, these insects move slowly and focus on eating decaying organic materials, mainly plant matter. They often times infest gardens and yards and cause serious damage to plants that are growing. They can eat not only plants, but also seeds that are sprouting; cause problems for gardeners that want to grow new plants and vegetation. When looking at these creatures, pay attention to the speed they travel with, as they are often times mistaken for much faster insects such as centipedes.
They don’t have the ability to sting or bite which makes them quite vulnerable in the insect world. They tend to wrap into a coil to protect themselves from harm in the wild, and while there are some members of the species that can spit out poison and gas, they often times simply roll up and try to protect themselves with their exoskeleton.
Humans will not have much to worry about, however, the appearance is definitely scary to some. Most often they will appear larger than they are at first glance, but upon close examination, they pose no serious threat to humans. That’s not to say that you should keep them as pets or touch them as their excretion can cause cracked skin, blisters, and if you rub their secretion into the eyes conjunctivitis is common. They are not deadly, and will not kill.
The best way to control these are to call an exterminator. Do not step on them or try to spray them with various over the counter goods. Instead, make sure that you call in a professional so that they are killed, collected and taken away. They tend to stay in controlled locations so you don’t have to worry about a massive infestation, but they can still pose havoc on your plants, grasses and pose an eyesore as well.
Exterminators will be able to kill millipedes by sealing gaps, windows, and other areas where they might congregate and thrive. They can also spray outside areas where plants, decaying organic materials and other insects might be. In order to keep them from returning, spraying can be done a few times a year and inspections can be done as well.
It’s important to wash hands, and clean up areas that might come in contact with any residue or poison that might come out of millipedes to be safe. Call an exterminator when you first encounter them.
If you’re dealing with a pest problem and your looking for the best course of action, please contact us today, and we’ll be happy to send one of our experts to inspect your home and provide you with a personalized solution.
Image courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.org/