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How Dangerous Are The Millipedes In Frisco?

June 9, 2021

They probably aren’t the first bugs that come to mind when you think “pest problems,” but millipedes can be a creepy-crawly surprise for folks in Frisco. These many-legged pests pop up in basements and crawl spaces and often startle unsuspecting homeowners as they move boxes and furniture. They sure look freaky, but just how dangerous are the millipedes in Frisco?

millipede crawling

About Millipedes

Millipedes are arthropods of the subphylum Myriapoda, closely related to centipedes. They are long-bodied, hard-shelled bugs composed of many segments. Each segment of a millipede’s body has its own respective pair of legs. And while you might have heard these critters have a thousand legs (as their name suggests), most millipedes actually have between 34 and 400 legs. An average millipede is dark brown in color and measures between 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches in length.

Millipedes are considered one of nature’s great recyclers and prefer to spend their time in moist, decaying plant material where they can chow down and convert nutrients back into the soil. You can often find them in compost heaps, rotting wood, and other sources of organic waste. Following periods of extreme weather like drought or heavy rain, millipedes may find their way indoors in search of shelter.

Are Millipedes Bad To Have?

For the most part, millipedes are more of an inconvenience than an actual threat. They aren’t known to spread disease or destroy your belongings like cockroaches. Nor will millipedes bite when confronted like spiders. Instead, these peculiar bugs have a way of protecting themselves that’s as strange as their appearance.

When under attack, millipedes will roll up into a defensive curl. But some millipedes also produce a strong hydrochloric acid-based fluid when threatened. They don’t spew this fluid, but rather, it coats the exterior of their bodies — probably to provoke predators into spitting them out. When millipedes are handled, the hydrochloric acid can cause burning and discoloration of the skin along with a funky lingering odor. And you really don’t want this millipede fluid to make contact with your eyes. 

Millipedes aren’t dangerous unless picked up with bare hands and will do their best to stay out of your way. 

How To Prevent Millipedes

You can keep millipedes from wriggling their way into your home or business by following a few millipede control tips:

  • Reduce moisture: Millipedes thrive in moist environments and are naturally drawn to these areas. Make sure that moisture isn’t accumulating around your property by clearing all gutters and drains. Fix leaking pipes or spigots dripping water into soil. Ventilate basement areas by opening windows or install a dehumidifier.

  • Clean up outside: Make sure that there’s no organic debris in your yard to attract millipedes. Clear away any fallen trees and rotting logs along with grass clippings and piles of leaves. Don’t let organic debris make direct contact with your home or business.

  • Organize your basement: Millipedes often startle folks by skittering out from underneath storage boxes and furniture. Clean any clutter in your basement and try to keep boxes or heavy appliances from resting on the basement floor. If possible, try keeping boxes and other heavy objects elevated on wooden risers or pallets.

  • Seal off entrances: Inspect the exterior of your property for cracks and openings around the foundation and around pipes. Close off any gaps with silicone caulk.

The best way to prevent and eliminate millipedes in Frisco is with help from the pros at Adams Exterminating Company. With four generations of exceptional service to our name, you can trust that our expert technicians will solve your pest problems and keep them from coming back. So, if you’ve got millipedes or any other creepy-crawlies infesting your basement, get in touch with us today.

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