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Don't Play Games With Millipedes

millipede curled up on basement floor

There is a good chance, if you are old enough, that you remember the game Centipede. Produced by Atari, it could be played either at the local mall arcade or on the home Atari game system. Centipede is a vertically oriented shoot-em-up game that was designed by Ed Logg and Dona Bailey. In this game the player defends himself or herself against a host of spiders, scorpions, fleas and, yes, centipedes. Centipede was widely popular, and so it is well remembered. However, did you know that a year after Centipede was created, a similar game was introduced, called Millipede?

In these video games, the player can spend hours and hours shooting at and destroying creepy crawly critters that just keep coming and coming. And this is fun, because it is just a game. However, having real millipedes invade your home is anything but fun and games. In this article, we will talk about millipedes, what they are, and what you can do to get rid of them.


These worm-like creatures have many segments with two legs protruding from each segment. They are brownish in color and are typically 2.5 to 4 centimeters long. In warm months, millipedes are often found under mulch, piles of dead leaves, or under grass clippings. But when the weather turns cooler they move out of their natural habitat. It is suspected by scientists that this migration is due to millipedes trying to get ready for winter. It is during these times that millipedes often find their way into homes.

Since many basements are dark, moist and undisturbed, millipedes, once they find their way inside, are quite content to stay. They are also quite happy to live inside crawl spaces that have dead leaves or decaying wood to feed upon. As they move around and multiply, many millipedes find their way into the living spaces of a home, often in great numbers.

How to keep millipedes from invading your home:

No, you can't shoot at millipedes, like you can in the game. (Well… I guess you could, but it wouldn't do much good.)

Here are some better ideas to keep these pests at bay.

  • Get rid of leaf or grass clipping piles to eliminate millipede hiding places.
  • Make sure rainwater is diverted away from your home.
  • Inspect for cracks or gaps and seal them using a caulking gun.
  • Be sure that all weather stripping on doors makes a good seal.
  • Remove moisture indoors by using fans and/or dehumidifiers.

Time to call in the big guns?

If you have discovered that millipedes have invaded your home, you may want to consider contacting the professionals. Here at Big Blue Bug, we have over 75 years of experience in eliminating millipedes--and a whole host of other household pests--from homes just like yours. Give us a call today and ask about our Home Owner's Policy. HOP covers millipedes and most of the other common pests found in the New England area. Don't play games with millipedes, or any other pest, let Big Blue take care of you. You'll be glad you did.