This time of year, you may be seeing Yellow-Banded Millipedes in your home, so we’d like to share some information about them with you. Yellow-Banded Millipedes are not insects but are myriapods. The word “millipede” refers to the appearance of having a thousand legs. Millipedes are elongate, cylindrical with many body segments and legs. Most of the segments have two pairs of legs. Female millipedes lay their eggs in soil and moist organic matter. The young millipedes resemble the adults.
The yellow-banded millipede is brown with narrow yellow bands and has red legs. Body length is 1-4 inches (2.5-10 cm) long. Millipedes feed on decaying plant material and organic matter. They are commonly found in mulch and are considered a beneficial organism. This harmless creature can be an indoor nuisance but not a plant pest. They can occur in large numbers and have a habit of crawling up walls and accidentally coming indoors which may be somewhat unsettling. They do not bite and do not do any damage.
Millipedes can enter buildings and houses through wall holes, around service lines, around loose fitting windows and doors, or through damaged roof vents. Once they enter the building, they will soon die (usually within 24 hours) due to dry conditions of most buildings and houses. They are not able to breed indoors. There may be odor associated with these animals when they are disturbed so avoid vacuuming them up.
Homeowners should weather strip around doorways especially over threshold. Seal around windows and turn off lights when not in use. Replace damaged roof and vent screens, caulk cracks and holes in walls.
There are insecticides labeled for use against millipedes around the outside foundation which are successful at killing millipedes, however, this success is very short-lived because more millipedes will have returned within 24 hours to 48 hours. This is one of those situations that what nature has created, nature will have to cure. Once the population in an area has reached a balance the movement will cease.
Ira, Jamie, Lincoln, Ryan, Peter, Orlando & Jon
Life Cycle Pest Control