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tiny millipedes


By Phantom

norfolk, United Kingdom Gb

I first noticed them about 3 yrs ago when a family of them ate out a large strawberry, 2 yrs later they ate every runner bean seed I planted, infested 50% of potato,s and goodness only knows what else they have had.I would dearly love to know the answer to this problem. Many thanks, Geoff Humphrey



are they millipedes or eel worms? Doctorbob is the man to ask as to what to do with them.

welcome to GoY some one will come to the rescue.

20 Mar, 2009


Definatley not eel worms, these are mini millipedes with lots of legs, from 1 mm to 15mm long,maybe 10 to 20 in a group of all sizes,family?

20 Mar, 2009


I have hundreds of them in and under my pots and containers. They don't seem to be doing my plants any noticable harm but I'm not growing veg.

From RHS website:

"None of the pesticides currently available will give good control, so millipedes have to be tolerated. Avoid problems by growing potato cultivars that have some slug resistance and by lifting strawberry fruits off the ground by putting straw underneath them. Millipedes feed mainly on decaying plant material and so most millipede species are not harmful to growing plants."

20 Mar, 2009



Millipedes and centipedes are often seen in and around gardens

Habitat and Importance
Millipedes normally live in and feed on rotting leaves and wood and other kinds of moist decaying plant matter. Generally, their role is a beneficial one in helping to break down dead plant matter. However, when they become numerous, they may damage sprouting seeds, seedlings, or strawberries and other ripening fruits in contact with the ground.

they usually die quickly because of the dry conditions and lack of food. Occasionally, large numbers of millipedes migrate, often uphill, as their food supply dwindles or their living places become either too wet or too dry.
Life Cycle
Adult millipedes overwinter in the soil. Eggs are laid in clutches beneath the soil surface. The young grow gradually in size, adding segments and legs as they mature. They mature in 2 to 5 years and continue to live for several years thereafter.

Millipedes seldom need to be controlled.
Outdoors, this includes removing rotting wood and decaying grass and leaves This also eliminates millipede food sources.
Application of insecticides is rarely justified for millipede control. If you decide to apply pesticides, avoid materials such as diazinon and chlorpyrifos, which pose hazards to aquatic invertebrates and should not be allowed to get into storm water or sewer drains.

This I took off the internet, if it is any help.

20 Mar, 2009


Not much help I'm afraid: I have them on/in strawberries here on the Isle of Wight.

I like to think they attack the fruit rather than hatch there!

"Mine" are over a centimeter long, less than half millimeter thick. They're translucent apart from dark patch on the sides of each body segment,

My problem may have been using compost that had not rotted completely.

Just try to take a photo and they'll all run away!

Otherwise I just quash them

23 Jun, 2009

How do I say thanks?

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