A few months ago I blogged about the millipedes nibbling my threadbare carpet in the dubious extention to my crumbling Georgian cottage. I thought the millipedes had gone away, maybe on their summer holidays to somewhere damp, but at the weekend I discovered their hiding place.
During a rare cleaning frenzy I heaved a monstrous sized television away from the wall to give a thorough vacuum behind. After choking on the dust, I shifted aside a great pile of wires to reveal a bare patch of carpet and a guilty looking millipede curled in a ball. I slung the millipede out the window and emailed Matt Green, the Rentokil Entomologist who helpfully has a background in property care. I sent some images including one of the exterior of the house and asked him:
- How are the millipedes getting into my house?
- How can I stop them eating the carpet?
- If I hurl them out the window will they come back?
- How long will it take before they eat all the carpet?
Matt surveyed the house and reflected that there was a bigger problem to the millipede invasion and made all manner of enquiries into the (shoddy) construction of the extension. The overall intention when I win the lottery is to knock it down and rebuild a ‘proper’ extention using ‘proper builders’ so for now I just need an anti-millipede strategy.
Matt replied, “I would say the millipedes are getting in from under the floor. They may well be feeding on the carpet or the timber of the floor itself that might be slowly decaying due to water trapped under your driveway moving into the wall of the house, then into the floor.
Take the carpet up and see what’s going on underneath. It might be prudent to lift the odd floorboard in that area, if you can, too.
The millipedes are symptomatic of water penetration and they won’t eat the entire carpet- they are only eating the wet bit. The carpet gets less appetising the further into the room it gets because it gets drier.
As an aside, that rainwater downpipe on the front of your house is taking an awful a lot of water from the roof area, make sure it drains properly at the base”.
I’m off to buy a lottery ticket so I can knock the infernal extension down.