How To Get Rid of Millipedes: Once and for Good

Identifying, inspecting, preventing, and finally getting rid of millipedes.
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
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Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
Expert Consultant
Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: August 22, 2023
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Although millipedes are subtle bugs that don’t bite or hurt and typically can’t survive inside, being near the sticky irritating substance they emit when distressed can lead to an allergic reaction. These organisms are often brown or black in appearance, with divided bodies and countless legs. They are easily mistaken for centipedes because of their large mandibles and short antennae. Knowing how to get rid of millipedes can be challenging if you don’t know what to do.

Millipedes are useful in small quantities because they swiftly decompose rotting material. However, if there is an excessive number of millipedes in your garden or within your house or other building, these should be addressed. Once these creatures settle in your lawn or house, millipedes can be relatively tough to eliminate, but understanding these little creatures can help you to manage them better.

Identifying Millipedes

How To Get Rid of Millipedes: Once and for Good
Millipede bodies are segmented, and each segment has two pairs of legs that attach to the underside of the body.

Identifying the pest is the first step to beginning pest treatments. Centipedes, which share the same name as millipedes, are sometimes confusing to differentiate. Even though they may have similar appearances, they differ in certain ways. And there are even different methods of getting rid of centipedes.

The length of a regular millipede varies from 0.6 to 2 inches, and its tube-shaped body is often black or tan but can also occasionally be white or red. In addition to having pair of legs for each body segment, their antennae are rather short. Depending on the species, millipedes can have anywhere from 40 to 400 legs.

On the other hand, centipedes are typically larger and can be as long as 6 inches. They are somewhat golden in color and have flattened bodies. They have longer antennae and one set of long legs for each body segment.

Inspecting Millipedes

Once you are sure that you are having a millipede problem, you should do an investigation to identify their primary habitats and the factors that draw them to your home. You can inspect humid and dark areas like your garages, basements, or first floors. If you occasionally find them outdoors in your lawns or gardens, inspect mulched areas like bricks, stones, leaf litter, moist soil, and woodpiles.

Bear in mind that you’re searching for millipedes in moisturized areas. If there are regions around your home or outside where moisture collects, search there. You might even stumble upon a breeding site.

Bagworms and slugs are also common in places with millipedes, so you must know how to get rid of them too. Luckily, you can also get rid of bagworms and slugs with some of the millipede treatment methods outlined in this article.

Getting Rid of Millipedes

After confirming possible places where you found millipedes, then it’s time to begin treatment. There are several methods to adopt. Some use natural, and others use pesticides or other means. We will briefly discuss some methods of ridding your home of these annoying creatures.

1. Use Traps

How To Get Rid of Millipedes: Once and for GoodMaking your DIY millipede traps is rather simple, and you need not be present to inspect them. Place the fruit slice in the bottom of the bottle. Take a plastic container, a chunk of ripe fruit, a 6 inches long vinyl tubing, and tape. Look for a well-fitted tubing and insert it on the lip of a bottle. Approximately two inches of tubing should be inserted into the container before sealing it with tape. Ensure the tube doesn’t contact the edges of a bottle as you tilt the bottle sideways.

As the fruit begins to rot, millipedes will get inside the bottle to eat the fruits, but they won’t be able to get out.

2. Remove Them Manually

How To Get Rid of Millipedes: Once and for GoodIt is the easiest way to get rid of millipedes. Do not squish them as they give out a foul smell that can be irritating. Use a broom and a dustpan to sweep them off the floor and throw them in a bowl of soapy water to die.

3. Use Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

How To Get Rid of Millipedes: Once and for GoodThis organic product’s crystals cause micropunctures on the bodies of pests by piercing their tough exoskeletons. The pests eventually dehydrate and die slowly. You can sprinkle DE along the edges of rooms, under gadgets, beneath fences, door gaps, or around foundations. DE is harmless to humans and can be used freely.

4. Apply Boric Acid

How To Get Rid of Millipedes: Once and for GoodDE and boric acid are similar. The pests are also slowly dehydrated as they are sliced up when they creep across it. Additionally, it agitates millipedes’ digestive system, functioning more quickly than diatomaceous earth. But keep in mind that Boric acid shouldn’t be used around children or animals.

5. Or Essential Oils

How To Get Rid of Millipedes: Once and for GoodThese are more effective as repellants than insecticides. Peppermint and tea tree oil are the most popular essential oils used to eliminate millipedes. Make sure to always dilute before use. To use, apply the oils on entrances like door gaps, windowsills, vents, basements, and foundation openings. They can also be used outdoors where rain cannot get to.

6. Or Cayenne Pepper

How To Get Rid of Millipedes: Once and for GoodCayenne pepper also functions better as an insecticide. In addition to millipedes, cayenne pepper is effective against other pests. You may either purchase the powder or entire cayenne peppers to grind yourself. If you notice millipede activity, sprinkling pepper there will help. You might as well scatter it around the home’s entrances and foundations.

