If you have plants indoors or outdoors, you may encounter millipedes. Millipedes pose no harm to humans and do little damage to established plants, but they can destroy seedlings and bedding plants. Millipedes are brown or black, with segmented bodies.
They prefer damp, dark places. It is still possible to get rid of millipedes on plants by following these natural methods.
Control the Environment
For this project, gather:
- weed trimmer
- fresh potting soil
- diatomaceous earth
- wood ash (optional)
- houseplant insecticide (optional)
The first step in getting rid of millipedes on plants is controlling the environment. Don't pick millipedes up with your bare hands or step on them, as they emit a harmful chemical that irritates skin. If you run into any during indoor inspections, sweep or vacuum them up.
Check your yard for fallen apples or other fruit, rotted leaves, and rotted vegetation, since millipedes like to feed on them. Pick fruits and vegetables before they get too ripe.
Keep your yard raked, mowed, and free of weeds and decaying plant material, or thatch. Long grass and thatch areas tend to be moist. Check indoor plants for rotted leaves and plant materials.
Inspect the home for cracks. Seal cracks with caulk. Ensure windows and doors have proper weather stripping. Add screens to air conditioning and heating vents.
Water the Plants Correctly
Water the plant according to the kind and environmental conditions. Give the soil plenty of time to dry in between watering sessions.
It is advised to water early in the morning, since millipedes are most active at night. Don't drown the plants. Water your lawn and outdoor plants in the morning as well. Repot damaged plants with fresh soil, if desired, but avoid using garden soil, as it may have millipedes. Reduce the amount of mulch in plants. Plant beds with too much mulch are ideal hiding places for millipedes.
Use Diatomaceous Earth and Wood Ash
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a natural substance created from the fossils of diatoms. DE can be bought from a home and garden center. It causes insects to perish from dehydration. Spread it along hiding places, entry points, and around plant pots. .
Wood ash is also a great millipede deterrent. Sprinkle some in soil to help dry it out faster.
As a last resort, purchase a houseplant insecticide that is effective in destroying millipedes. Use with caution, if you have pets.
Spray it on the drip tray on the plant pots. Ensure moisture is removed. Apply it to the cracks you filled with caulk and in other hiding spots.
For professional assistance with eradicating a millipede problem, contact a pest control company in your area.