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Are Millipedes In Portland Dangerous?

a millipede on patio deck

If you’ve ever seen a millipede in or around your Portland home, you might have wondered just how many legs they actually have. After all, the word millipede translates to “thousand legs.” The truth is millipedes do not have a thousand legs. While the record number is around 750 legs, most millipedes typically have somewhere from 80 to 400. In addition to wondering about their legs, many people often wonder if the millipedes they see around their homes are dangerous, and, if so, what they can do to keep them out. Continue reading to find out everything you need to know about millipedes and what they mean for your Portland home.

What Do Millipedes Look Like?

Millipedes typically grow to be about one or two inches long, although they can grow larger depending on the species. They are most commonly brown or black in color, and they have rounded bodies with many legs. Often confused with centipedes because of their many legs, millipedes have two pairs of legs per body segment while centipedes only have one set per segment. One of the more interesting traits of millipedes is the wave-like manner in which their legs move as they walk.

By and large, millipedes are considered to be nuisance pests. This means they do not pose any direct threat to us humans. However, they do come with a few drawbacks. Many millipedes will emit a foul-smelling odor if they feel threatened, or if they are smushed. Furthermore, many millipede species contain hydrochloric acid which can lead to minor discomfort or skin irritation and discoloration if handled. As such, you should try to avoid handling millipedes if you come across them in your home.

Why Do Millipedes Enter Into Homes?

Millipedes feed on decaying vegetation and thrive in moist environments. As such, they can typically be found outside in leaf piles, under rocks, or within other decaying organic matter. However, they have been known to venture inside of homes when the weather outside becomes either too arid or too moist. Once inside, they will tend to settle in moisture-friendly rooms such as unfinished basements and other poorly ventilated areas. To keep millipedes out of your Portland home, you should try to deal with any moisture issues and seal off any potential entry points. To achieve these goals, you should:

  • Use dehumidifiers to address any moisture issues within your home, especially in areas that are poorly ventilated.
  • Fix leaky pipes, fixtures, or other water leaks that could lead to flooding.
  • Remove leaf piles, rocks, decaying vegetation, and woodpiles from your yard.
  • Fill in cracks in the foundation of your home with caulk.
  • Install door sweeps under exterior doors.

What Should You Do If Millipedes Infest Your Portland Home?

Despite millipedes’ preference for living outdoors, they have been known to invade homes in large numbers. If such should occur in your Portland home, don’t delay, and contact the trained pest professionals here at Big Blue Bug Solutions.

Here at Big Blue Bug Solutions, we offer quality pest control solutions that you can count on to effectively eliminate any infestation with which you are dealing. Furthermore, should you wish to be proactive about pest control on your property, we offer a variety of ongoing treatment plans to best fit you and your home’s needs. That way, you don’t have to worry about your Portland home becoming infested with millipedes or any other bugs. We’ll ensure your property remains pest-free all year long. Don’t let creepy-crawly millipedes or any other pest make their home inside of yours. Give us a call today to get started with a pest control plan that works for you.