HOW TO CONTROL THEM
and Millipedes seem to appear in great numbers after a heavy rain, although drought conditions may also bring them out in
the open. The heavy rain forces them to leave their habitats, under rocks, mulch, wood debris, leaves, and cement slabs Spraying
a good residual spray or powder such as boric acid into the cracks and crevices where you are seeing them should keep them
under control. Sticky traps or spider traps may also so help in their elimination.
What Do They Look Like
I have little brown worms that have lots of legs and curl up. What are they? This is a question I get asked
quite often in they summer months. The answer is millipedes. Millipedes and centipedes closely resemble each other, both being
multi-segmented and possessing numerous pairs of legs. Some millipedes are rounded in body shape while others are flattened;
the same holds true for centipedes. The difference between the two is easy enough millipedes have two pairs of legs per body
segment, while centipedes have only one pair per body segment. Centipedes are also equipped with a pair of chelicerae (jaws)
tipped with sharp fangs, and larger species can inflict a nasty bite. Millipedes are some times called wire worms. When they
are at rest they coil up and look like they are dead.
Centipedes capture their insect or spider prey with powerful claws on the first pair of legs. A centipede will inject
a venom into the prey from special venom glands. Most centipedes people encounter, including the house centipede, are too
small to bite humans. Larger centipedes can impart a painful bite but the venom generally is not a problem.
HOW TO TREAT A CENTIPEDE BITE
Put ice on the area of the bite for ten minutes and then take off for ten minutes.
Repeat as needed. Decrease the time to prevent possible damage to the skin. A trip to the emergency room should not be
needed for a centipede bite, but you should contact Poison Control just to make sure.
The jaws of centipedes are weak and can rarely penetrate human skin. The larger centipedes may be
able to bite through the skin of a human. The rare individuals who are bitten may experience localized swelling and pain no
worse than a bee sting.
Home Remedy---A two or three inch wide barrier of all natural diatomaceous earth spread around your outside foundation
(if seeing them outside) or around the edges of your basement (if seeing them in your basement) will kill them.
Paul Van Durme
Picture of a Millipede (some refer to them as wire worms) climbing up cement foundation after
a heavy rain storm
|Millipede Picture (top) Centipede (bottom)
Most types of millipedes have less than 400 legs