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Pest Control/Worm or caterpillar?


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I live on the ground floor of my apartment building and have begun noticing these small, fuzzy worm like insects in the hallway of my apartment. I started noticing huge numbers of them at night or early morning (long distance work commuter), but by day's end they were gone. With the start of consistently warmer weather these things are coming out at all times of the day and night. They e begun coming in through the door cracks and invading my bathroom and kids room. When I find them it seems that they are all curled up and dead, almost as if they come out of hiding just to die. Very strange. I would like to know what they are and how to keep them away. Picture attached. Thanks!

ANSWER: Rachel,

Can you get a closer more magnified image? I can't see much detail in the individual insects. Digital cameras usually have a "macro" mode that allows you to get closer to the subject. Also, has it rained lately or has it been very dry? Both conditions will drive insects into homes that are normally only outside.

Jack DeAngelis

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Here is a close-up of one of them. Now that I've had a chance to look at them a little closer, they kind of look like centipedes but I have absolutely no idea. I just know they are definitely a nuisance! The weather here in Maryland has been about the same for this time of year. We have hot and humid days and periods of rain showers. I checked with other tenants in surrounding buildings and they are only seeing them on the ground floor apartments. We do live in front of a wooded area and I'm sure that has some to do with it, but the sheer number that I am seeing is alarming. Again, any information you can help with would be awesome. Thanks!

This is a millipede rather than a centipede. Millipedes feed on plant material or organic debris. When they occur in homes it is usually because they have been driven inside by either too much water or very dry conditions. It could be as simple as over-watering of landscape plants. This is a common source for "flooding" caused movement of the critters indoors to escape the water. They are harmless and can be swept up.

Jack DeAngelis

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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions about the control of pest insects, spiders, mites and related arthropods. These household pests include termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, nuisance ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, wasps, and many others. I can also answer questions about using pesticides and other pest control tools such as baits and traps.


I am a retired university extension entomologist. I've taught and conducted research in urban and agricultural entomology. I've published over 70 extension publications, 20 research publications and several books about insects.

Ph.D. in Entomology

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