What are Millipedes?

Millipedes are invertebrate garden pests which feed on organic matter such as plant leaves, vegetables and soft fruits.

They live in cool, dark and moist areas and are frequent visitors to gardens. Having a small number of millipedes in your garden can prove beneficial to your soil health, however, a large infestation may cause widespread damage to your plants.

Identifying Millipedes in Your Garden

Millipedes are generally easy to identify visually, especially in moist areas of your garden.

If you can’t spot the bugs themselves, you may be able to identify their droppings which look like tiny, black pellets. They can be spotted in concentrated piles around areas of mulch / organic matter that they’ve been feeding on.

You may also want to check your plants for any damage or indication that a millipede has been feeding. This will look like small, irregular holes you’ll find signs on decaying matter and soft vegetables or fruits, especially in dryer weather conditions when their food source is scarce.

Millipede Prevention & Treatment

When it comes to removing millipedes from your garden, prevention is key. Millipedes like dark, moist areas so you should try and create an inhospitable environment to deter them from nesting in your garden.

Be wary of overwatering your garden and remove any debris or potential millipede habitats (mulch, leaf piles and rocks) to avoid creating an excessively moist, millipede-friendly environment.

You can also remove millipedes be hand (if you’re brave enough) especially if the infestation is minimal and only one or two need removing. This tackles the problem head on and removes them directly.

You can use chemical pesticides to eradicate millipedes, but it may damage surrounding areas and disturb the ecosystem. It is best to try and tackle them sustainably and use preventative methods for the most effective and humane results.

You may want to try some DIY homemade insecticide like garlic or vinegar spray- dilute the scent with water into a spray bottle and re-apply daily, the strong potent smell should deter both millipedes and other unwanted pests like aphids and mosquitoes.

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