Dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree Infestation!!

koolkorDecember 19, 2013

I purchased a dwarf Meyer Lemon tree this past spring and It is doing very well. It has a few fruit on it that are almost ripe. However, today I noticed some bugs crawling around in the soil and I did some research and I believe they are millipedes. I did keep the tree outside all summer so it could get more light. Did they come in then? My tree is fairly large and I would hate to have to re-pot it but if I must I must. If so, should I not take it outside for the summer if this is going to happen again? Anyone have any alternatives to re-potting? I'm new to citrus so I need all the help I can get!


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Here is the tree

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 12:48PM
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Here is what I think is a millipede in the soil

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 12:49PM
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I don't think millipedes are harmful to Citrus. ( don't quote me ). maybe they aero rate the soil like a worm? Wait till spring to repot! Between growth flushes. Keep an eye out for scale and spider mites If your tree is indoors.

There's a lot of folks here more knowledgable then I. Hopefully well both learn something.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 3:05PM
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That is not a millipede; it is a centipede; you can google centipede and look for UCDavis management/control recommendations; but I wouldn't stress about them, they are normally considered beneficials.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 9:45PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Yes, that is a picture of a centipede. They are well known carnivores and can be considered beneficial in the garden. They can bite and small ones are mildly venomous. I find house centipedes occasionally in my home (they have really long legs) and give them a' burial at sea '.

I don't like seeing them in the house....they always seem to end up in the bathroom, looking for water.

I suggest that you visit your local garden center or big box store and buy a small container of horticultural or food grade diatomaceous earths (DE) Do NOT get the stuff used in pool filters....it will not work.

Place the pot in a wide, shallow tray of some kind and sprinkle a good amount of the DE all around the pot. Don't let water drain into the tray. The DE acts as an effective control agent, dessicating and abrading the exoskeleton of critters such as this. You can sprinkle some on top of the soil, too.

I'd never use chemical pesticides in the house and I think that you will see these critters disappear.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 4:37PM
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Thanks, Rhizo; so many of us here rely on your wisdom.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 8:02PM
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@koolkor just wondering if you tried any of this advise yet? I also live in NY and put my Meyer lemon tree outside in summer and bring in in winter. I just noticed yesterday when watering I have tons of similar centipedes crawling in mine and not sure what to do. I do not want these things in my home and am thinking of not taking it outside in summer anymore. Any advise anyone has is appreciated. My tree is doing wonderful otherwise.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2014 at 8:23PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Mini 2, centipedes don't typically come in "tons " from one container. I'd almost suspect little millipedes in your case as some species will congregate in large numbers.

Both of these creatures would be happy to set up housekeeping in the moist, dark environment of a container. Millipedes feed on organic matter (like your potting medium) and probably tender plant roots in containers.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 9:38PM
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