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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There are over 1000 species of millipedes in the United States. They are slow crawling, appear to have hundreds of legs and generally gray to light brown in color. Most species take 1-2 years to reach reproductive maturity and can live 5-10 years. They love to live in 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.



Excessive 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. One customer had so many he used a gas powered blower to round up all the dead ones and 14 Hefty bags to haul them away! This happened over a three day period, but if he didn’t have the right materials or know how to use them, he would have had a mess in his home. Other infestations have lead to thousands stacking up or climbing the side of a house. The migrating millipedes will reach a certain height and simply stop. It is unsure why they do this but it will lead to huge numbers accumulating and a nasty smell when they die.



Controlling millipedes involves a series of steps. The first is identifying nest sights. This will allow you to minimize the conditions these pests need which 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. Look around this side of the property. Inspect nearby mulch, compost piles, wood piles, large rocks, pinestraw, 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. Clean up leaves. Replace old straw that is 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.



Pur BlackLastly, if you have a lot of access points through the siding of the home, you should consider a “seal” job. 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 SEALENT. These cans are self charged and good for small jobs.

Pur BlackPur Black:


Pur BlackPur Pro Gun 24"Pur Shooter Basic GunIf you have a lot of work to do, it would be wise to invest in one of the professional FOAM GUNS and maybe even the 24″ FOAM GUN. These tools will enable you to apply the sealent quickly and precisely without much waste or missed applications. In other words, they will more then pay for themselves. You’ll need the FOAM CANNISTERS for these guns, which easily fit on either applicator, and cover a much larger area then the smaller cans.

Pur Shooter Basic GunPur Gun:

Pur Pro Gun 24"Pur Gun 24″ :

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Pur CleanerPur IPF FoamIf your home is prone to animal invasions, consider the FOAM WITH REPELLENT. This cannister comes with expanding foam but includes a strong repellent which insects and animals do not like. It may be just what you need to make sure ladybugs and other undesirable home invaders aren’t able to find their way inside quite as easily as they have in the past. Be sure to keep your guns clean by using some FOAM GUN CLEANER. This will help keep the gun functioning and ready to go to work when next needed.

Pur IPF FoamFoam Repellent:

Pur CleanerPur Gun Cleaner:



No doubt sealing up your home will help to keep migrating millipedes out of your living area. But if you don’t knock down the outside population, your home will be continue to get covered with them and once on the structure, they’ll start to nest, roost and invade living spaces no matter how well you seal it. So to stop unwanted invasions, treat the outside with granules and a good liquid spray that will actually control millipedes. Since they’re tough to kill, very few actives work well but we know just which ones are best.



Essentria Organic GranulesBifen GranulesSince millipedes thrive under mulch, thatch, around plants and plant roots, you’ll need to cover your entire property with a good layer of BIFEN LP or ESSENTRIA GRANULES.  These products are best suited for the 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. But over a 3-6 month time span, you should be able to reduce the local millipede population dramatically and within a year, virtually eliminate all local activity.

Bifen GranulesBifen Granules:

Essentria Organic GranulesEssentria Granules:


Scatterbox HB Granule SpreaderBroadcast either granule into mulch or turf that you think is infested. The GRANULE SPREADER applicator is easy to use and will let you get even and uniform coverage when making the application.

Scatterbox HB Granule SpreaderSpreaders:



Hose End SprayerBifen XTSAfter applying a nice layer of granules to your turf, get a quart of BIFEN XTS and a 20 GALLON HOSE END SPRAYER. Add 4 oz of the Bifen to the Sprayer, fill it with water, hook it to your garden hose and spray the entire amount over 5,000 sq/ft. Repeat this over your entire yard making sure every inch of turf is treated – especially any area with pine straw, wood chips, stones or other ground cover.

Bifen XTSBifen XTS:

Hose End SprayerHose End Sprayer:


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

EssentriaPump SprayerNow if you’re finding millipedes in the home, garage or basement, mix up some Bifen in a PUMP SPRAYER and treat all the baseboards on every level of the home where activity is noted. Pay extra attention to key entry points like garage doors, basement windows, patio and deck doors as well as main entrances. Another spray that works well on them is ESSENTRIA IC. This is a federally  exempt product which uses food oils and extracts for active ingredients. Highly effective on a wide range of pests,  Essentria is a bit more “mild” compared to the Bifen and if you have a sensitive area to spray, would be the “green” choice compared to the Bifen.

Pump SprayerPump Sprayer:

EssentriaEssentria IC3:




D-Force AerosolNow if you have reason to believe there maybe nests behind walls or in hard to treat cracks, DFORCE AEROSOL is designed to let you treat these areas. It uses Deltamethrin as the active ingredient and with it’s special tube injector, you will be able to get into tight cracks and joints these pests like to hide. Use the Dforce aerosol for neat and penetrating applications.

D-Force AerosolD-Force:



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

That being said, the granules and liquid sprays will most definitely help you manage the activity so that 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 ever 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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