We heard from a reader who discovered hundreds of worm-like organisms in her garage and on her patio. The creatures are “about one inch long, skinny like a nail, and dark brown.” She explained that she cleans them out and yet they are right back there the next day. She thinks they might be crawling in at night, and then curling up to die. She claims that they are crunchy when stepped on. She would like to know what these creatures are and how she can get rid of them. Here is a photo of them curled up:
We suspect these are millipedes. Millipedes, which are technically arthropods and not worms, curl up into a C-shape and remain motionless as a defense mechanism. Let’s take a closer look at these specimens to confirm they are indeed millipedes:
The shadow of the specimen on the concrete makes it a little difficult to clearly see the creature. However, we can see that it is rounded, segmented, and has two tiny antennae on its head. Although we can’t see the characteristic legs (millipedes have two pairs of jointed legs per body segment), we are still confident that this is a millipede!
Millipedes typically live outdoors in damp areas. In yards they are often discovered under piles of dead leaves or grass clippings, or under a storage shed. During the fall, millipedes migrate out of their typical environment. We suspect the millipedes our reader has discovered are in the process of migrating. We aren’t sure why they find her patio and garage so appealing! To make these areas less hospitable to millipedes she can sweep up debris and leaf litter, and install a dehumidifier in the garage to eliminate the moisture in the air. Although the presence of these arthropods is annoying, our reader can find some peace knowing that they are harmless!
To sum up, one of our readers found hundreds of worm-like organisms on her patio and in her garage. We believe she found millipedes!