Pest control — How do I deal with millipedes eating my vegetable seedlings? Gardening — Landscaping Stack Exchange

How do I deal with millipedes eating my vegetable seedlings?

After cursing all the slugs in my yard and removing the few that I could catch, I was quite shocked yesterday to discover 100+ young plants all chewed to the ground.

I was going out at 9 — 10pm to find the slugs but was only seeing one or two per night.

Last night I went out at 12:30am and noticed just under 10 millipedes having a feast in what was left.

So how can I do battle with millipedes? I know they stay just under the surface during the day. My patch is heavily utilized so I don’t want to remove everything to deal with them.

2 Answers 2

Fortunately, I have never had to do battle with millipedes, so I can’t suggest a remedy based on personal experience. However, a quick online search has come up with this article which suggests the following control measures:

Remove as much garden debris as possible, since this is an ideal breeding ground for them

Drench the soil where they are with an insecticidal soap

Wherever possible, dry out damp areas

Hand-pick them off your plants and soil

Q. Are you 100% sure it’s millipedes causing the «real» damage? Could it instead be something like cutworms causing the «real» damage and the millipedes are just feasting on the remains?

To check if you’re dealing with millepedes (which tend to be dark in colour), squash one, if there is a strong «stinky» smell after doing so, then you have millipedes.

Q. Are the plant-beds mulched? If yes, with what?

As far as I’m aware all the organic control options given here on SE should also work on millipedes. That said, I think of the 6 options given, «Diatomaceous Earth» might be the best option in your particular case. Since being reminded, told about «Diatomaceous Earth» I keep hearing, reading about how effective it can be as an organic pest control option when placed around plants.

Vacuuming might be another organic control method worth looking into (at least until you have the problem under control):

Some additional reading from the Department of Agriculture and Food (Western Australia):

Last two links above are broken. Maybe updated versions are presently at: 1 2

Centipedes And Millipedes: Tips On Millipede And Centipede Treatment Outdoors

Millipedes and centipedes are two of the most popular insects to be confused with one another. Many people freak out upon seeing either millipedes or centipedes in gardens, not realizing that both can actually be helpful.

Centipedes and Millipedes

Millipedes are normally dark in color with two pairs of legs per each segment of the body while centipedes are flatter than millipedes and have a set of well-developed antennae on their head. Centipedes can also be a number of colors and have a single pair of legs per each body segment.

Millipedes generally move much slower than centipedes and break down dead plant material in the garden. Centipedes are predators and will eat insects that do not belong in your garden. Both like damp areas and can prove to be beneficial in the garden, as long as their numbers are controlled.

How to Control Garden Millipedes

It is possible for millipedes to damage your garden area if they become too populous. Although they generally feed on decomposing organic material, millipedes can turn to plant matter including leaves, stems and roots. And although they do not bite, they can secrete a fluid that can irritate the skin and can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

If you have an overabundance of millipedes in the garden, remove anything where moisture can collect. If you keep the area as dry as possible, their numbers should decrease. There are also several types of garden baits that contain carbaryl, which is often used to control millipedes that have gotten out of control in the garden. Only resort to pesticides when absolutely necessary, however.

Control for Centipedes in Gardens

Centipedes are more active than millipedes and feed on small insects and spiders, using a poison to paralyze their victims. However, their jaws are too weak to cause much damage to humans other than a little swelling, such as with a bee sting.

Like the millipedes, centipedes like moist environments, so removing leaf litter or other items where moisture collects will help eliminate their numbers. Centipede treatment outdoors shouldn’t necessarily be a concern; however, if it is needed, removing debris that they may hide under will help keep them from hanging around.

While millipedes can damage your plants, centipedes generally will not. In fact, centipedes in gardens can be rather beneficial since they tend to eat insects that could possibly damage your plants.

Don’t fret if you see a few centipedes and millipedes in your garden area — better here than in your home. Only take measures to control them if you think their population is out of control. Otherwise, take advantage of the fact that centipedes are just another way to keep the population of destructive pests under control.

How to control millipedes

Millipedes normally live in the garden. They are beneficial insects helping with the re-cycling of dead plant material. They don’t hurt anyone. However, sometimes they do find there way inside homes. If you are worried about millipedes inside your home, there are certainly some tips to reduce their presence. If they do find their way in and you don’t fancy sweeping them up and throwing them back outside, there are a number of products to help you out!

For those living in the Southern states of Australia, particularly Victoria and South Australia, you may have been invaded by the Black Portuguese Millipede…. and these can certainly be more of a nuisance!

It is also important to know the difference between the slow-moving millipede and the fast-moving centipede, as centipedes have a very nasty bite and should not be picked up!





  • Millipedes vary in size and colour (depending on species). The portuguese millipede is black and up to 45 mm long
  • Millipedes may vary in the number of body segments, but they always have 2 pairs of legs per segment (centipedes have one pair of legs per segment).
  • Young millipedes look just like the adults (only smaller).


