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Millipedes

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pest control for millipedes

Are you tired of hearing "Crunch in the morning when you step out to get the newspaper or head off to work? Or how about finding that no matter how many times you spray for them that during the night millipedes have crawled in around your doors, windows and especially around glass sliding doors. Oh, and let's not forget the pleasurable experience of wanting to go swim in your pool only to find dead millipedes on the pool deck or in the water (squish).

If you are tired of millipedes we have an answer. One that it appears not a single other company in town seems to have come up with. But before we go into that we think it will help you to understand how and why the millipedes arrived on your doorstep and why ordinary pest control measures fail miserably to eliminate them.

While there are many types of millipedes that live in our area naturally there are only a few that cause a problem (Crunch) because most millipedes live in small populations and are not attracted to human homes (Roommate anyone?) there are some newcomers in town. Yellow banded millipedes and others are not natural to South Florida. In fact, they were first discovered in the state of Florida in the city of Miami in 2001. Since then they have been moving (migrating) up both coasts in increasing numbers. A problem that did not exist 20 years ago is becoming a major Crunchfest these days. And amazingly, few people seem to have found answers that work.

millipede pest control

First let's talk about why nature has not stopped the spread of these crunchy little critters. The answer is that they have no natural predators. Over millions of years this type of millipede developed several defense mechanisms. 400 million years ago there were millipedes that grew in excess of 6 feet. Yikes! None of us want to find that sitting next to the couch in the morning. But giant size did not work for millipedes. Natural selection proved the smaller millipedes could hide much better from their natural predators. So, they got small and smaller. Today's millipede grows to about an inch. They also developed a type of armor which they put to good use by rolling into a ball so that they are less vulnerable to attack. It's actually that armor that makes the crunching noise when you step on them. But still nature demanded that they develop additional even more defense mechanisms. They learned to live most of their lives about 6 inches underground where they would be less likely to be attacked. With that most millipedes eventually developed defenses such as a bad smell (when you step on one). But those that are now invading Florida is massive numbers went one step further than those that naturally live here. They developed poison. Not something you need to worry about. It's not in their bite (They don't bite humans) and it's not in their sting (They do not have stingers). Instead the poison remains within their bodies and only affects predators that make the mistake of trying to eat one. 

Call National Exerminators Today! (239)278-5445

The natural predators for "common Florida millipedes" unfortunately never had a chance to develop immunities to this poison in the Yellow Banded Millipedes. That means while birds, birds, lizards and fish can eat the local millipedes they can get irritations, sick or even die if they eat these new invaders. And so, nature in Florida has no natural defense against this new invasive species.

As for invasions, this is a big one. Think about it. They did not exist in Florida 20 years ago. But now they are living everywhere that humans are. And their numbers are growing. It turns out they have one more defense mechanism. It's that they move is massive numbers (migration) and so even if nature or humans kill a few there are thousands (millions) to take their place.

Many experts suggest that since millipedes are not harmful (They eat decaying organic material making the world a cleaner place) that the answer is to simply create a line of defenses so that millipedes don't enter your home. For instance, doing a better job of weather stripping around your doorways, windows and sliding glass doors. Then wait them out (millipedes tend to migrate when there is too much water or to little) because the rest of the year they will stay down under the ground or mulch where they belong. And additional suggestion is to remove any lights that might be attracting them towards your doors, windows and sliding glass doors (millipedes are very attracted to light). And if that's want you want to do we understand (Crunch, crunch, crunch).

Then there are the sprays at the store. Did we mention that millipedes do not live naturally in homes (They dry out and die within 24 hours) so spraying indoors is a waste of time. Of course, you could spray outside the home too. But the problem is that the millipedes live "under" the mulch, leaves and other organic material. And they migrate. So this is can be a waste of time and energy because it only has an effect for a very short time.

Then there are the pest control professionals. Most of them will tell you upfront that when they spray the effect will be limited because most of the millipedes live under the soil where they cannot get to them and also because millipedes migrate in massive numbers when there is too much or too little rain (they love a moist area, but have to move up to avoid drowning during heavy rains).

National Exterminators (239)278-5445

National Exterminators proudly services all of Collier and Lee Counties. Including but not limited to Marco Island, Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers and Sanibel since 1977.

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