THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SEEKS TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ABOUT MILLIPEDES, NATURE’S LITTLE HELPERS
In recent times you may have seen numerous millipedes in and around your home and perhaps you may be wondering what are these worms and can they harm you?
Well Millipedes are not worms!!! They are arthropods - invertebrates with an exoskeleton, segmented body and joint appendages that are either black or brown in colour with orange or red markings on their body. An adult can have as much as two hundred pairs of legs. These organisms are harmless they do not bite or sting and are known as nature’s recyclers. Yes, they feed on dead plants and play a major role in breaking down waste. They recycle nutrients back into the soil at a faster rate than decomposing plants and animals.
They prefer to be outside in a compost heap, under rocks or under leaves. After periods of drought (long dry period) or rains, millipedes may be seen in large numbers in homes and will curl into a ball when threatened to protect their soft underside. Be patient, as they will soon leave or die after being indoors for about two days since they require high levels of moisture and love damp spaces.
If you touch a millipede, wash your hands as they will give off chemicals that may irritate the skin and eyes. Seal windows, doors and cracks to prevent their entrance into your home. Next time you see a millipede, just return them outdoors where they will continue to be nature’s friendly recyclers.
This is a Public Service Announcement courtesy the Department of Agriculture, Plant Health Services Division
16 Parade Avenue, Butterfield Square, Providenciales.