Millipedes are arthropods that feed on dead and decaying plants. Millipedes are often confused for venomous centipedes. The body of a millipede is round and contains two sets of legs for every body segment. It is most common to see millipedes in the home as temperatures decline during the fall. Millipedes prefer cool moist climates and often search for areas in the home that are dark and humid.
The first step in learning how to get rid of millipedes is removing their preferred habitat. Use dehumidifiers and fans in rooms that do not receive adequate airflow. Remove dead plants from homes, and be sure that compost piles are far from the house. Limit the amount of mulch used in the yard, as this can carry many millipedes. Search the foundation of the home and caulk up any cracks, including areas where wires and plumbing enter the home.
Several commercial chemicals exist that kill and repel millipedes. These can be found in the form of aerosol sprays, powders, liquids, and granules. Apply these in cracks as well as dark corners and humid areas. Boric acid is especially useful in filling cracks in which millipedes hide. For a natural approach, diatomaceous earth can be spread into difficult to reach spaces in the home. This substance inflicts thousands of little cuts on insects, causing them to dry out and die. Read the labels of all chemicals to be sure they are safe for use indoors. Removing millipedes by sweeping or by vacuum are effective ways to rid a home of these pests. Millipedes are not poisonous and are safe to handle. Be careful not to squish them, as they can release odorous liquids that can stain fabric.