Millipedes are detritivores, which means that they subsist on nature’s equivalent of crumbs under the table – rotting leaves, decaying wood and other decomposing plant matter. They need an environment that’s moist. Millipedes don’t bite, but they will secrete a liquid benzoquinone that can irritate the skin or burn the eyes. (Capuchin monkeys in Venezuela have been observed rubbing themselves with millipedes, because the millipede’ secretions work as a natural mosquito repellent.) When disturbed, they curl up into a tight coil. When millipedes get inside your house, they’re there by mistake, and they will dry up and die pretty quickly.
Exclusion will keep millipedes out, if they are a problem. Block entry points with caulking, screening, steel wool or weatherstripping. Your Clark Pest Control technician should be able to assess your home and help you come up with a workable exclusion strategy for millipedes and other invaders. Outside, keep in mind that eliminating moist places where millipedes can thrive can help to keep them from turning into any kind of nuisance.
Latin name: Diploiulus luscus, Nopoiulus minutus, Orthomorpha gracilis