Millipedes can and will give the Do It Yourself Pest Control Person problems as it does for the Professionals.
Millipedes have long, many-segmented bodies with two pairs of legs on most of the segments. Their legs appear to ripple in waves as they move. They have a cigar-shape body that can be curled up when disturbed. They can remain curled up and motionless for long periods of time. Millipedes range in length from less than 1 inch to more than 4 inches. Most homes have an abundance of good millipede habitat, including mulch around the home, decaying leaf litter in the woods, decaying grass clippings, and other damp, decaying plant debris. Any situation that helps increase the amount of decaying plant material also contributes to increased populations of millipedes. Millipedes are considered beneficial due to their role in helping break down plant material and return nutrients to the soil.
Most species of millipedes migrate in great numbers when we have too much rain or if its to dry. The brown millipede seems to be the most common species encountered. Brown millipedes are about 1 inch long and are recognized by the dark brown body with lighter stripes running lengthwise along their body. They are a common problem around homes in or near densely wooded areas where the soil has a high content of organic matter (in new subdivisions or newly constructed areas). They can also be a problem where lawns have received heavy applications of compost, rotted manure or sewage disposal waste. The female millipede lays eggs in or on the soil under decaying plant material. Larvae usually go through seven to 10 developmental stages, reaching adulthood in about two years. Adults may live for several years. Because of their beneficial nature, elimination of millipede populations is not usually desired. Eradication is impossible.
Do It Yourself Pest Control management of millipede populations can be accomplished by using an exterior application of a residual insecticide such as Demand CS, Demon WP, Talstar P, or Suspend SC. Management does not come easy, most homes (we treat with Demand CS and Talstar PL on a quarterly service, 4 times a year) that we treat on a regular schedule, do not usually have much of a problem. Treat a 5 to 8 feet barrier all the way around the home and one foot up the foundation wall. Spraying the millipede harborage areas such as under mulch, black plastic, or hollow trees will also help. You should also spray all the potential entry points into the home such as windows, doors, vents, plumbing, etc. We have not found a product that works quickly (some companies will use some products that work very well but are not labeled for this type of control-Beware as this is not safe or legal); this is one pest you need to have some patience with and if you treat on a regular schedule you can get your millipedes under control.
The new label for Termidor SC now includes millipedes, spiders, centipedes, ticks, wasps, yellow jackets and more. This product will get your millipedes under control very quick and then use the other products on a regular basis for complete control.
As the Do It Yourself Pest Control Person you are the one responsible for any Drift of Pesticide or contamination of waters in the area. So please read and follow the label very carefully.