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Parasites > Millipedes
Parasites > Millipedes

What does it look like?

The millipede is shiny dark brown. The millipede is not an insect, it belongs to the myriapode class. The millipede is 2-3 cm long and 3-4 mm thick. The millipede’s body is divided in two parts, the head and the trunk. It has to antennae, two eyes and two mandibles on its head. The trunk is worm-like with about 20 segments. There is a pair of legs on each segment. The millipede walks slowly. It will protect itself taking the shape of a spiral if threatened.

Narceus americanus is the biggest millipede in Canada. It can be found in the Outaouais region in Aylmer, Luskville and Chelsea. This giant and fascinating millipede measures 10 cm long and its body is big like a pen. Narceus americanus is rare and fragile. If you find one, leave it or release in nature where it belongs. It lives in forest litter, in dead leaves and feeds on organic matter. This giant millipede is harmless and is not found in houses.

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Does the Millipede represent a risk for me or my belongings?

The millipedes found in Quebec and in Ontario are harmless. The millipede does not bite, sting nor transmit disease. The millipede does not feed on our food nor pet food.

The millipede will not damage construction material or feed on house plants. Some types of millipede can though expel a stinky liquid if threatened, which can be irritating for our skin.

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Why do I have Millipede around and in my house?

Millipede lives and feeds on organic matter. We find it under tree bark, in dead leaves and compost. One can observe numerous millipedes migrate for example on the foundation of buildings or toward the pool.

Millipedes' migration can be caused by strong rain, excessive lawn irrigation or hot and dry summer periods. The millipede prefers humid environments. Millipedes that get in houses generally stay in the basement where it is more humid.

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What should I do if I have Millipede?

Although millipedes survive 1-2 weeks on average inside the house, one needs to stop their entry and find out the cause of the problem. A thorough inspection by the biologist of SOS Bugs is needed to rule out molded wood, water infiltration, water condensation and foundation cracks. Our biologist uses thermography technology to identify the source of the problem.

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