Worms in Basement are Millipedes

A reader recently sent us two photographs accompanied by a short message. She explained that she was in the process of organizing her unfinished basement when she discovered some interesting creatures next to a couch. She says her home is new, and wonders if the organisms snuck in through a crack. She wants to know what the specimens are.

The first photograph shows a dozen or so of the creatures on the floor near the couch. Since they are so small, we can’t see much detail. However, we know they are brown and round. Let’s take a closer look!

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From this photograph we can confirm what we suspected: the creatures our reader has been finding are millipedes. Like the organism in the photo, millipedes are dark brown and have legs lining the underside of their bodies. The legs of a millipede are often the key identifying factor. Millipedes have two pairs of jointed legs per body segment. (Centipedes, which are sometimes confused with millipedes, have one pair of jointed legs per body segment)  Also, when millipedes are disturbed they curl up into C-shaped balls, like the creatures are doing in the first photograph!
So, where are these millipedes coming from? We don’t know for sure, but our reader could be right. These millipedes might be sneaking in through cracks in the foundation or small gaps between windows and doors. Millipedes usually live in leaf litter where they can feast on decaying wood and plant materials. Sometimes during extreme weather, millipedes sneak into a home for relief from heavy rain or drought. We recommend that our reader sweep up any debris lying around her basement, and look into sealing up any cracks where the millipedes might be sneaking in.
In summary, a reader discovered dozens of millipedes in her basement. These creatures are harmless.

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Worms in Basement are Millipedes
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Worms in Basement are Millipedes
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A reader discovered dozens of millipedes in her basement. These creatures are harmless.
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