7. Use Insecticides

Using insecticides is another way of treating your house from millipede infestation. Check out the following methods.

Use a Liquid Insecticide

How To Get Rid of Millipedes: Once and for GoodStart by choosing a pesticide with a millipede treatment label, such as Onslaught Insecticide.

Check the label to ensure you can apply it safely within gaps and crevices and on the exterior of your house or other structure.

Next, pick your preferred spraying apparatus, a submersible pump sprayer. Read the instructions on the label to know how to mix the liquid with water.

Next, fill your sprayer with half the required water while donning safety gloves and tank tops. The Insecticide should be added as required. Close the lid and shake thoroughly before spraying.

Use a Granular Insecticide Outdoors

How To Get Rid of Millipedes: Once and for GoodGranular insecticides are great treatments for millipede infestation. Get a granular insecticide designed for treating millipedes and follow the steps below:

  • Apply the insecticide to your lawn using a handheld or broadcast spreader.
  • Apply the granules slowly as you through your yard in rows.
  • If applying with a broadcast spreader, ensure that the grains are “harking back” to the tire tracks of the row before them for an even application.
  • The granules may need to be watered in to activate once they are spread throughout your lawn and garden. For advice on whether or not to water after using your granular pesticide, read the package.
  • To find out if you can use granular insecticide on your plants, read the package carefully. Most granular pesticides can be applied on ornamentals but not on foodstuffs.

Use an Insecticide Dust

How To Get Rid of Millipedes: Once and for GoodLong-lasting insecticide dusts like Tempo 1% Dust are excellent for hard-to-reach places such as cracks, fissures, and wall holes. Dusts are a slow killer, so we advise using them in conjunction with insecticide spray solutions.

Remember to select insecticide dust suitable for use in moist locations when making your selection because millipedes are frequently found. For wet and humid regions, a dust insecticide works well. Make sure the pesticide dust is indicated for millipedes and is safe to use both indoors and outside by reading the label. After snow or rain, outdoor dust sometimes has to be reapplied.

Preventing Millipedes

As with any bug, prevention is crucial to stopping infestations in their tracks. The most reasonable thing to do is to prevent millipede infestations from the beginning. Even though the techniques above are excellent for existing millipede problems. To help keep millipedes away, use these preventative strategies.

Clean Up

How To Get Rid of Millipedes: Once and for Good
Sealing up and keeping the floors clean are probably the two most important things you can do to keep millipedes away.
  • Clear the area and surroundings of the foundations.
  • Pick up mulch, twigs, grass, hedge cuttings, planks, firewood, containers, stones, etc. Raise them if you are unable to remove them.
  • Maintained plant pruning and lawn mowing. Don’t fertilize your yard excessively.
  • Protect your compost and garbage.
  • Maintain clean and dry floors.
  • Fill in any foundational gaps or fissures, as well as those near wiring and piping.
  • Make sure that the thresholds and weatherstripping are secure and in good condition.
  • If foundations are close to walkways, terraces, sunrooms, etc., caulk around the doorways, windows, and formworks.
  • Get rid of anything moist.

Eliminate Moisture

How To Get Rid of Millipedes: Once and for Good
Dehumidifiers will prevent not only mold and mildew from growing in your home but also millipedes and other pests.

Keeping your house dry can make it less appealing to millipedes because they are attracted to damp surroundings. Use a towel to dry off any extra moisture in the bathroom and kitchen from dishwashing and other activities. When feasible, use far less water, and avoid running the faucets all the time.

Any liquid-filled containers should be sealed or capped. Instead of washing dishes throughout the day, try to do so all at once. Wipe up any extra moisture that develops in garages and basements. Remove any spilled water right away. Dry your vehicles, boats, gear, and equipment outside. Any damp equipment should be kept outside. Use a dehumidifier if required. Install gully guards or clean out any blocked gutters outdoors. Don’t let water get near your foundation.


Are millipedes poisonous?

Although several millipedes have ducts that can produce irritating fluids some people may be allergic to, millipedes are generally not poisonous. Nevertheless, some millipedes have protective sprays that include hydrochloric acid, which can burn the skin and result in long-term skin discoloration.

Why do I have millipedes in my house?

Millipedes frequently inhabit indoor spaces when conditions outside are unfavorable, such as excessive rain, dryness, and colder temperatures. They will seek cover indoors during periods of heavy rain, and they will seek water indoors during periods of drought.

What do millipedes eat?

Most millipedes are scavengers in their native environment. They consume bits of rotting or moist wood. Additionally, they consume dead plants and other plant matter. When their habitat becomes too dry, millipedes will destroy living plants.

Final Thoughts

Even though millipedes aren’t hazardous and are sometimes even viewed positively, if you encounter them in your household, they could be a pain.

If you’re unsure how to get rid of millipedes by yourself, you can contact your neighborhood pest control service for a free evaluation and suitable treatment plan.

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