Creepy Crawlies

We were lucky that we don’t have a lot of pests and insects in our home, save for ants and the occasional mosquito or the once-in-a-blue-moon cockroach. I say “were,” because ever since the scarily strong winds of typhoon Basyang, we found that our terrace, garage, garage walls, and pretty much our entire yard had lots of these:

Here's one of them

See those 3 along the wall? All neatly lined up! And there were others more along that wall. I never knew millipedes are an organized bunch.

Here's one who's lost

I initially thought the winds that night probably shook the trees so much that these creepy crawlies were displaced and landed virtually everywhere; I even see some on the street. However, until now they have not yet made their way back to the trees, and in fact it appears that they are increasing in number. Yikes.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t think too much about it, but I’m now doing so on account of one, there seems to be more of them everyday, and frankly it’s disturbing; and two, my baby goes out to the terrace and yard to play in the mornings. Hence I’d like to know if these creepy crawlies bite, or will cause the itchies, or some other adverse reaction.

So I did some research. Based on what I found out on the Internet, it seems that they are millipedes. As they eat green matter, whether decaying or not, and loves moist places, they appear to have found a home in our garden, especially now that it rains almost daily. There are also probably lots of drying/rotting leaves on our roof and gutters due to typhoon Basyang. My only source of comfort is that they are classified as scavengers, and that they apparently do not bite. However, some of what I read say that they sometimes emit noxious or poisonous substances (!). Whuuut?!? In any case, I think it’s time for them to go.

So now my question is, how do I get rid of them? I asked our manang early this morning to wash them away with soapy water, but apparently that doesn’t work. She sweeps them and kills them on a daily basis, but it doesn’t seem to affect their numbers in any way. I’m not keen on using insecticides and such other sprays; I’m not a big fan of bug sprays, especially now that we have a baby at home.

Any ideas?


Comments on: "Creepy Crawlies" (2)

  1. It is easy to identify a millipede, because it is a segmented insect with a great number of legs. Millipedes are known to have anywhere from 80 to 400 legs.

    Some other common characteristics of the millipede are:

    * Typically 1.5 inches in size.

    * Black or brown in color, but some species are red and orange.

    * They are detritivores – meaning that they feed on decaying organic matter such as old leaves or tree bark.

    * Because of their diet, they can be found anywhere near piles of leaves or piles of wood that you might have for the winter.

    * Their lifespan is short, usually dying as soon as they enter the dryness of a building. But with the proper living conditions (a cool and damp environment) they could live from 5-10 years!

    Millipede Prevention

    With any type of bug, do not wait until you have an invasion that is taking over your home to do something about it. The best way to keep any bug away is prevention.

    The easiest way to prevent a millipede infestation is to follow these 3 simple steps:

    1. Identify where nests are located in or around your home. In most cases, they will be in one area in or around your home. Look specifically in damp areas such as compost piles, mulch, wood stacks, cracks in cement pavements or driveways, or sheds to minimize places for these insects to live.

    2. Decide what method you want to use to treat the problem. There are both synthetic commercial insecticides and natural types of products that we will investigate below.

    3. Must maintain what you have started in steps one and two. If you have had one infestation of millipedes, you are probably going to have another one so keep the kinds of organic materials millipedes are attracted to down to a minimum.

    Some other tips that you should keep in mind to prevent a millipede infestation are:

    * Try to water your lawn in the morning so that it is dry by the afternoon.

    * Do not over-mulch flower beds.

    * Make sure entryways such as siding, windows, doors, pipes, wires, etc. are well caulked.

    * Use a good spray in entryways, cracks, and baseboards. It is most important to use such a spray outside on the exterior walls of a house to kill them before they enter the house.

    • thankfully nawala na sila mag-isa… nag-evacuate na yata (kasi tinatapakan sila ni gabby minsan, hehehe). and i noticed na hindi lang kami yung affected, as in neighbors for blocks away meron din, we can even see lots on the streets. eventually kumonti na hanggang paisa-isa na lang yung nakikita namin. pero at its height it was a bit disconcerting 🙂

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