To The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Help! I've been finding a lot of millipedes in my basement recently. Though it's a finished basement, with an office and a bathroom down there, these pests seem to be appearing everywhere. I know, from your website, that they aren't destructive, eating only rotting vegetation, and that they don't bite or sting, but they are a real nuisance. How can I get rid of them?
Thanks for your attention.
Doug Kaye

Our search for food has taken a strange turn. We have avoided the hot sun and were successful in locating a cool dark place for the colony, but our scouts are reporting unusual terrain. What brave new world is this that we have stumbled on? Maybe we should never have left the old homestead and just endured the heat. Ah, well, what's done is done. I pray for the best.

To Hints From Heloise
Do you have any solution for millipede control? In years past, I've just found their rolled up corpses around the house, but now they're crawling all over my basement, and some have gotten to the main level as well. I've tried vacuuming them up, but I'm afraid they'll just crawl back out of the vacuum. Also, since they mostly come out at night, running the vacuum would wake the house. Since they don't move very fast, I'm just picking them up now and throwing them into the toilet. Can you help?
Thank you,
Doug Kaye

Scouts have gone missing. Rumors of high winds have reached us, and witnesses say these are responsible for the losses. It seems inconceivable. With our many legs we can grip any surface tightly. We've never had problems with wind before. Maybe these witnesses are delirious. I may have to check for myself soon.

To Orkin Pest Control
Could you please tell me what services you have for getting rid of millipedes? I've caulked around the house to prevent more getting in, but there seem to be a lot that are already in the house. Or could you at least recommend an insecticide that might work? I've tried several already.
Thank you,
Doug Kaye

I ventured out tonight, but could detect none of the supposed "winds". Maybe these disappearances are not what they seem. Could there be a secession conspiracy afoot? Are these scouts merely deserters? It is true that the colony is going through hard times. The hope of at least life-giving water that brought us here is dwindling. Why did we ever leave in the first place? I pray for guidance.

June 23, 2007
Dear Mom,
Do you have any home remedies for dealing with millipedes? You know, these little inch-long worm-like things with a thousand feet. They're all over the house, particularly in the basement. They don't bite or anything, so right now, I'm just picking them up and throwing them into the toilet. But they make your fingers stink! Please let me know if you had to cope with this before.
Your son,

There is no conspiracy! There is a Beast out there that is taking our People! I saw it myself! Huge pink pincers came down out of the sky and grabbed Levlin! What hellish place have we wound up in? I must pray harder for salvation.

June 26 '07
Dear Deena,
Thanks for the cookies. Of course, I've got to wash my hands well when I eat them these days because my fingers reek to high heaven! Now, before you go making up any nasty jokes about that, I've gotta tell you.
I have been having a real time with these damn bugs in my house lately. You know those little black hard-shell crawlers with a buncha legs? Millipedes? They've taken over my basement! Every time I turn around, there's another one, right after I've tossed one down the john. I can't even tell where they're appearing from anymore. And they leave some kind of hellacious stink on my fingers! Any ideas on how to get rid of them? Yucch!
Love to all,

Zephyl has just returned with an amazing story. Water has been found! He had been abducted by The Beast, but it had dropped him, and he fell into a veritable lake of the precious fluid. God was listening after all to my prayers. Even from the worst situations, some good can come. Zephyl was able to crawl out, though the way was difficult, and get back to us with the news. Now if we can only find out how to reach it again. The colony may survive after all! This time I pray for thanks.

June 30, 2007
Remember me asking you about those millipedes? They've gotten worse! I'm down in my office bathroom, and each time I go out into the hallway, there's another two or three that I've got to pick up and put in the crapper! There's at least a dozen in there at any given time! If I flushed each time I put one in, I'd use up the water for the entire block! I've been googling websites and apparently it's really bad this year for everyone. Seen any yourself yet?
Take care,

It's not a Beast at all. Conart has confirmed Zephyl's report, having been to this wonderous lake himself. He says that the huge Pincers are bringing our People TO the lake! It was no accident that Zephyl had been dropped in it before. This is a miracle, since many of our People have been on the verge of dehydration and dessication. No, this is not a Beast. This is the Hand of God.

July 3 '07
Hey, Bill!
Sorry about missing that breakfast this morning. I overslept. I was up too late dealing with my latest aggravation -- a creepy crawly invasion. I've got these millipedes down in my basement, and they're driving me nuts! I'm dumping them in the toilet, two or three at a time now, and I'll wash my hands, go back into the hall, and there's more of them, crawling out of the woodwork! So I'll pick those up, dump them, wash my hands, and Presto! More in the hallway! Where the hell are they coming from? It's almost like they've got a death wish. Maybe they're Lemming Bugs and not millipedes after all.
Can we reschedule?

