Are these millipedes and how do I get rid of them?

cenesiaMarch 12, 2012

Hello!

I'm new to this forum but have been reading about this same pest. I've found many (about 10 or so) of these creepy things on the top soil layer of my potted kaffir lime tree.

I have tried the following sprays but none seem to work:

- Orchard Insect Killer (active ingr: lambda cyhalothrin 0.002%);

- Spinosad 0.001%;

- Insecticidal soap 1%

The creatures curl up for a couple minutes then unwind and simply crawl back around. Can anyone help identify what these creatures are and also how to get rid of them?

I've shared a link below. Thanks for any tips! :)

Image link:

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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Why do you think you need to "get rid" of millepedes? For the most part millepedes are not harmful in the garden and are really quite beneficial since they help convert organic matter into plant food to help your plants grow.

Here is a link that might be useful: About Millepedes

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 7:23AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

cenesia, while what kimmsr says might be true of your garden, it is not desirable to have a population of millipedes in your containers. They will end up being interested in the roots of your plant.

If that were my plant, I would repot it in some new medium. You may wish to visit the Citrus Forum for some ideas on good mixes for citrus. Anyway, while repotting, I'd add some diatomaceous earth (DE) to the mix and on the surface of the soil once you've repotted. DE can be found in the gardening section of almost any retail outlet. Be sure that you use horticultural/grade and not the DE that is sold for pool filters.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 2:50PM
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cenesia

Thanks rhizo_1, I'll try the DE substance you suggested! Hopefully that'll do it.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 4:49PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

I have tried the following sprays but none seem to work:
- Orchard Insect Killer (active ingr: lambda cyhalothrin 0.002%);
- Spinosad 0.001%;
- Insecticidal soap 1%

===>>>

you are a toxic danger ....

they are in the soil ..

change the soil.. and be done with it..

why do you need more chemicals.. or organics ..

crimminey ...

the easiest.. SAFEST solution is staring you in the face ... and you want to go spray/dust more things around ...

ken

PS: the DE is on the surface.. they live under the surface.. if you have drainage holes.. they will use those.. DE is NOT going to solve the problem ... though it might slow them down ... rhiz said change the soil FIRST ... then try DE ....

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 5:29PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I also said to add the DE to the mix.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 10:20PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Since Millepedes live on decaying organic matter, and need a pretty moist environment, their presence in containers, pots, may be because the growing medium is too moist, too wet, and needs to be allowed to dry more between waterings.
Some people have a fear of any "bug" and think drastic measures are needed to control each and every one whereas most often simple measures, such as allowing a plants soil to dry more, is all that is needed. The single most common cause of a plants, especially a potted plant, failure is overwatering.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 8:11AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

In a peat based medium, simple NORMAL moisture is just fine for millipedes. As a matter of fact, one would need to dry the potting soil to the point of dessication of the plant in order for a little population of these arthropods to evacuate. Drier soil conditions is one of the things that would encourage them to begin feeding on plant roots in earnest.

Millipedes in containers is a simple case of plants being in the wrong place at the right time. They can be brought home from the garden center where storage and maintenance might be an issue, or from the growers who may not practice proper housekeeping in keeping the benches or floors swept. Millipedes can find their way to container plants when they (the plants) are put outside for the summer under a shady tree. A common contaminant is the potting medium, itself. If even a pinhole tear occurs in the plastic bag as it sits in a big pile on the floor of the garden section, millipedes will find their way to that habitat. And, if you've ever been in the back of one of the big delivery trucks direct from the grower in Florida (or wherever) you'll know why you end up with all kinds of 6,8, and zillion-legged creatures in the plants you buy.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 11:18AM
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kimpa(z6b PA)

If you can see the creatures, pick them out with a gloved hand and either kill them or throw in another part of the garden. I never spray an insect i can catch. But of course I like insects. And some are too fast like the Four-lined bug. That is my enemy and I must squirt them with insecticidal soap.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 9:21AM
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RadiantPoppy(7)

Agree with kimmsr. I have had populations of bugs in potted plants that have not done the plants any harm. From what I have seen millipedes are amongst the most harmless of bugs next to pillbugs. I would just leave them alone. If they aren't eating the plant then there isn't a problem.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 7:51PM
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anniehall77

I believe I have either centipede or millepieds that may or may not have arrived with 2 large dracena palm-like plants. Is it possible for either of these bugs to live in the floorboards of an NYC aparment on their own, or would they definitely originate in a plant? I read in earlier posts in this conversation that they may appear due to overwatering? But, that also changing the soil and cleaning roots could work? Should I also clean all of the palm-like leaves? I'm aftraid that cleaning the leaves (or doing anything indoors as we don't have an outdoor space) will allow the bugs to drop or hatch....advice???

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 3:17PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Neither Millipedes nor Centipedes are pests that need to be gotten rid of, unless they live in the pot of a house plant. If that is what you have then allowing the potting soil to get dryer then normal, or repotting is the best solution.

Here is a link that might be useful: About Millipedes

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 6:54AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey annie

it was said.. a bit above: Since Millepedes live on decaying organic matter

then you asked: Is it possible for either of these bugs to live in the floorboards of an NYC aparment on their own, or would they definitely originate in a plant?

==>>>

can you answer your own question??? .. are your floorboards decaying ??? .. they came with the plant ...

ken

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 7:47AM
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