Stiff knees and sprained backs are some of the discomforts that gardeners put up with all the time because they love to be outdoors weeding, nurturing and enjoying the fruits of their labor. If they come up against millipedes while they're deep in greenery, they may also have to suffer through a few blisters.
While there are pests that can do more harm to people, millipedes secrete a fluid through the openings in their bodies that can cause blisters in humans and be toxic to small pets. Homeowners who have seen the worm-like insects, which can be as long as 4 inches, will recognize them by the many pairs of legs on their undersides. They can be black, brown, orange or red and often exist in large numbers when they infiltrate gardening and lawn areas. Female millipedes can lay as many as 300 eggs in nests in the soil.
Having a commercial pest control service like Abel Pest Control come out to inspect your property for a suspected millipede infestation is a good safeguard against harm coming to children or pets while they're playing in the yard. A pest management company will come up with an effective treatment plan and advise you on ways to keep a millipede population from resurfacing in the future.
Address moisture issues
Pest World reported that millipedes don't last long if they turn up in your house, unless they enter a high-moisture area. Their venue of choice is the outdoors, where there are plenty of materials that allow them to flourish once a population gets underway. They feed on decaying organic matter and are likely to surface in mulch, damp piles of leaves, grass clippings, rotting firewood and other debris.
You can minimize the chance of developing a habitat for millipedes by moving mulch and similar gardening materials a distance from your house and your favorite gardening spot.
Like most properties, there are locations that are more likely to harbor moisture, including water spigots and drain pipes. Clear out any standing water and keep spigots turned off tightly to prevent drips. Make sure all drain pipe extensions are placed so water drains away from the house and at a slant so they don't create water puddles.
As to the risk of encountering millipedes while you're busy at work in your garden, wearing gloves at all times is the best defense against getting blisters if you should have contact with them.