“What is the worm pictured and why are they all of a sudden all over the inside of my house?” asks this reader in her submission regarding the black worm-like creature pictured below. “And how do I get rid of them?” In addition to its black coloration, the creature seems to be segmented and possess a set of antennae. Based on the visual information alone, we would say this is probably a millipede. You cannot see it on the photo, but this creature has multiple sets of legs on the underside of its body, which often gives the millipede the appearance of gliding across surfaces as it walks.
Millipedes are harmless creatures, so our reader needs not worry for her safety. That said, infestations of any creature are obviously going to prove to be a nuisance, and millipedes are no stranger to infesting people’s homes. Fortunately, millipedes are not pests – there is nothing inside a person’s home that the millipede is going to destroy. They feed on decomposing organic matter, so, if anything, they might clear out some of the rotting organic matter that may or may not be present in one’s home. But that is not the reason they infest people’s homes. The reason is usually because they are searching for an environment which is cooler and damper than the outdoors. Naturally, this is far more prevalent a problem during the summer, which is usually when we receive submissions like this one.
Now, what we recommend doing is moving any millipedes our reader finds outside, preferably far from her home so they do not just waltz back in. We advise using a dustpan and gardening gloves, so as to avoid making skin-to-millipede contact. Although they are not harmful, they can secrete a fluid which may cause irritation. Likewise, we recommend that our reader clear her yard of any piles of twigs, rocks or leaves, as millipedes like to hide in these areas. The less areas they have to take shelter in near the home, the less millipedes will be attracted to her area, and thus her home.
To conclude, we think that the black worms our reader has been finding in her home are millipedes. They are not harmful, so she should not kill them! They are benefactors of the environment and should be protected. We hope this article proves helpful and we wish our reader the very best!
All About Worms is always free, always reader-supported. Your tips via CashApp, Venmo, or Paypal are appreciated! Receipts will come from ISIPP Publishing.