We recently hear from a reader in southern Kansas. She explained that she found some worm-like organisms in her basement and a few upstairs in her house. The creatures are about 1.5 inches long, skinny, smooth, brown, and curl up into a tight circle. She wants to know what they are and how she can get rid of them. She didn’t send us a photo, but we think we know what she is dealing with. Millipedes are worm-like organisms that fit our reader’s description. They are skinny, long, smooth and brown. Most importantly, they sometimes curl up into a circle as a defense mechanism. Millipedes also have a lot of tiny legs lining their body. Our reader didn’t mention these legs, but it is possible that she just didn’t see them if the legs were tucked up into their bodies. This is a photograph of a millipede from another reader that our reader can compare with the specimens she discovered:
Millipedes typically live in dark, damp environments where they eat decaying and dying wood and leaf litter. When they do make their way into a house, they are often found in a basement, like the ones our reader found! Millipedes aren’t household pests. They don’t eat bedding and furniture like carpet beetle larvae or dried food storage like pantry moth larvae. This means they don’t cause much damage inside a home, but they can still be annoying to deal with!
To get rid of these millipedes our reader will need to figure out how they are entering her home and also make her home less hospitable. She should check all windows, doors, and ventilation cracks for possible sources of entry. She should seal up any gaps that these small creatures could be sneaking in through. She can also make her home less humid and therefore less appealing to millipedes (and other creatures) by installing a dehumidifier. Finally, she can clear up any leaf litter and debris surrounding her home, which might prevent future millipedes from sneaking inside!
To wrap up, a reader found smooth, skinny brown worms inside her home. We don’t have a photo to confirm, but we believe these organisms are millipedes!