Multiple centipede and millipede species have been documented in Maine, and a few of these species often infest homes. One centipede species, the diamondback soil centipede, prefers to remain outdoors and they are rarely found indoors. These centipedes are frequently found within lawns and gardens, but they are not considered pests. Another centipede species, the house centipede, lives both indoors and outdoors, and they are frequently found in homes, sometimes in significant numbers, making them pests in some cases. Millipedes in Maine are rarely spotted in homes during the hottest summer months, but they are known for congregating into homes in large numbers come late summer and early fall. In most infestation cases, millipedes gravitate into basements, cellars and other moist indoor areas.

House centipedes are found indoors frequently during the spring, summer and fall, and they are capable of living out their entire lifespan indoors. House centipedes become abundant in any area where their insect prey can be found. Therefore, a heavy house centipede infestation indicates that a home could be infested with insect pests that may be more problematic than the centipedes themselves. House centipede infestations can be eradicated by eliminating their indoor food supply, minimizing high-moisture areas indoors, and infestations can be prevented by sealing foundation cracks that centipedes can easily squeeze through in order to enter homes.

Millipedes tend to invade homes, garages, sheds and other structures in large numbers when water saturated soil forces millipedes above the ground’s surface. When this occurs during the fall when millipedes are struggling to locate warm shelter, significant indoor infestations can result. Millipede populations on a property can be reduced by removing grass-clippings, lawn waste and dead plant-matter from yards, as millipedes feed on rotting organic matter. In some infestation cases, the number of millipedes in a home can become abundant enough to warrant the application of residual pesticides. Pesticide spot treatments performed outdoors around millipede entry points has proven effective at both eliminating and preventing millipede infestations. Luckily, millipedes that invade homes typically do not live long, as they usually cannot locate indoor areas where moisture levels are sufficient to enable millipedes to survive.

Have you ever found millipedes in your home?