The black Portuguese millipede, Ommatoiulus moreleti, is a native of Portugal and was accidentally introduced to Australia. First found in Western Australian around Roleystone and the Hills areas, they have now spread throughout the Perth metropolitan area. In recent years Perth millipede numbers seem to be reaching plague proportions in some suburbs.

Mature black Portuguese millipedes are smooth and cylindrical, and in Perth can grow to 20-45 mm long and are a slate-grey to black colour. Juveniles are light brown and striped. Juveniles hatch from eggs in the soil and reach maturity in 1 -2 years.

Portuguese millipedes are herbivorous, which means in plague proportions they may also destroy seedlings and fruit and vegetable crops. While there is no evidence they affect human health, they can occur in plague numbers, and can contaminate food and infest carpets and bedding.

Portuguese millipedes will curl up into a tight spiral when disturbed or try to escape with thrashing snake-like movements. Portuguese millipedes may release a pungent and distasteful yellowish secretion which discourages predators, such as birds. Note: the secretion may stain skin or clothes and is extremely irritating if rubbed into the eyes.

The Pest Guys millipede treatment involves an initial pest inspection followed by application of a residual repellent barrier spray to all external walls, and outward 2 -3 meters to ensure when the millipede try’s to enter your home, the residual barrier provides rapid knockdown. In conjunction we also apply a residual / knockdown product through any leafy or mulched garden beds to ensure a large reduction in millipede numbers and a repellent synthetic pyrethroid dust is applied through the roof void of the dwelling to ensure no breeding can take place inside the roof void.

The home owner can also help to control millipedes, by reducing excessive leaf litter within the garden to minimise areas of shelter and potential food sources, and a reduction of outside lights.

For those looking for a more environmentally friendly control method the use of lights and a drowning trough around the home at night can help to reduce numbers as pictured.

You can read more about Millipedes here. 

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