Finding centipedes or millipedes within a home is never a pleasant experience, unless the person who found them happens to be a fan of creepy crawlies. With the exception of the dreaded house centipede, which every Massachusetts home-dweller has certainly found indoors at least once, centipedes and millipedes are typically not inclined to enter indoor habitats, as they prefer to feed on dead plant matter beneath rocks, mulch and piles of vegetation-debris. Much like centipedes and millipedes, sowbugs prefer to consume plant matter in the darkness beneath rocks, plant matter and garden foliage. All three of these nocturnal insect groups regularly dwell within lawns and especially gardens in Massachusetts, which is why they are often found within homes.

Centipedes, millipedes and sowbugs are often found within the soil located against a home’s foundation, and although these bugs must maintain a high-moisture habitat, their survival becomes threatened when the soil they inhabit becomes oversaturated with rain water. In order to avoid perishing beneath the water’s surface, these arthropods often wonder into homes. If rainfall becomes particularly heavy over a home that is highly populated with these arthropods, their indoor presence can become significant. Sowbugs, which grow to be half an inch in body length, can become particularly numerous within homes despite their preferred outdoor habitat, but these creatures are not destructive to valued materials and they do not pose a medical threat to humans. If sowbugs do enter a home, their need for plant matter and a high-moisture environment will cause them to die from a lack of nourishment.

The centipedes and millipedes that dwell in Massachusetts are also not dangerous to humans, unlike their relatives in Asia and South America. Some species can potentially inflict bites on human skin, but such incidents are exceptionally rare. Although centipedes and millipedes will quickly die within homes due to starvation and a lack of moisture, most residents would prefer not to find them indoors ever. In order to decrease the chances of these arthropods finding their way into your home, it is important to regularly remove plant matter from the vicinity surrounding a house.

Have you ever found sowbugs within a moist area of your home?