Millipedes and centipedes prefer moist, dark places. While these creatures would rather live in soil and under rocks, the frozen ground in New England during the wintertime is not suitable. Millipedes and centipedes may venture into the home and find a good hiding spot, so residents may not know there is an infestation until they are bitten in their sleep or one runs by while in the shower! By understanding a little more about these creepy crawlies, home residents can prevent these scenarios and rest a little easier.
How Do Centipedes and Millipedes Get In?
Centipedes and millipedes often make their way into homes through gaps underneath doors. Cracks in foundations may allow centipedes and millipedes to get into basements and other areas of homes. Gaps around windows are another prime entry point for centipedes and millipedes.
Where Do Centipedes and Millipedes Hide?
Centipedes and millipedes may hide in attics or basements, especially if those areas are moist. If these arthropods are in the main living areas of homes, they may hide in sink or shower drains, around the bases of the tub and toilet, or in the laundry area. Millipedes overwinter, so they may hide in cracks or crevices throughout the whole winter and emerge in the spring.
Do Centipedes and Millipedes Bite?
Millipedes feed on decayed plant matter and do not bite. Centipedes, however, are predators that feed on bugs and other insects and can deliver a painful bite. Centipedes have poison-filled jaws, so bites can cause swelling and allergic reactions in some people.
Centipede and Millipede Control
Centipedes and millipedes generally do not choose to infest homes, as conditions are not ideal for these arthropods, but may choose homes as a last resort during the winter. A pest professional can help to eliminate centipedes and millipedes by treating the home and helping homeowners to eliminate entry points. Homeowners can also take precautions to dehumidify moist areas such as basements and attics in order to discourage centipedes and millipedes from entering the home.
Centipede and Millipede Prevention
Prevention of centipedes and millipedes starts outside of the home. Since damp, dark places are ideal for these arthropods, homeowners should keep wood piles away from the home and eliminate debris piles in the immediate vicinity. Homeowners can also seal windows and add floor sweeps to doors during the winter, which can help to prevent drafts as well as pests. If there is any rotted wood in the structure of the home, it should be removed, as this can provide an ideal food source for millipedes and other pests.