Millipedes and why they are harmful


Just the appearance of this little creature is enough to scare many people. Sure, they will not bite us, but they release an unpleasant substance that smells pretty bad, but most importantly, they represent a real threat to your garden. They love to feast on various plants and can cause considerable damage in a rather short time. Many people call all creatures like that “centipedes”, which is by the way, not the correct way.

Too many legs?

When you hear a centipede you probably imagine a creature with many legs. That is basically correct but there is a small difference. Centipedes are small arthropods that grow up to 5 cm in length. They usually have a brown to black body made from a dozen or so segments. Each of these segments contains one or two pairs of legs. Centipedes love moisture, so you find them under stones or wood piles, etc. They love tubers, roots, fruits and germinating seeds but they also like ornamental plants such as hyacinths, tulips, begonias, orchids, ferns and others.


Photo: Pixabay

Discreet enemy

Millipedes can be the reason why your plants are wilting and even breaking. They leave almost no traces behind so, you can only spot them when they are looking for a new shelter. If it is too wet outside, they may even try to get into your home. They like humidity, but not heat. They usually live in the walls of your house and may get in through a window. Once they are in they will search for plants or food leftovers.

How to get rid of millipedes

If you notice these creatures you need to take an action immediately. Make no mistake they are shrewd little animals and avoid places that you clean often. They will look for something hidden where they can exist in peace. Always remove food leftovers that could attract them. If you think you have centipedes in your home, you should check cracks and gaps in walls and if your walls are covered with climbing plants, well, most likely you will need to get rid of them.

How to get them out of your garden

Getting rid of millipedes is not easy. Best is to keep your garden clean and in order. Mow grass regularly and remove tree branches. Your composter is another place where millipedes can live so you need to protect your composter. If the composter (or other elements in the garden) are made of wooden boards, especially those that are falling apart, you need to replace them. Piles of tree branches or construction material leftovers are also an invitation for millipedes.

Make a trap

Simple. Bury a carrot or potato in the ground. This is a big lure for centipedes. After some time, dig up the bait and remove all pests. If this gentle method will not help, you can try chemical preparations. Use it not only in the garden, but also on the walls of your house or other places where centipedes may live (building material, etc.).


Preview photo: Pixabay

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *