Millipede invasions have long been a problem for many homeowners. Although these invasions seem more likely to occur in the spring and after heavy rains, they have been reported in every month of the calendar year. Thousands of migratory millipedes can create a mess. Once they die, expect a smell that can last for several weeks.


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MILLIPEDESThere are over 1000 species of millipedes in the United States. Most are slow crawling, appear to have hundreds of legs and will generally be gray to light brown or even orange in color . Most species take 1-2 years to reach reproductive maturity and can live 5-10 years. They love decomposing thatch, leaves and mulch. They will get nutrition from these locations and may choose a root system of a nearby plant on which to feed. When they breed, the eggs hatch larva which will feed right where they emerge. This leads to large populations or nests which can number in the hundreds. They will remain feeding as long as there is a food supply to support the nest. This could be for a year or two but at some point expect a migration.



MILLIPEDE INVASIONExcessive rain, drought or lack of food will cause them to migrate. This phenomenon can occur at any time of the year and may result in several thousand moving in a direction that is in line with your home. The author has dealt with several infestations of millipedes that have numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Many customers routinely have so many they must use a gas powered blower to round up all the dead ones and will fill 10-20 hefty bags to haul them away. Infestations will routinely lead to thousands stacking up on or climbing up the side of a house. Though migrating millipedes will many times reach a certain height and stop, some will surely get inside too. But since they stink when they die, having them in the yard or worse yet in the home can present a wide range of problems.



Controlling millipede invasions involves a series of steps.

The first step is to identify nest sights. This will allow you to minimize the conditions these pests need which in turn will lead to less getting inside. Look to see where they are invading. In most cases, you will find them along one side or wall of your home.

MILLIPEDES IN THE HOMEIf you notice that pattern, look around this side of the property. Inspect nearby mulch, compost piles, wood piles, large rocks, pine straw, around sheds, cracks in cement walkways or driveways and stoops. Any of these locations can breed, feed and shelter these pests. If you know where they are coming from, you will be able to treat the area precisely and even remove excessive organic matter available for them.

Lastly, clean up leaves, grass clippings, compost piles and other organic plant matter. Replace old straw or hay which has decomposed. Move log piles away from the home. Seal cracks in cement which allow water to gather. Rake thatch buildup from your lawn. By reducing these conditions, you take away food and harborage these pests need for survival.

After conditions conducive to millipedes have been reduced, take a look to see how they’re entering and seal up entry ways to help keep them out.



If you have a lot of access points around the siding of your home, consider a good “seal” job. This will help to reduce heating and cooling cost but it will also keep out most any perimeter pest like millipedes. Most homes that get invaded have lots and lots of small cracks, crevices and gaps through which millipedes enter. These entry points should be reduced and/or eliminated with the use of some FOAM SEALANT. These 16 oz cans are self charged, come with a small hose for injecting the foam sealant and one can will fill over 1000 linear feet so they go a long way.

Pur Black





If you have a lot of gaps to fill,  get a professional FOAM GUNS. These tools will enable you to apply the foaming sealant quickly and precisely without waste or missed applications. In other words, they will more then pay for themselves. You’ll need the larger FOAM SEALANT cans which are 25 oz. Designed to fit on the gun, they can fill over 1500 linear feet of gaps.

Pur Shooter Basic Gun









If your home is prone to animal invading too, use the FOAM WITH REPELLENT. This is essentially the same material but includes a strong repellent which insects and animals do not like.

Pur IPF Foam




Be sure to get a can of GUN CLEANER. Use it after foaming so your gun will be prepared for storage and ready for use the next time its needed.

Pur Cleaner






Now that you’ve cleaned up the yard and have insured the home is properly sealed to keep out invading millipedes, its time to treat. Migrating millipedes will move onto your home and start to nest, roost and invade if you don’t knock out the current infestation. This procedure will include the use of granules and liquid sprays. And it will take time. But after 2-4 weeks, the problem will subside if you apply enough product and after 1-2 months, it should be reduced to manageable levels. From there, treating quarterly should keep them at bay.



Since millipedes thrive under mulch, thatch, around plants and plant roots, you’ll need to cover your entire property with a good layer of BIFEN GRANULES.  This product is slow releasing but ideally suited for outside (especially under heavy thatch or mulch) and will permeate down to where the millipedes are reproducing and nesting. Keep in mind these are slow acting and should be applied monthly when millipedes are active.

Use 12.5 lbs per 10,000 sq/ft of yard. Thats 1/2 bag of the larger size. Apply them once a month when millipedes are active; every 3 months for prevention.







Broadcast the granules over all your mulch and turf. Millipedes could be focused under dead organic matter but will readily infest root balls too so leave no area untreated. Use a good GRANULE SPREADER to get even and uniform coverage.

Scatterbox HB Granule Spreader






After applying a layer of granules to your turf, get BIFEN XTS and spray over the top. Use 4 oz Bifen for every 5,000 sq/ft.





Use our 20 GALLON HOSE END SPRAYER to apply the Bifen. Basically you’ll add 4 oz of Bifen and then fill the sprayer with water and then spray the entire amount over 5,000 sq/ft of turf.






Be sure to spray the sides of the home too covering as much of the siding as the millipedes are using. So if you see them climbing up 10 feet of the siding, treat up to 10 feet high around the entire home.

Expect to retreat as needed for the first month; this could be 2-3 times a week to hold off the invasion. But once under control, spraying every 2-3 months when you apply granules will be enough for preventive care.


If you’re interested in using organic granules and spray, ESSENTRIA GRANULES should be used in place of the Bifen Granules. Essentria uses food grade ingredients and can be used safely around sensitive areas like streams, rivers, ponds and lakes. You’ll need to use 15 lbs for every 5,000 sq/ft so they will be more costly compared to Bifen. But we have found them work well when enough are used.






For spray, use ESSENTRIA IC. Like the granules, this concentrate is federally exempt using food oils and extracts for active ingredients. Highly effective on a wide range of pests, Essentria will control millipedes at a rate of 4 oz per gallon of water per 1,000 sq/ft of turf you need to spray.





Spray as needed which might be as often as 2-3 times a week to hold off the initial invasions. But once under control, every 2-3 months for prevention.

When using the 20 GALLON HOSE END SPRAYER listed above, add 20 oz of concentrate to the sprayer, fill with water and spray the entire amount over 5,000 sq/ft of turf.



For in the home, you may spray either the Bifen or the Essentria along baseboards, around door ways and other areas where they may penetrate. Use a good PUMP SPRAYER for the application so it won’t make a mess. Our sprayer comes with an assortment of nozzles so it will provide the best fan spray needed for proper coverage.





For areas you can’t spray with a liquid, apply FS MP AEROSOL. This low odor spray is fast acting and treatments will last 2-4 weeks. Use it as needed when millipedes invade.







Once you begin the process explained above, do not expect to see all the millipedes you find to be dead and gone in just a few days or even a few weeks. Most properties will take years to become infested and consequently, the treatments will take 1-3 months to penetrate all the areas where millipedes are nesting and thriving. For this reason one should compare results based on monthly activity and not daily or weekly reviews.

With that being said, the granules and liquid sprays will most definitely help you manage the activity so when they migrate, you shouldn’t have them living on the home or getting inside. But if you don’t treat the outside at least once a month, you’ll never reduce their numbers enough to stop them completely. That means if you want them gone for good, stay the course and don’t stop treating. In 3-6 months most populations will be dramatically reduced and if you keep on treating after they’re gone, you’ll never get them again.


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Comments on MILLIPEDE CONTROL Leave a Comment

January 28, 2012

P.T. @ 8:08 am #


We have been living at a property on one of the Finger Lakes in New York State for three + years. Each year the millipede migration seems to get worse. The small blackish/brown milipedes cover one side of our two story house at times. They seem to have a route across our livingroom rug and they we find them in various other places in the house too but not to the same extent as in the living room. I am forever vacuming them up around three weeks of the beginning of the Summer or so. It is very freakish, but once the invasion stops I forget all about them and can go back to enjoying our Summer on a beautiful lake. My problem is the odor. I saw a show on t.v. that said the order is Hydrogen Cyanide. I have discovered that during the invasion period I get headaches and feel ill. I am worried about our health now and also worried about using chemicals in the house. Please advise about any health issues from the millipede odor or pesticides. I want to tackle this problem this year before the invastion starts. I’m afraid with our weird and mild Winter here this year that the invastion could start sooner than most years.