This is what our Prophecies have foretold. This is the Rapture. Zephyl had been Taken by God a second time, and returned to report. After their Salvation in the Holy Font, a whirlpool whisks our People to Heaven. Zephyl had turned for one last look back at the Chosen Celebrants and saw them vanish. He is now despondent, grieving that he has lost his shot at Heaven. The Hand of God had given him a second chance, but how likely would it be that he'd get a third? I myself stay behind to shepherd the Flock.

I checked out your information on millipedes, and would like a little more data on their mating habits. Is there a particular mating season for them? I've been trying to get millipedes out of my basement for weeks now, and suddenly I noticed that last Friday night seemed to be "date night"! Almost half of the creatures that I've been picking up for disposal turn out to be not one, but two -- one riding the back of the other! At least I can feel good about slowing their population growth.
Please respond.
Doug Kaye

Exodus cannot be going better. It seems clear now that all of our colony is The Chosen. We have but to present ourselves and The Hand of God grants our boon and Delivers us. I have to warn the more licentious of the Flock that they might anger God, since they supplicate Him while in the throes of copulation, but He seems to Deliver them as well. Zephyl has made a pilgrimage to the Wilderness, hoping to spread the word of this Blessed Miracle.

July 10 '07
Dear Deena,
Okay, darlin' Sister, I'm all set for my visit early next week. One extra perk of coming to visit you and Miles and Craig is that I won't have to deal with these damned bugs for a few days! Maybe they'll all be dead or gone by the time I come back. You know, they're not even bugs -- they're some kind of member of the lobster family. Mmmm, good eatin', huh? Blecch! I'll wash my hands real good before I board the plane. I certainly don't want to sit in a big sardine can with my hands smelling for several hours.
Love ya,

O God! Why have you forsaken us? The Rapture has suddenly ceased. Many of our People have been Taken, but those left behind are completely distraught. The Hand of God has not been seen for days, and families have been split up. In some cases, the young have been left behind as orphans. It has been all I can do to keep the Flock from mass suicides. But I myself am desolate, having led my People to the Promised Land, and now denied my own Reward. I pray for forgiveness.

July 15, 2007
I just got back into town late last night and went downstairs to check my email.
Oh My God! Those damn millipedes were everywhere! It's like the little monsters were waiting for me! Several on my office carpet, at least a dozen in the hallway, even a few in the bathroom itself! I scooped them up as quickly as I could and threw them in the toilet. And as soon as I got back out, more had appeared! Some were on the walls! And as I gathered them, I saw more crawling out from the baseboards! By the time I flushed them away, there were at least a hundred writhing in the bowl. You know, I'm not even sure these things drown. I've left some in the bottom of the bowl before, and hours later, seen them still wriggling under the water. I mean, what is with these things? Any other bug tries to get away when you come after it! I don't know whether these critters are sophisticated enough to play possum, but often they stop crawling or even roll over as I reach for them.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this may finally be the end of them, though. After last night's massacre, tonight seems to be pretty quiet. Maybe I've finally depleted their ranks. Oh, there's one or two I may have spotted so far, but nothing like what I've had to go through these last few weeks. Whew!
See you soon, bud.

God is merciful! I should have known! Curse me for doubting! The Hand of God hath returned, and Delivered nearly the whole Flock! Only I and few acolytes still straggle, making sure that our People -- our Blessed Colony -- have been ushered to Paradise. His Mighty Pink Hand gently conveyed multitudes to The Holy Font, where the Whirlpool of Saints transported them to the Land of Milk and Honey! I will remain only a little longer myself, to offer a few final prayers before I join them. Hosanna!

July 18, 2007
Hey, Brad,
Okay, it's done with. I guess I about wiped them out with that last flushing. Haven't seen but one or two of the nasty little things since the night after I got back. I tell ya, it's a relief. I was beginning to dream about them, and feel them crawling on me when I was in bed or watching TV. Oh, well, I guess it was worse for other folks. I've just got to get rid of one or two more and that's it.

Zephyl has returned from his pilgrimage. He has spread the word among many other colonies and they are heading this way. I am tired, though, and will pass the responsibility on to him. He is The Prophet, and I can go to my Reward.
Zephyl tells me that he will honor The Mighty Lord Our God by amassing the colonies in rank and file around the base of the Sacred Mount in which the Holy Font is seated. And He will see our Adoration of Him and Bless our People forever and ever.

oug Kaye dabbles in off-beat fiction when he's not appearing onstage at the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern. The co-author of the musical parodies, THE KISS OF DRACULA and SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY, he also is currently working on a fantasy-mystery novel with prolific author Brad Strickland, and is preparing to direct the fourth annual AFTRA/SAG/Actors Equity benefit devoted to Old Time Radio, LEND ME AN EAR.

Some reminisces of when he worked with John Carradine can be found in Tom Weaver's book of the Films of John Carradine under the listing for "The Emperor's New Clothes."