Long Dead Worms Found in Florida Could be Millipedes

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“I am finding these dead worms on the pavement and on the exterior wall of my home”, states this reader about the long, black, mangled-looking organism pictured below. “They range in size from 1/2” to 1 ½”. I live in southeast Florida. Thank you.” To start with, we want to thank him for the fantastic photo he provided: it really helps us identify the organism quicker. That said, since this worm looks so dried-out and mangled, we cannot identify this worm with 100% certainty, given the state of its body: we cannot assume that this is what it looked like when it was alive.

Our best guess is that these worms are millipedes, which is based on the coloration, shape, as well as the location they were found. It is very common for millipedes to swarm the pavement outside of people’s homes, and that is usually because they are seeking shelter from the dry heat. Since millipedes thrive in cool, damp environments, they will dry out and die in conditions that do not suit their ideal environment. For this reason, millipedes will sometimes come to people’s homes and try to find a way into their garages or basements, so if our reader has any of these two types of rooms, it might be worth checking them for more millipedes.

Millipedes are more prone to gather around a particular house if there are shelters for them on the lawn or surrounding area. Such shelters include piles or rocks, twigs and leaves, and so any such piles, should be removed from one’s premises if one wishes to prevent millipede infestations, especially those that have gathered right up against the walls of the home, as is the case for our reader.

With all of that said, millipedes are completely harmless. They are actually benefactors of the environment, as they help break down decomposing organic matter by eating it and, via digestion and excretion, turning it into nutrient-rich fertilizer which is absorbed into the soil and aids the growth of plant life. So, if our reader does find any live millipedes in his basement or garage, we do not recommend killing them, but simply moving them outside, preferably somewhere not too close to the home, since they could just come back then.

In conclusion, we think that the long, dead worms our reader has been finding around his home are millipedes. They are not harmful whatsoever: the most they can do is secrete a toxin which could cause irritation. Of course, since these millipedes are very much dead (and not just playing dead like some millipedes do), there should be no risk of them secreting this toxin. We hope this article proves helpful, and we wish our reader the very best!

 

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Summary
Long Dead Worms Found in Florida Could be Millipedes
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Long Dead Worms Found in Florida Could be Millipedes
Description
"I am finding these dead worms on the pavement and on the exterior wall of my home", states this reader about the long, black, mangled-looking organism pictured below. "They range in size from 1/2” to 1 ½”. I live in southeast Florida. Thank you." To start with, we want to thank him for the fantastic photo he provided: it really helps us identify the organism quicker. That said, since this worm looks so dried-out and mangled, we cannot identify this worm with 100% certainty, given the state of its body: we cannot assume that this is what it looked like when it was alive.
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Author: Worm Researcher Anton

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