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Millipedes in the home
Clark MacCallister
During the first weeks of December, the Extension office usually receives calls from local homeowners concerned with insects massing in and around their homes. Most of the sightings have been in the basement area inside homes or around driveways and patios outside. From the samples local homeowners have shown me, these mass infestations are millipedes. Millipedes are not insects, but actually more closely related to lobsters and shrimp, according to UGA entomologist Dr. Beverly Sparks. They are also known as rain worms or 1,000-legged worms. Most millipedes are brown to black in color, and can range from less than one inch to more than 2 inches in length. They typically feed on decaying vegetation and are often found in damp areas. Millipedes are known for mass migrations, usually in the spring during heavy rains. However, wet weather during early winter, combined with the predicted mild winter temperatures, millipedes may try to make their way indoors.