July 8, 2012

Debra sturdevant @ 12:20 pm #


Is the Bifenthrin safe for pets who roam outdoors? We also have free range chickens who seem to dislike the bugs as well otherwise we would have natural bug control!

July 15, 2012

Marie Grunden @ 8:34 pm #


I have lived in my home for 20 years never had a problem with millipedes until 3 yrs ago. Then it was like I had millions of them. I had an exterminator come and spray which decreased the number greatly. Again this summer I am overrun with the millipedes. I think they are living in the dirt near my garage doors, its black shale type dirt that is moist most of the time due to an overhanging deck floor. What would be my best means of destroying these things?

July 17, 2012

Echo @ 2:05 pm #


The last 2 weeks I have noticed these milipedes in my cottage. This is the first time in 10 years I have ever seen these bugs in my place. The problem is since the weather has been so hot and humid the creek next to my place has really dried up. The other day I did apply boric acid around the inside walls of the entire place. What I do notice is they seem to come in the cottage more in the evening and early hours as the air conditioner seems to attract them. Not sure if that is accurate or just an observance. Because I do have a creek next to my home and a lake in the front, what do you suggest the best method of attack? Please help because I have the hebegeebies.

Hoy Chan @ 11:36 pm #


I just moved into my new home about 3 months ago. Like everyone else in this forum, I have a millipede problem. I’ve tried using the Ortho Home Defense Spray and sprayed the outside of the home around the perimeters and inside the house. I don’t think the Ortho is doing any good. I sprayed one directly on contact and it looks like it was going to take it forever to die. The millipede ended up underneath my sandals after a few minute. Is there any other home defense beside Ortho? It also sucks because I have a deck right in my back yard connected to the home. What are your recommendation to getting rid of this creature and where do I start? Thank you. Neighbors don’t seem to have this problem besides me. Why?

July 18, 2012
August 1, 2012

Molly @ 8:54 am #


We have property in the finger lakes and have been battling millipedes for the last three years. They usually disappear after a few weeks. This year they came early in the spring and won’t leave. They have moved from the basement to the first floor. I was told Talstar Pro would work, but I have sprayed three times and still have them getting in. We have sealed all cracks, only have fine gravel around the perimeter of the house. Help.

August 23, 2012

Chris @ 9:41 pm #


We have lived in our current home for the past 25 years. Within the past seven to ten years, we have been inundated with millipedes and can’t seem to get rid of them. They appear to be worse around the garage and foundation of our home (hundreds). Every morning we are cleaning up the dead ones. I do have a lot of shrubs/mulch around our house. Do you think this is contributing to the problem? We also live near a creek. Can this be contributing to the problem also? This year has especially been worse. We have been trying to control them with sevin dust, which seems to help the problem temporarily. They are also getting into the basement of our home.

August 24, 2012

Chris @ 9:25 am #


Thanks so much for the information. Is Bifen safe for pets? I want to use as strong as a product I can to try to control/eliminate the problem without harming my dogs.

April 12, 2013

Megan L. @ 10:32 pm #


I have lived in my house 6 years. I work nights. I came home the other morning and when I was pulling up I thought I had black spots on the side of my house. When I pulled into the driveway I noticed more spots on my garage door. When I got close I realized it was hundreds of millipedes. I am only finding like 10 a day in the house but I’m really worried about the number on the outside of the house. They seemed to be even making it on the room. HELP!

April 13, 2013
April 14, 2013

Bruni @ 8:07 pm #


We have a houseplant that is infested with millipedes. How can we treat the problem without killing the plant? Are these chemicals safe indoors in an apartment setting? Thank you.

May 4, 2014

Nan Parker @ 10:30 pm #


Can the millipedes reproduce in the house? We have so many inside and never see them on the window sills or doors. Can they be coming from inside the walls through pipes around the toilet, etc.? Can they reproduce in carpeting?
Thank you.

May 5, 2014
September 8, 2014

Bob Shuler @ 3:22 pm #


Hello, we have been getting millipedes in the garage under the door. We have red stone (B2) and no grass. One thing the septic tank is in front of the garage off to one side. Even without a lot of rain they are getting very active. Only a few appear in the sliding doors on the deck. Your suggestions. Bob.

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