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Q: We are building a cabin in south central Idaho. In the past couple of years, we have found these worms inside of the cabin, especially during the fall. A few of the neighbors also have found them in their places. No one seems to know what they are or where they originate from. We don’t know if they are destructive or just a nuisance!

We hope you can help us. We love the magazine and appreciate all the helpful articles.
– Dennis & Karen Miracle; via e-mail

A: Based on the photo you submitted, the worms you are finding inside your cabin are actually millipedes!
A millipede, like its relative the centipede, is not a worm or an insect, but is part of the arthropod family of many-legged creatures.

But unlike centipedes, millipedes don’t attempt to bite, nor do they pose any health hazards. They do, however, tend to find their way indoors during the fall because they’re looking for damp places to live during the winter. They need a lot of moisture to stay alive, and most likely, they won’t live long once they’re indoors.

If you want to lessen their appearances on your cabin floor, first try sealing off places where they might get in. Door thresholds are common entry points, for example. You will also discourage millipedes by clearing out any wet piles of leaves, mulch and brush near your cabin, as these are the things upon which they usually feed. If you don’t have gutters on your cabin, installing these will keep the base of your home drier, which is another helpful method for encouraging these arthropods to find a different home.
You may also choose to do nothing. If there aren’t that many and you’re not bothered by them, you and your cabin will be just fine as they are not destructive to homes.

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