How To Get Rid Of Millipedes In Houseplants

Picking them off, using traps, luring animals like frogs and doves to feed on the millipedes, using diatomaceous earth, spraying chemicals, getting rid of the potting soil, or using essential oils like tea tree oil and peppermint oil are all ways to get rid of millipedes in houseplants.

How are millipedes in homes removed?

Because they are unable to escape once they are inside your home, millipedes tend to remain there. You might think about waiting them out if you discover millipedes in your home. Any infestation is likely to be brief because millipedes can only survive for a few days in the dry atmosphere present in most dwellings. You may also pick up these friendly critters by hand or sweep them up with a broom or vacuum.

Ortho Home Defense Indoor & Perimeter Insect Killer can also be used to spray them. Spray along the bottom of exterior doors, crawl space entrances, utility openings in foundation walls, the point where siding meets foundation block, along the outside perimeter of your home, and along the interior walls of crawl spaces and basements to create a barrier against future millipedes and other bugs. Use Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer for Lawn & Landscape if you have millipede issues in your yard.

Do millipedes hurt plants in any way?

Garden millipedes only consume decomposing organic debris, therefore they don’t affect living plants unless the soil becomes so dry that the millipedes must eat the roots in order to get moisture. They occasionally harm soft-stemmed plants in greenhouses and gardens. Be cautious while handling big numbers of millipedes because they also release cyanide gas when startled.

Plastic bottle trap

The following supplies can be used to create a straightforward trap:

  • Soda bottle made of plastic with a lid
  • pvc tubing (from a hardware store)
  • portable knife
  • ripe fruit fragment
  • Tape

Put the ripe fruit slice inside the bottle of plastic. The millipedes will be drawn in by this and enter the bottle.

You can simply insert the vinyl tubing if its breadth matches that of the plastic bottle’s opening. If not, you can use the pocketknife to pierce a tiny hole in the bottle cap so that the vinyl tubing can be inserted.

A 2-inch section of the vinyl tubing should be inserted into the bottle’s mouth. Make sure the tubing is not in contact with the bottle’s sides.

In the potting soil that has been invaded by millipedes, set this plastic bottle trap. If at all feasible, place the plastic bottle on its side with the mouth touching the ground.

The fruit piece will draw the millipedes, who will then enter the bottle via the tubing. They won’t be able to crawl out once they’re inside.

You can remove any millipedes you find within the bottle each day and release them far away from the potted plants.

Millipedes: Can they harm houseplants?

Although millipedes rarely harm plants and do not harm people, this does not mean that you want them to live indoors. Typically, these pests enter inside spaces from the outside or infect outdoor potted plants. They thrive in wet, gloomy environments and perish swiftly in dry ones. The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach claims that millipedes mostly consume decaying plant matter like mulch or leaves. Most millipede issues are resolved by managing the pests without harming the plants.

What rapidly ends millipede lives?

The simplest and quickest way to get rid of millipedes in the home is to vacuum or shop-vac them out, or you can spot-treat them with a powerful plant-based insecticide like Maggie’s Farm Home Bug Spray. When you immediately spray these pests with Maggie’s Farm Home Bug Spray, it will eliminate them. With Maggie’s Farm Home Bug Spray, you may additionally target particular points of entrance into your house and provide some residual defense.

Most Millipedes Are Scavengers

Many individuals are afraid of millipedes. Their bodies are lengthy and lean. Some millipede species can grow to approximately 115 mm in length. Many people believe they are frightening-looking even when they are curled up. Because of their numerous legs, millipedes are sometimes referred to as “thousand-leggers.” In fact, the millipede possesses two pairs of legs on practically every part of its body.

Outdoor living is preferred by millipedes. They prefer humid environments since they require a lot of moisture. In the yard’s flowerbeds and gardens, millipedes can be observed. They can be found living beneath mulch, fallen leaves, or even heaps of grass clippings. Millipedes can also survive between the thatch between the grass and the soil in well-established lawns.

The majority of millipedes are scavengers in their native environment. They consume bits of rotting or moist wood. Additionally, they consume dead leaves and other plant matter. Millipedes will attack living plants if their habitat begins to dry up. The delicate roots and emerald leaves can provide them with moisture.

Millipedes repeatedly lose their skin as they develop. Each time they molt, they consume the leftover skins. According to some scientists, this restores calcium that has been lost. Earthworms, snails, and small insects are occasionally also consumed by millipedes.

Are plant roots consumed by millipedes?

