Introduced: First found in Monroe County in 2001. Originates from the Caribbean.
Current Infestation: Primarily located in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties, but is spreading throughout South Florida.
Description/Biology: 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 yellow bands, and has red legs. Body length is 1-4 inches. Little is know about the yellow-banded millipede. These species may be attracted to lights.
Hosts: Millipedes feed on decaying material and organic matter. They are commonly found in mulch however, they do not have specific nests where they live and breed. Millipedes are considered a beneficial organism.
Importance: 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.
Management: These millipedes can enter buildings and houses through wall holes, around service lines, around loose fittings windows and doors, or through damaged roof vents. Once they enter the building, they will soon die (usually within 24 hours) due to the dry conditions of most buildings and houses. They are not able to breed indoors. There may be some odor associated with these animals when they are disturbed so avoid vacuuming them up.
Homeowner: Weather strip around doorways, especially over the threshold. Seal around windows. Turn off outdoor lights when not in use. Replace damages roof and vent screens, and caulk cracks and holes in walls. If possible remove all organic material away from the building. Sometimes these millipedes will reside in potted plants near buildings.
There are insecticides labeled for use against millipedes around the outside foundation walls which are successful at killing millipedes, however, this success is very short lived because more millipedes will have returned within 24 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.