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good bug/bad bug?

Posted by mayland (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 22, 08 at 15:37

I've found several of these bugs in the soil when digging in our garden (photo linked below). They are about an inch long. Does anyone know what these are, and if they are beneficial?

Also, are pillbugs/sowbugs (I believe that's what they are called here, in the UK we call them woodlice) considered an indicator of good soil or poor soil, or neither? We have tons of them in our garden. I've also found them frequently in plants that I have bought, particularly from one local plant store. In fact, the root-ball of one hydrangea i bought was crawling with them. Doesn't seem to have suffered for it.

Here is a link that might be useful: bug

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: good bug/bad bug?

I get an error trying to view your picture.

Pillbugs are good bugs and an indicator of having good organic materials around. They are part of the process that breaks materials down.

RE: good bug/bad bug?

I also could not view your picture. Try again. I would like to help. Do you live in the United Kingdom?

RE: good bug/bad bug?

I had tried to link to my KodakGallery page but that doesnt seem to work for some reason. Here is the pic:


Esh, thanks for the pillbug info, thats good to know. We have loads of them, but not all that many earthworms.

Greenjean, I'm originally from the UK. I've been over here for 9 yrs (3 in minnesota, 6 in Atlanta), but sometimes I'm still not sure of the right word for things!

Thanks for your help.

RE: good bug/bad bug?

I don't know the name of this - we always just called them millipedes or centipedes (interchangeably).

But this is a good bug and no need to do anything about it. I believe it is a similar decomposer of material type bug.

RE: good bug/bad bug?

I agree with esh. Centipede. I have never heard of them being a bad bug, so I just let them be.


RE: good bug/bad bug?

Oh, just a centipede. Good thats its another good one, we seem to have a lot of them too.

The centipedes/millipedes I remember from being a kid were much longer and skinnier. I never really gardened much in the UK though (I was a student, then I moved here).

Thanks for your help! Esh, I am keeping an eye out for JB larvae while I'm digging.

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