Gray worm-like creatures infestation?

oddityNovember 1, 2006

My husband and I moved into our house in July. In the last few months we have noticed these gray worm-like creatures in our basement (found two upstairs). They are about an inch and a half long and when you touch them they stop moving and curl up.

At first I thought they were centipedes but they don't really look like the centipedes in photos I've found in google searces. We are finding 3 or more a day and we can't figure out where they are comming from...they just seem to appear in the middle of the floor. Not there one second, and ::poof:: there the next. Always out in the middle of the floor, never by a door or window (so far). We've had the house sprayed professionally twice, before we noticed these critters, and we have sprayed twice with store bought bug spray since we noticed them but, we don't know if we are spraying for the right things.

I saved one of the little worms in a baggie and I'm going to call the bug guy today but I was just curious if anyone may have an idea as to what they may be. We live in the St. Louis MO area.

I've never seen so many little gray worms. Come to think of it, we didn't start seeing them until after we finished part of our basement. Do you think that maybe they could have come in the boxes of carpet tiles we used or somehow in the drywall?

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oddity

Well, upon another google search it seems that they may be millipedes. Apparently millipedes curl up when threatened to protect their legs. Many species of Millipede also secrete some kind of poison which would explain why my cats watch them but won't touch them or eat them as they do other bugs.

Hmm...I wonder where they are comming from.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 9:02AM
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normel

You may have already seen this, but it gives good info on your millipedes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Millipede Info

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 10:13AM
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chris_ont

Can you take a picture of one and post it?

I used to have centipedes in my previous house and am absolutely creeped out by them, even before I knew they could bite (mainly because they move so quickly and can get pretty huge). Knowing that they are beneficial in reducing spider and other insect populations didn't help. I've only ever seen one in this place, but it was huge. I feel a little better about milipedes, but not much.

The key to reducing their number (both milipedes and centipedes) is reducing humidity. Try a dehumidifyer in the basement or running a fan.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 12:35PM
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gammyt

Where do you live and are you sure they are not more on the brown side?

We live in Northern Illinois and have a bunch of brownish ones in our basement every fall and some make it upstairs before they curl up and die. Our back yard is farm land so, bugs, mice, Coyote, and you name it are a way of life.

This fall for some reason, these little brownish things (centipede, millipede, I don't know), in a two day period there were thousands of them coming out of the field and crawling across the patio heading for the house. The first day, you couldn't walk on the patio without stepping on a few for each step. I had no idea what to do but we had an old can of Ant spray, they curled up and died. I went and bought another 2 cans, sprayed the foundation and so far, even with rain, so the ant spray is probably washed away, I only found two of them in the basement this year.

Now, if the mice were so easy. There are none in the house but in the last 3 weeks, the mousy murder toll in the garage is up to 26. None in two days so it might be over.

I love rodents, had pet mice and hamsters, I just don't want them eating my house. LOL

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 4:53PM
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rjoh878646

sounds like sow bugs to me, or pill bugs. They are basicly the same thing. they like damp areas

Here is a link that might be useful: sow bugs

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 6:37PM
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oddity

Thanks everyone for the info. gammyt was right, they are more of a brownish color rather than the gray. See the link at the bottom for the photo. Some are darker than others. The one I have a scan of has been in the bag for a few weeks. It was one of the smaller ones. The ones I've seen this past week are about twice as big. Ick. While I was on the phone with the bug people I found another one scampering across the basement floor.

Our basement is relatively dry, but I had planned on buying a dehumidifyer for the basement anyway because I am scared to death of mold.

The previous owners put several big flower beds right up to the house, all around the perimeter. Weeds took over like crazy before we moved in and I had planned on tearing them all out early next spring. But, I'm thinking that maybe I should do it now since I am almost sure that is one of the sources of our bug problem. Do you think I should do it now or do you think these critters will go dormant for the winter?

Thanks again for all of your help.

Here is a link that might be useful: bug

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 7:25PM
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sycamore_guy

Yep, that is a millipede. Millipedes have more or less rounded bodies and centipedes have more or less flattened bodies. Another difference is their diets. Centipedes almost always eat insects, as chris_ont pointed out. Millipedes almost always eat decaying organic material (leaves, etc.) and need moist conditions. Unless you have some sort of moisture problem in your basement they are probably eating dead leaves and such in the flower beds and somehow finding a way into your house.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 10:01PM
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manhattan42

Grey worm like creatures at this time of the year?

Probably politicians.....

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 10:53PM
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