Millipedes in Boise, Idaho


Boise, Idaho, is not just a haven for outdoor adventures; it can sometimes come with an unexpected downside – millipedes invading our homes. If you're keen on reclaiming your space from these many-legged intruders, you're in the right place. In this blog, we'll share concise and effective strategies to get rid of millipedes in Boise, ensuring a pest-free environment. Let's dive into simple tips tailored to the City of Trees and bid farewell to unwanted bug guests.

What Are Millipedes?

Millipedes are arthropods belonging to the class Diplopoda, a group within the subphylum Myriapoda. Myriapods also include centipedes, but millipedes are distinct from their cousins by several key features. Learn more about the most common centipedes in Boise.

What Do Millipedes Look Like?

Millipedes have distinctive features that set them apart from other arthropods. While there is some variation among different species, they share common characteristics. Here's a description of what millipedes generally look like:

  • Size: The size of millipedes varies widely among species. Some are relatively small, measuring only 1/2 inch in length, while others can be larger, reaching lengths of several inches. The size is influenced by factors such as species, age, and environmental conditions.
  • Body Structure: Millipedes have an elongated and cylindrical body, divided into numerous segments. The number of body segments can vary depending on the species, but they typically have more than 30 pairs of legs.
  • Legs: One of the most recognizable features of millipedes is their numerous legs. Contrary to their name, which suggests a thousand legs, most millipede species have far fewer legs. Each body segment, except the first few, usually bears two pairs of legs.
  • Antennae: Millipedes have a pair of antennae on their head. These antennae are sensory organs that help them navigate their surroundings, detect food, and sense their environment.
  • Coloration: Millipedes come in a range of colors, including brown, black, red, and various shades in between. Some species may have patterns or markings on their bodies. The coloration often serves as a form of camouflage, helping them blend into their natural environment.

Are Millipedes Dangerous?

Millipedes are generally not considered dangerous to humans. They are non-venomous and do not pose a direct threat. However, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

Defensive Secretions: When millipedes feel threatened, they have a defensive mechanism that involves secreting a liquid containing various chemicals, including hydrogen cyanide. While this secretion is meant to deter predators, it can cause mild skin irritation in some people. It's advisable to avoid direct contact with millipedes and their secretions, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Allergies: In rare cases, individuals may be allergic to substances present in millipede secretions. Allergic reactions can vary from mild skin irritation to more severe responses. If you suspect an allergy, it's recommended to consult with a healthcare professional.

Handling: While millipedes are generally harmless, handling them with bare hands may result in skin irritation due to the substances they secrete. If you need to move a millipede, consider using gloves or a gentle tool to avoid direct contact.

Ingestion: Ingesting millipedes or their secretions is not advisable, as the chemicals they release can be harmful if ingested. However, millipedes are not known to be aggressive, and instances of ingestion are rare.

Why Are There Millipedes In My House?

Millipedes may enter your house for several reasons, typically related to their search for moisture and suitable habitats.

  • During dry or hot periods, millipedes seek out damp environments to prevent dehydration. They are attracted to areas with high humidity levels, such as basements, bathrooms, and crawl spaces.
  • Additionally, gaps or cracks in doors, windows, or foundations provide entry points for millipedes. Once inside, they may stay in dark, secluded areas or explore the house in search of moisture and organic matter.

While their presence indoors is generally harmless, it's advisable to address any structural issues that may be allowing them access and to ensure proper ventilation in areas prone to high humidity, helping to discourage millipedes from seeking shelter inside.

How To Get Rid of Millipedes in Boise

If you're dealing with an influx of millipedes in your home and would like to reduce their presence, here are some steps you can take to get rid of them:

  • Identify and Remove Attractants: Identify and eliminate conditions that attract millipedes. Ensure proper ventilation to reduce humidity levels, fix any leaks, and address moisture issues in basements and crawl spaces.
  • Seal Entry Points: Seal gaps, cracks, and openings around doors, windows, and the foundation to prevent millipedes from entering your home. Pay attention to areas where pipes and utility lines enter the house.
  • Remove Debris: Millipedes are attracted to decaying organic matter. Remove leaf litter, mulch, and other debris from around the foundation of your home to create an environment less conducive to millipedes.
  • Indoor Cleaning: Regularly clean and vacuum indoors, paying attention to dark and damp areas where millipedes may hide. This helps eliminate potential food sources and reduces their hiding spots.
  • Natural Repellents: Consider using natural repellents such as diatomaceous earth, which is a powder that can be sprinkled around areas where millipedes are present. It can help dehydrate and deter them.
  • Chemical Insecticides: If the infestation is severe, you may opt for chemical insecticides labeled for millipede control. Apply these products according to the manufacturer's instructions, focusing on areas where millipedes are commonly found.
  • Professional Pest Control: If the infestation persists or is challenging to manage, consider consulting with a professional pest control service. They can assess the situation and provide targeted solutions to address the millipede issue effectively.

Calling Pest Control Professionals

If you are dealing with millipedes in your home, it might be time to call the pest experts at Affinity Pest Control. With our comprehensive pest treatments, we target a variety of common pests, including millipedes and centipedes, so that you can reclaim your home. Contact our team today to learn more!

FAQ About Millipedes

Here are some questions we've gotten about these household pests.

What Do Millipedes Eat?

Millipedes are detritivores, meaning they primarily feed on decaying organic matter. Their diet consists of a variety of decomposing plant material, such as leaves, wood, and other plant debris. Millipedes play a crucial role in ecosystems by contributing to the decomposition process. They help break down dead and decaying organic material, facilitating nutrient recycling and enriching the soil with organic matter.

While their primary diet is plant-based, some millipede species may also consume fungi and small invertebrates. It's important to note that millipedes are not predators and do not feed on living plants or actively hunt for prey. Instead, they fulfill a valuable ecological function by recycling and decomposing organic material in their habitats.

Do Millipedes Cause Any Damage Indoors?

Millipedes are not known to cause structural damage indoors; however, their presence can be an inconvenience. They may enter homes seeking moisture, and while harmless to humans, their defensive secretions can cause mild skin irritation.

How Can I Tell Apart Millipedes and Centipedes?

Millipedes and centipedes share similarities in appearance, but key differences exist. Millipedes have a rounded, cylindrical body with two pairs of legs per body segment, while centipedes have a flatter body and one pair of legs per segment. Additionally, centipedes are generally faster and are predatory, while millipedes move more slowly and are primarily detritivores, feeding on decaying organic matter.

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