Questions on: Millipedes

Ron Smith, Horticulturist, NDSU Extension Service

Q: We have had a persistent problem with some creatures around our front walk and brick work. I thought they were millipedes, but someone told us they are centipedes. They are about an inch long and curl up when in distress. They have hard shells and are driving us batty. We have to go out and clean them up every morning or else step on them, which leaves a permanent imprint in the concrete. Normal insecticides control them temporarily, but they always come back in force. Some of the sprays we used indicated they would control millipedes, but were not really effective. Any suggestions? (West Fargo, N.D.)

A: I had the same problem when I moved into our home 21 years ago. I called Johnson Pest Control for help. It sprayed with an approved insecticide and I haven't had a problem since then! I suggest contacting Johnson or some other licensed pest control company. These companies are licensed to handle restricted-use insecticides that are not available to the homeowner.

Q: Can you tell me how to get rid of the enclosed worms? They are all over and driving us crazy! (Java, S.D.)

A: What you have are millipedes, an arthropod that is very difficult to control once it invades the house. They like dark, damp places. I had to employ a professional pest care company (Orkin) to rid my house of them right after we moved in, 16 years ago. It worked beautifully! Havenít seen one since!

Q: Can you tell me what kind of insects I have enclosed in the alcohol filled jar? (Moorhead, Minn.)

A. The insects were millipedes. They are primarily munchers of decaying organic matter, and easily controlled with removal of food source and insecticidal soap sprays. Thanks for the good sample!

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