There are over 400 species of millipedes in New Zealand made up of both native and introduced species.
Millipedes are often mistaken for centipedes, interchanging one species of insect for the other due to their many legs. Their body is divided into two parts: the head and a segmented trunk. Like ants, the millipede breathes through the spiracles (holes) positioned along the sides of its body; this is why they only grow between 2mm to 280mm. For each body segment, they have two pairs of legs. This is unlike centipedes who only possess one pair of legs per body part.
Where do millipedes live?
Millipedes inside the home can be found in cavity walls or even in cardboard boxes, preferring damp and dark areas.
When are millipedes active?
After heavy rainfall, millipedes will often wash up on the soil and begin to congregate indoors. Despite having limited to no vision, some millipedes are attracted to light, like the Portuguese millipede.
Are millipedes pests?
Millipedes are not considered a general pest. However, the introduced millipedes, like the Portuguese Millipede, have gained a pest status in many parts of New Zealand due to a population explosion that happens during the perfect breeding seasons. Their prime breeding seasons are in autumn and spring. When millipedes in large numbers congregate inside the home, they produce a pungent odour to deter predators. This is in very rare and severe infestations.
Tips for millipede control:
Like slaters, millipedes gain access to the home via garden beds situated directly next to the perimeter of the home. Their small and long size allows them to enter the home through the smallest of cracks. The best preventative millipede measure is by distancing garden beds from the perimeter of your home. Millipedes also have trouble climbing smooth surfaces, so you could add smooth stones around the perimeter of your home. If you’re currently facing a millipede problem at home, call the experts at Flick Anticimex to safely eradicate the millipedes from your property. Our general pest treatments can also target any offending millipedes. Just call us at 0800 710 010!
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