A reader sent us the photo shown above accompanied by this question: “How do I get rid of this worm?” The “worm” is thin and has black and yellow segments lining its body. We can also make out tiny legs sprouting from underneath its body, and two antennae coming off its head. This is a millipede!
He didn’t tell us where he found the creature, but we assume somewhere in his house if he wants to get rid of it. Getting rid of millipedes is a much easier process than getting rid of common household pests, like carpet beetle larvae!
Millipedes are not actually worms. They are classified as arthropods. This means they are invertebrates with an exoskeleton, segmented body, and jointed appendages. One of the most reliable ways to identify a millipede is to see if it has tiny legs lining its body. Sometimes this task is difficult because millipedes can tuck their legs up into their body. Millipedes have two pairs of jointed legs per body segment.
Millipedes prefer to live outdoors, specifically somewhere where the soil stays damp. Their habitats include forest floors, under mulch, under piles of dead leaves, or under structures like storage sheds. They eat decaying leaves and dead plant matter, which makes them detritivores. Unless our reader has dead plant matter in his home, there isn’t much for a millipede to eat inside. Therefore, he should focus his efforts on locating the point of entry and sealing it.
Our reader should check his house out for any cracks or openings in window frames, door frames, and the foundation. He should also make sure his vents are properly sealed, specifically those in the basement where it is often cooler and damper. Millipedes are likely sneaking into his home through an unnoticed crack, so getting rid of them means sealing this point of entry. If his home is especially humid, he may also want to install a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels.
To conclude, one of our readers asked us how to get rid of millipedes. We believe the arthropods are sneaking into his home through cracks in the vent system or foundation. He needs to locate the crack and seal it to prevent any other unwanted specimens from entering his home.