15 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Millipedes

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home remedies for millipedes

Millipedes might not be as scary as centipedes, and they may not have 1000 legs, but when you see a millipede in house, many people squirm. Whats more, a house millipede infestation can occur if the humidity is right as the garden population can migrate en masse into your home. While some comfort can be taken from the fact that house millipedes do not bite, nobody likes a home full of these arthropods. If you want to know how to get rid of millipedes, then don’t worry. Our home remedies for millipedes will give you all the tips to catch them, kill them and prevent them entering your house.

Home Remedies to Get Rid of MillipedesWhy do I have millipede in house?

Millipedes are very sensitive to the humidity of their environment. They are the Goldilocks of the arthropod world in that they will move location if it is too dry or too wet or cold.

Millipedes are usually found outdoors in areas that remain damp. You are likely to see millipedes under mulch, piles of grass clippings and dead leaves.

Millipedes eat decaying wood, dead leaves, and other food sources. Sometimes, they may even eat small insects and snails.

However, if has been especially dry or particularly wet, this is when millipedes enter the home. If your yard or garden, covered in rotting vegetation is suddenly hit with a long dry spell, this is typically when millipede house infestations can occur.

Likewise, house millipede infestations can also occur in a sudden cold snap or at the end of the fall. Millipedes seek out frost sheltered nooks, crevices and crannies to overwinter and a warm house fits the bill.

Millipedes enter homes through windows, vents, and other passageways. People who have basements often find millipedes after heavy rain, long winters or hot dry spells.

Millipedes do not bite but some species produce a cyanide base secretion to protect themselves.

This liquid is poisonous to spiders, insects, and small animals. It can also cause blisters on the skin of people who come in contact with millipedes. Some may even get an allergic reaction but it is usually nothing too serious.

How to get rid of millipedesHow to Get Rid of Millipedes

  1. Maintain Your Lawn

lawnLong grass and un-maintained lawns are a great hiding spot for millipedes. Areas with dense thatch and long grasses will retain moisture most of the time. Millipedes need this moisture to thrive. Trimming your lawn will keep it dry and make the critters migrate.

If you have small plants and vegetation in your yard, water them in the morning. Millipedes are more active in the dark and watering your garden earlier in the day will give it enough time to dry out before night.

Removing unnecessary plants and weeds from the garden that serve no purpose.

  1. Remove the Hiding Spots

clutterRemove piles of dead leaves and other debris in your yard. Dead damp leaves attract millipedes in large numbers as they provide food and shelter. If millipedes are entering your house, this is where they will come from.

Clear all clutter such wood piles, dead plants, trash etc. Keep plants, shrubs, and trees trimmed and neat.

  1. Divert the Rainwater Away

waterControlling moisture is essential to get rid of millipedes. Water from the rain and other forms of precipitation can often attract millipedes.

To make sure your garden does not have excess dampness, make sure your gutters are in good repair.

Ensure there is suitable drainage across your yard.

Do not use sprinklers close to the foundation of your house. Only use these sprinklers near vegetation and only use them in the morning.

  1. Seal Crevices and Cracks

repair homeIf you want to treat a house millipede infestation then you have to stop the insects from entering your property in the first place.

If you are wondering how do millipedes get into your house, then it is usually via a small entry point in the foundations. However, you have to check everything.

Each home is different so you must do a thorough check for potential entry points.

  • Caulking is the quickest and easiest way to block the holes
  • Use expandable foam for larger holes
  • Cover vents
  • Repoint brickwork
  • Millipedes find their way inside from your drains. Repair holes or loose fittings in your external drains. Check for leakage and blockages in pipes.
  • Make sure windows and doors seal tightly shut.
  1. Set up a perimeter

perimeterIf you have mulched, watered flowerbeds surrounding your property, the only sure way to get rid of the millipedes is to dig up your garden. As an alternative, why not set up a perimeter?

The perimeter should be a dry material (think pebbles, gravel or sand) to keep the millipedes out of your home.

A small ‘no-mans-land’ of 10″ of gravel should be enough. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth, cayenne pepper or boric acid on the gravel. This will ring-fence the home from a millipede invasion.

  1. Mix wood ash into the soil

fireWood ash is a great home remedy to get rid of millipedes. It can lower the moisture content from your garden and keep bugs or pests away. [7]

Mix wood ash with some dry soil. Mulch it around the foundation and use a rake to make sure it is distributed evenly. [8] [9]

You will soon see the millipedes disappearing as soon as you try this remedy. The wood ash will also be effective in removing millipede eggs or larvae.

