Worms Found In and Outside of Home are Millipedes

A reader just sent us a photo along with the request, “Can you tell me what type of worm this is?” This request, along with the rest of her message, was written in all capital letters. We think this might be because she is panicked about the presence of the “worms” she has discovered. We are eager to help her out!
She explained that she has found several dead specimens on the tile floor near the baseboard of her home, as well as outside the front entryway. She found a few of these organisms a couple of weeks ago, and then had an exterminator come in to spray the house. She said that now they are finding even more of these critters. She wants to know what they are and where they are coming from. The photo she sent us is excellent! It shows great detail of the organism:

The creature is has a brown, segmented body. It has a distinct head and tail end, and about 18 body segments. On each segment we can see two thin legs. We are very confident that the organisms our reader has been finding are millipedes!

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Millipedes are technically arthropods, though they are often mistaken for worms or insects. They are detritivores, which means they eat decaying leaves and other dead plant matter. In other words, they benefit the environment because they recycle organic material. Millipedes prefer damp, dark places to live. In a yard they might congregate under piles of wood, leaves, or grass clippings. Inside a home they usually hide in basements, where the temperature is lower and there is more humidity in the air.

Although millipedes are occasionally discovered in homes, they are not considered common house pests. They often wander in by accident and soon die since a house is not a suitable environment for them. If our reader wants to get rid of these arthropods, she can make her yard less hospitable to them by sweeping away leaf litter and clearing away piles of debris. She can also seal any cracks and gaps around her windows, doors, and vents to prevent millipedes from getting into her house. While millipedes are not ideal roommates, our reader should know that they are not harmful or dangerous!

To end, a reader sent us a photograph of a specimen she has been finding around her house. We are confident that she is dealing with millipedes!

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Worms Found In and Outside of Home are Millipedes
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Worms Found In and Outside of Home are Millipedes
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A reader sent us a photograph of a specimen she has been finding around her house. We are confident that she is dealing with millipedes!
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