Millipedes are common garden pests that can cause significant damage to your plants. They come in different types and colours and tend to hide in moist places like soil and mulch. Although they are not venomous, some millipede species may release a fluid that irritates human skin. If you’re looking for effective ways to control millipedes in your garden, this post will provide you with some tips and tricks.
The first step in controlling millipedes is to identify them. Millipedes are elongated creatures with many legs, and they look like worms. They have a segmented body with two pairs of legs per segment, and they range in size from a few millimeters to several centimetres long. Millipedes are most active at night and like to hide in moist areas during the day. They are generally harmless unless you disturb them or step on them, causing them to secrete a fluid that can irritate your skin.
There are many ways to control millipedes in your garden, including physical, chemical, and biological methods.
Smashing or Vacuuming Visible Millipedes
If you see millipedes crawling around your garden, you can crush them with your shoe or pick them up with a tissue and flush them down the toilet. Alternatively, you can vacuum them up with a handheld vacuum or dustpan and brush. This method is only effective for visible millipedes and won’t get rid of those hiding in the soil.
Using Sticky and Light Traps
Sticky traps are a great way to catch millipedes that are hiding in moist areas. You can purchase sticky traps, or you can make your own by applying a layer of petroleum jelly to a piece of cardboard or aluminum foil. Place the traps in areas where you have seen millipedes, and they will stick to it as they crawl over. Light traps also work well for attracting and trapping millipedes at night.
Employing Chemical Pesticides
Chemical pesticides are another option for controlling millipedes, but they should be used with caution. Most chemical pesticides are toxic and can harm beneficial insects, animals, and even humans. If you choose to use a chemical pesticide, make sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, and always wear protective clothing and gloves when handling them.
Keeping Chickens or Cats as Natural Predators
Keeping chickens or cats in your garden can also help control millipedes. Chickens love to eat insects and will happily hunt down and devour millipedes. Cats also have a natural instinct to hunt, and they will help keep your garden free of pests.
Using Natural and Organic Pesticides
If you prefer a natural and organic approach to pest control, there are several options available. Diatomaceous Earth, Borax, and Wood Ash are three remedies that are safe for humans and pets and can be effective against millipedes. Borax and Diatomaceous Earth work by drying millipedes out and killing them, while Wood Ash destroys their habitat. Diatomaceous Earth is also effective against other pests, including fleas, ants, and bedbugs.
Millipedes can be a nuisance in your garden, but there are many ways to control them. Whether you choose to use physical, chemical, or biological methods, it’s important to identify the type of millipede you’re dealing with and take appropriate action. By employing some of the tips and tricks outlined in this post, you can take back control of your garden and enjoy a pest-free environment.