If millipedes become overpopulated, they may cause damage to your garden. Although millipedes mostly consume organic debris that has decomposed, they occasionally consume plant material such as leaves, stems, and roots. Despite the fact that they do not bite, they can release a substance that can irritate the skin and in rare cases trigger an allergic reaction.

Remove anything where moisture can collect in the garden if there are too many millipedes there. Their numbers ought to go down if you keep the region as dry as you can. Additionally, a variety of garden baits contain carbaryl, which is frequently used to manage millipede populations that have gone out of control in gardens. However, only use pesticides if absolutely required.

Why do centipedes live in my house plant?

Houseplants typically draw centipedes due to their quantity of organic material, such as leaves that have fallen, and dampness. While searching for insects to eat, they can also get into your indoor plants. Centipedes do not harm or feed on plants for any reason. The house centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata), for example, will enter your home and breed there.

How can millipedes be repelled naturally?

One of the most frequent pests discovered following rainstorms are millipedes (“thousand feet”). These moisture-loving animals typically have tan or black coloring, segmented bodies, and numerous legs. They are frequently mistaken for centipedes because of their short antennae and large mandibles. They are most frequently seen outside in your yard where they burrow and hide in tight areas because they seek wetness and humid settings. They can also be discovered indoors in basements, close to patio doors, and near windows. If they are discovered inside, it is typically because they were mistakenly let inside.

Plants and tiny insects are both consumed by millipedes. They typically consume dead or decaying debris, making them largely safe to healthy plants. They will, however, consume young seedlings. Humans are not bitten, stung, or infected by millipedes. Many people believe that having them around is advantageous because they consume decaying debris and reduce populations of smaller insects.

There are a number of natural solutions you can try if you do feel the need to keep millipedes out of your home in order to deter and eventually get rid of these pests. Listed here are some of our favorites:


Making your own DIY millipede traps is rather simple, and you don’t have to be present to inspect them. The fruit piece should be placed near the bottom of the bottle. Grab a plastic soda bottle, a piece of ripe fruit, a piece of vinyl tubing (about 6 inches long), caulk, or tape. Look for a piece of tubing that just barely fits inside the bottle’s lip. Approximately two inches of tubing should be slid into the bottle before sealing it with sealant or tape. Make sure the tube doesn’t touch the bottle’s edges as you lean the bottle on its side. As the fruit begins to spoil, millipedes will enter the tube to get to it since they are unable to escape once inside. Put a few of these traps wherever you notice millipede activity.

Manual Removal

The hand removal of millipedes is among the simplest and quickest methods for eliminating them. Try to avoid simply stomping on them with your foot because they will emit an offensive odor akin to stinkbugs. You may either vacuum them up with a vacuum cleaner or shop vac and dispose of them outside, or you can sweep them up with a broom and dustpan and put them in a pail of soapy water to kill them.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

A crystalline powder called diatomaceous earth is effective against a wide range of pests. This natural product’s crystals cause micropunctures all over the bodies of pests by piercing their tough exoskeletons. The bugs eventually dehydrate and die slowly as a result of this. DE can be sprinkled along the edges of rooms, in the soil of indoor plants, behind appliances, in door gaps, on sliding glass doors, around foundations, and beneath fences. DE can be used safely on and around people.

Boric Acid

DE and boric acid are comparable. The pests are also slowly dehydrated as they are sliced up when they creep across it. Additionally, it agitates millipedes’ digestive system, making it function more quickly than diatomaceous earth. Boric acid shouldn’t be used around children or animals.

Essential Oils

In comparison to insecticides, essential oils are more effective as repellents. The two oils that are most frequently used to combat millipedes are tea tree oil and peppermint oil. Prior to use, essential oils should always be diluted with water. Apply the oil mixture in the vicinity of any potential entry locations, such as window sills, door gaps, basements, vents, foundation cracks, and crawl spaces. As long as the area is protected from rain, you can also use them outdoors in any regions where millipedes may be present.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper functions better as an insect repellant rather than an insecticide, similar to essential oils. Along with millipedes, additional pests can be controlled using cayenne pepper. You may either purchase the powder or entire cayenne peppers to grind yourself. In any locations where millipede activity has been seen, sprinkle some pepper. You can also scatter it around the home’s entrances and foundations.


As with any bug, prevention is the key to stopping infestations in their tracks. The most natural solution of all is to prevent millipede infestations in the first place, even though the aforementioned techniques are excellent for existing millipede issues. To help keep millipedes away, use these preventative strategies.