  1. Sprinkle cayenne pepper

pepperCayenne pepper contains capsicum is which is a natural insect repellent. It is also among the easiest home remedies to get rid of millipedes. All you need to do is spread some pepper at all entry points of your home. [10] [11] [12]

Before you start putting down cayenne pepper, think about all ways millipedes can enter. Many of them enter through the most unusual places.

Make sure you have it on your windows, garage doors, and crawlspace vents. You can also try spreading it near your shed or an outdoor sitting area.

  1. Use Diatomaceous Earth

diatomaceous earthDiatomaceous earth is made of fossilized diatoms. It dehydrates and scorches any insect that comes in contact with it.

Millipedes are very susceptible to dehydration which makes diatomaceous earth a very effective method to treat house millipedes.   [13] [14]

Spreading some of this natural product in moist areas can help with an infestation. You can also make a millipede trap using diatomaceous earth.

Gather dead leaves at one corner of your garden and spread the powder around it. The millipedes will be attracted to the pile and will be killed as soon as they try to go near it.[15]

  1. Keep chickens

chickenIf you want to know how to kill millipedes, then chickens are for you.

Chickens are great at finding and gobbling up intruders in your garden. They will rid your yard of scorpions, centipedes, crickets and of course, millipedes.

They will also not harm the plants and vegetation.

  1. Dehumidify the house

dehumifyKeeping your home or basement dry is an essential tip to get rid of millipedes in house. Millipedes often migrate when conditions outside become too dry and they will choose your house if it has damp dark areas to hide.

Places that have high moisture content are the basement or subfloor crawl. If you have millipedes in house, there is a high chance that millipedes are entering here.

You may use a hygrometer to check the humidity in the home. Spaces with humidity at 50% and above can attract millipedes.

  1. Turn off nightlights

lightMillipedes are most active at night and like many nocturnal insects, they are attracted to nightlights.

If you have a porch or a patio nightlight, switch it off. You will be surprised how few millipedes enter the house.

If you want to keep some lighting, then yellow sodium lights do not attract millipedes as much as the white lights do.

  1. Millipede light trap

millipede light trapYou can use the fact that millipedes are attracted to light to make a simple trap. As a remedy to get rid of millipedes, it is highly effective.

Take a large bowl or old tin can and bury it in the ground with the rim of the can/bowl level with the earth.

Fill the bowl/can halfway with water.

Take a plastic bucket and place it upside down over the bowl. Cut out little entrances around the base to allow the millipedes in.

Inside the bucket, attach some lighting to the top. Either run an electric cable from the house and cut a hole for the wire and bulb. Alternatively, tape a flashlight to the inside of the bucket.

Light the trap at night and sit back.

The millipedes will crawl through the entrances at the base of the bucket and fall into the bowl of water and drown. Depending on the millipede infestation, you could have hundreds of insects caught the next day.

  1. Sulfur powder

sulgurSulfur can be used to get rid of millipedes. However, be aware that it smells horrible with a stench of rotten eggs.

Sulfur can be used to repel members of the arachnid family such as spiders, chiggers, and mites but it is also effective on arthropods such as millipedes. (16)

Commercially it is sold as a powder or you can buy it in an aqueous emulsion to be added to a spray bottle.

Simply sprinkle or spray affected areas with sulfur. The millipedes will not cross a sulfur ‘barrier’ so it can effectively be used to ring-fence the house.

  1. Herbal remedies for millipedes

homeremedyhacksHerbs such as Indica and kingsnake can be used against arthropods. They are toxic to these arthropods and the millipeds will avoid them. Crushed leaves can be used as part of your perimeter defense.

The only problem is that you may have to visit a herbal store or gardening shop to get them. [17] [18]Be careful if you have pets. Many available forms of these herbs can be toxic to large mammals.

  1. Boric acid

boric acidA great natural insecticide to use is boric acid. Boric acid is non-toxic to humans but is effective against all insects and arthropods. (18)

Buy boric acid in its powdered form and sprinkle in affected areas. Use it to create a perimeter around the house.

Do’s

      • You may use sulfur powder in place of cayenne powder.
      • Using essential oil diffuser may also help in controlling indoor moisture.

Don’ts

      • Do not lay mulch that is deeper than 3-4 inches.
      • Do not use any dangerous chemicals if you have pets or children.

 

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