We are confident that this is a bumble bee millipede! Bumble bee millipedes, also known as yellow-banded millipedes or Anadenobolus monilicornis, are millipedes that belong to the Rhinocricidae family. They are native to the Caribbean, but can now also be found in the northeastern United States. These millipedes are dark brown with yellow bands lining their bodies, which are usually less than half and inch long. Although we can’t see them in the photo, the legs and antennae of the bumble bee millipede are red.
Like most millipedes, bumble bee millipedes live in the leaf litter and debris that lines a forest floor. Like most worm-like organisms, these creatures do sometimes end up inside a home where there isn’t much leaf litter or decaying wood to feed on. In the case with our reader’s mother, we think the millipedes probably snuck in through a small gap near the windows, doors, or ventilation system. They are likely feeding on whatever small particles they can find, which means that in order to get rid of them she will have to do two things. The first will be to properly seal and/or screen all the doors, windows, and ventilation systems around her home. This will help keep future organisms from sneaking in. Then she will need to get to work cleaning! She will need to thoroughly sweep, dust, vacuum, wipe down surfaces, and do laundry in order to get rid of anything that could be serving as a food source for these millipedes.
To wrap up, we believe the organisms our reader noticed in his mother’s home are bumble bee millipedes. While some people actually seek out these millipedes and breed colonies to later be used as reptile food, our reader wishes to help his mother say goodbye to these arthropods. As with most worm-like organisms, getting rid of these millipedes will depend mostly on cleaning.