We just heard from a reader who has been finding an onslaught of tiny red “worms” that die outside of his garage. His first guess was millipedes, but they are notably smaller in length and thickness. This is the first year he has dealt with these curious creatures, and he must sweep them onto his turf daily. He hopes that after looking at the photos he sent in, we can identify them and help him get rid of them.
He sent in several photos at different angles and heights, which is really helpful!
The brown creatures are small and curled up. Based on the texture in the photo, we think these organisms are either segmented, covered in hairs, or have many legs.
Although we agree that these are smaller than the some millipedes, we believe that our reader was onto something because we are confident that these are turf millipedes (which are actually the most common millipedes!) Millipedes are often distinguished because they curl themselves up as a defense mechanism. They live in moist and decaying organic material, and often live close to the sides of houses where it may be warmer. The best strategy to get rid of turf millipedes is to remove as much of the moist material near his garage away from the foundation. He should also make sure the door is sealed properly.
Luckily, while these creatures might bother our reader, he should find some relief to learn that they are harmless to humans and actually very beneficial to the environment!
In all, a reader sent us some pictures of a plethora of worms on his sidewalk. We believe that he is dealing with turf millipedes!
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