Is It Safe To Touch Millipedes In South Carolina?
May 7, 2021
Even if a pest isn’t exactly dangerous, there are still plenty of reasons why you shouldn't try to handle them on your own. Millipedes are a perfect example of this since they can expose you to the larger problems that pests pose to you and your property. Learning how you can prevent these kinds of pests will help you not have to deal with them in the first place, but if you do get an infestation, you need to understand why it’s smart to turn to professionals.
How To Tell If It’s A Millipede
Millipedes are worm-like insects that are typically garden pests. They look a lot like another insect, which bears a similar name: centipedes. The name “millipede” means “a thousand legs” in Latin, though they don’t have anywhere near that many. Instead, millipedes get their larger numerical name because they have two pairs of legs per body segment, unlike the single pair per segment that centipedes have. Here are some other ways to tell the two pests apart:
- Shape: Millipedes have rounder bodies than centipedes, which appear more splayed with legs reaching out instead of hidden underneath.
- Antennae: Centipedes have much longer antennae than millipedes.
- Venom: Only centipedes have venom that they use to incapacitate their prey. Neither millipedes nor centipedes bite people, however, and this venom isn’t potent enough to cause serious harm.
Are Millipedes Dangerous?
With their barbed bodies and fast crawling, millipedes aren’t something most people want to touch in the first place. But it is an important question to get the answer to: are millipedes dangerous? The short answer is not really, but they aren’t harmless, either. Many species of millipedes secrete hydrochloric acid, which is a skin irritant that some people can develop allergies to. This is why you shouldn’t try and pick up or handle millipedes on your own. Instead, if you notice them around your property, you should call the experts right away.
Where To Find Them Around Your Property
To spot millipedes or their signs, you first have to understand where infestations usually occur and how millipedes behave as pests. They are typically outdoor pests, feeding on decaying plant fibers and smaller insects. This is why they are often garden pests, drawn to the vegetation and moist soils that are typically found there. However, millipedes can also find their way indoors, just like any other pests, and certain factors will attract them to some properties over others. Here are some attracting factors for millipedes:
- Moisture: Moisture control, both indoors and out in your yard, is crucial to preventing pests. Not only are they attracted to moist areas, but water damage can also open up entrances in exterior walls that allow pests to invade more easily.
- Insects: Millipedes are mostly foragers, looking around for dead leaves or wood pulp to feed on. However, they will also eat smaller insects for protein, so the presence of existing pest populations will attract millipedes as well as other pests.
- Yard debris: Piles of wood or leaves, even clippings, and compost piles, can all make your yard more attractive to pests, especially millipedes, which feed on decaying plant matter.
Seek Professional Assistance Now
By their nature, pest problems aren’t always easy to spot until populations have grown in size and number. That’s why every property owner needs to get started right away on early pest prevention and control, not wait for larger problems to present themselves. The best way to accomplish this is with the guidance of pest professionals. At Aiken Pest, we can inspect your property high and low for signs of pests or factors that might draw them near. We’ll work with you to come up with a pest control plan that matches your property and your pocketbook. If millipedes or other pests are already there, contact the experts right away. Don’t try to handle millipedes on your own, instead call Aiken Pest today.