Eliminate Moisture

Keeping your home dry will help make it less appealing to millipedes because they are attracted to damp. Use a towel to dry off any extra moisture in the kitchen and bathroom from dishwashing and other activities. When feasible, use less water, and avoid running the faucets all the time. Any liquid-filled containers should be sealed or capped. Instead of washing dishes throughout the day, try to do so all at once. Wipe up any extra moisture that develops in garages and basements. Try to clean up any spilled water right away. Outside, dry your vehicles, boats, tools, and equipment. Any damp equipment should be kept outside. Utilize a dehumidifier if required. Install gutter guards or clean out any clogged gutters outside. Don’t let water get near your foundation. Repair any cracked tiles, damaged drains, and uneven ground. Sprinkler system maintenance. Maintain your pool properly. Try to water your lawn early in the morning so the moisture has time to evaporate before dusk and avoid overwatering your lawn. Your sprinklers should be adjusted to avoid pooling.

Clean Up

Clear the area surrounding foundations of any mulch, leaves, grass, hedge cuttings, boards, firewood, boxes, stones, etc. Try to elevate them if you are unable to remove them. Maintain plant pruning and lawn mowing. Don’t fertilize your yard excessively. Protect your compost and garbage. Keep your floors dry and spotless (this eliminates both food and water sources for millipedes). Fill in any foundational gaps or fissures, as well as those near wiring and piping. Make that the thresholds and weatherstripping are secure and in good condition. If foundations are close to walkways, patios, sunrooms, etc., caulk around the doors, windows, and expansion joints there.

Millipedes aren’t hazardous, and some people even think they’re helpful, but if you find any in your house, they can be a pain. Get in touch with your neighborhood pest control firm for a free evaluation and suitable treatment plan if you are having problems with millipedes or any other pest.

How Long Do Millipedes Live?

When they are in their preferred outdoor environments, millipedes are creatures with long lifespans. The lifespans of the many millipede species vary. As with most other species, millipedes do have some predators who will end their life if given the chance.

An Extended Lifespan

Millipedes’ life cycle includes long stretches of time during their immature stages as well as long stretches of time throughout their adult phases.

Although it is challenging to give a response that applies to all millipedes, it is definitely a reasonable estimate to claim that millipedes could live up to 10 years in a laboratory setting. How long they will live in the wild is difficult to determine.

Lifespan of Millipedes in the House

If millipedes enter a conventional home or place of business and are unable to find living conditions that are similar to those in their protected, wet, and nutrient-rich outdoor habitats, they will not survive for more than 2-4 weeks.

Is millipede beneficial to soil?

A minimum of 80,000 millipede species are thought to exist in the world, of which 10,000 have been described. These species are divided into 15 orders, 144 families, and 2,950 genera. There have been descriptions of over 270 species from 11 orders and 23 families in India. At least 93 of these come from south India, where they have reportedly received more in-depth research. According to C. Attems, regarded as the authority on huge pill-millipedes, 54 of the species that have been identified may actually be endemic “Indian myriapodology’s founder.

However, due to a dearth of studies in the subject of millipede taxonomy, the statistics do not accurately represent the diversity of these organisms in India. As there aren’t many diplopodolagists or myriapodalogists, this reflects a global tendency. Given this circumstance, there is a very probable possibility that many millipede species will go extinct.

Millipedes are known to be able to adapt and live in a variety of microhabitats and niches. Because they don’t frequently move, a forest may be home to a number of different millipede species. Their immobility is another factor in why their populations are readily wiped out when habitats are disrupted.

R. I. Pocock, a renowned myriapodologist, made the following observation about the general neglect of this group in 1892 while presenting a paper on new millipede species at the Bombay Natural History Society: “They are difficult to preserve, have enigmatic personalities, no marketable value worth mentioning, and their habitats hold little to no interest to draw in naturalists.

However, there has been a resurgence of interest in millipede ecology and their preservation in recent years.

A few scientists, farmers, and others have been enticed to explore for natural alternatives due to the decreasing soil quality, growing demand for fertilizer alternatives, and increased awareness of the link between food consumption and human health. Decomposers by nature, millipedes. They are attracting attention for their function in enhancing the capacity of soil thanks to their capacity to recycle nutrients and aerate soils. An extensive amount of study from scientists all around the world, including India, has demonstrated that millicompost—compost produced by millipedes breaking down plant and vegetable waste—is not only an option but may even be superior to vermicompost.