You may have never heard of Arthropods, but I bet you have seen them!  An Arthropod is any invertebrate. An invertebrate is a creature that does not have a backbone and instead having either a soft or hard exoskeleton made of chitin which is in sections that are shed from time to time.

The arthropods that are the subject of this article are millipedes, centipedes, and pill bugs.  I have chosen these three arthropods because they are common pests associated with our homes.

The first arthropod we will discuss is the millipede.  A millipede has short legs that cannot be seen if looking down on the critter because the legs are directly underneath the worm like creature. A millipede also has short antennae and is normally brown in color. The second arthropod is a centipede whose color may be light brown to gray. A centipede is a long-legged worm-like creature that has long antennae. It has two legs per segment but really doesn’t have a hundred legs. The third arthropod is the pill bug often referred to as a ” Roly poly” bug. This little guy looks somewhat like a tiny armadillo that will roll up in a ball when touched or disturbed. Its legs are short and cannot be seen while looking down on the insect and has short antennae. The Pill bug is gray in color.

What brings these arthropods to our attention? Spring, Summer and Fall yield a large population of these critters that invade our homes in search of moisture, organic material and harborages that they need so badly. Mulch and organic material are the buffet that these arthropods need for survival of the species. Harborage makes survival from predators much easier. In Indiana, these critters are not harmful to humans, but they are unsightly and cause a fright to those who are sensitive to wiggly things.

Here is the tip! Mulch can be good and attractive around the home but try to not get a great thickness of the mulch which provides a great home for arthropods. Keep foliage down that holds in moisture close to the home and provides a great harborage. When the moisture level is too high. arthropods may make their way into the home especially in garages, bathrooms, utility rooms and sunrooms.

Natural control is always best but good exterior perimeter treatments may keep these pests under control.