We heard from a reader who found small, round “worms” under a dresser that she keeps under her outdoor deck. She said these “worms” are hard-shelled and positioned in very small circles. She said that she has cleaned them up a couple times, but they keep returning. Also, they are not alive but there are a lot of them. She wonders if there is a way to get rid of them.
First we must identify them. There was no picture evidence included, but a solid description to go off of. Based off of the circular positioning and the hard shell description, we believe that these are likely millipedes, which are arthropods, not worms. Here is a picture of a millipede submitted by another reader from a previous entry:
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Millipedes are small, brown, segmented, hard-shelled worms that have a ton of legs. Sometimes they tuck their legs up into their bodies, and they are known to curl up into a “c-shape” as a defense mechanism.
Millipedes thrive in damp outdoor environment, and are often at home in mulch, leaf liter, and flower beds. They like dark and undisturbed places, so it adds up that they would gravitate towards hiding under a dresser under a deck outside!
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Although our reader doesn’t want these millipedes near her home, she should know that they are not harmful and are in fact beneficial to the environment. However, there are some steps she can follow to make this area less appealing to these arthropods. First, she should tidy up underneath the deck. She should clear up debris and leaf litter using a broom. Millipedes also eat decaying wood, so if the dresser is made of old wood it is possible that the millipedes could be feasting on it. She could consider moving the dresser out from such a dark, damp environment and putting it in the sun, or somewhere where it receives more light.
As long as these creatures aren’t invading our reader’s home, she shouldn’t worry about them!
In conclusion, a reader wrote to us about some small creatures that we have determined to be millipedes.