For many homeowners, the millipede may only be an occasional invader and are unlikely to experience an infestation. However, for homeowners in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, they can become victim to an invasion of portuguese millipedes as these can build up in huge numbers in garden beds. An infestation will be apparent when large numbers suddenly appear in the house.

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The main pest season for portuguese millipedes is Autumn, when the millipedes disperse after mating and the chances of an invasion are highest. However, there can sometimes also be an invasion in Spring.

How to Get Rid of Millipedes from House & Garden

Want to get rid of millipedes from your house?

Millipedes are often mistaken for centipedes. They are considered an arthropod and are closely related to spiders and crustaceans more so than to bugs. They eat dead and decaying plant matter and can live from five to seven years. The millipede will shed its exoskeleton and produce new legs each time. They can grow up to 400 legs in their lifetime.

They have the habit of moving into homes in the late fall to seek shelter for the winter and if there is too much rain they will seek shelters as well as they don’t like too much moisture. Once the reach maturity, a millipede can lay up to 300 eggs and this is a good reason to get rid of them in your home.

Controlling Millipedes

The first step should be to locate any nests around your home and destroy them so there are fewer millipedes having a chance to get into your home.

If the millipede can’t get into your home, they can’t become a problem. Although it’s not easy, it is doable. Check around the outside of your home and seal or caulk any cracks in your foundation. Look carefully at areas where wires and plumbing enter your structure. Remember they can get through incredibly small spaces so check very carefully and close even the tiniest crack to make sure.

Control the amount of moisture allowed to collect in your home. The millipede requires very high humidity to live and the dryer the area, the less likely you will find them. Dehumidifiers work well for this and also fans in rooms where there is not a lot of air flow. Make sure all water fixtures are secure and you do not have any leaky plumbing in your walls, under sinks or ceiling. Do not let faucets drip and move furniture around in damp spaces as they will hide in and underneath it. They prefer their area to be cool so turning the heat up will drive them out.

Make the outside of home uninviting by removing what they like to eat. It will be easier to get rid of the millipede or decrease their numbers by not using as much mulch in your garden or removing wood and compost piles from around the house. Do not let any dead or decaying material lay in your yard including leaves, brush or logs as this will create a food source for the millipede.

Using Pesticides to Kill Millipedes

The millipede is more annoying than anything else. They are harmless to you and your pets but most people just find them disgusting and do not want them in their homes. They will emit a stinky fluid when they die so they are not the best thing to have around. Avoid squishing them as they will leave a stain.

There are some good millipede pesticides on the market:

  • Invader Aerosol
  • CB Borid Turbo
  • CB Intruder HPX

If you prefer the powder over the aerosol then you can try one of the following:​

  • Drione Dust
  • Delta Dust
  • MotherEarth D

Natural Methods to Kill Millipedes

If you prefer a more natural method to killing millipedes and want to stay away from chemical use; there are several methods open to you.

  • Diatomaceous earthworks wonderfully for killing the millipede. It is made up of thousands of fossilized diatoms that are very sharp. When the millipede crawls over it they receive lots of little cuts that will cause them to dehydrate and die.
  • Boric acid which comes from mineral borate and when in powder form can be used to fill cracks the millipede can be found hiding in or using as entry to your home. It will stick to their legs and bodies and acts as a stomach poison.
  • Chickens may not be possible for all of you to invest in, but these birds are great biological control for the millipede and other pests. They are great eaters and actually spend the better part of their day just walking around looking for little moving critters like the millipede to eat.
  • Wood ash is a simple method to get rid of millipedes. The millipede likes to lay their eggs in moist soil. If you take wood ash and mix it into the soil around your home it will keep them away as it will dry out the soil.

Although said to be harmless it is a fact that few people want to share their homes with these unsightly worm looking creatures. Use these control and disposal methods to get rid of your millipede population.

Centipedes and Millipedes in the Garden

Centipedes and millipedes are generally beneficial creatures.

Centipedes feed on soil-dwelling mites, insects, insect larvae, baby snails, and slugs. (They paralyze small insect prey with venomous claws.)

Millipedes feed on decaying plant tissue and fallen fruit.

Together centipedes and millipedes help break down organic matter enriching the soil by helping to create humus.

Sometimes centipedes and millipedes can be pests. Centipedes also eat living plant tissue and earthworms. Millipedes sometimes feed on plant roots, germinating seed, and seedlings.

Centipedes and millipedes are close relatives of insects, but they are not insects. Centipedes belong to the class Chlopoda, not Insecta; millipedes belong to the class Diplopoda, not Insecta.

Centipedes look like segmented 1-inch worms with 30 or more legs. They are brown, flattened, have a distinct head, and one pair of jointed legs per segment. They hide during the day under garden debris and are active and feed at night.

Millipedes are up to 2 inches long. They have hard-shelled, cylindrical, and segmented bodies with two pairs of short legs per segment. Millipedes can have up to 400 legs (not 1,000 as their name implies). They are often found coiled in the soil during the day and are active at night.

Centipedes are fast moving. Millipedes are slow moving.

Centipedes can be pests when they feed on the roots of asparagus, cucumber, lettuce, radish, and tomato. Millipedes can be pests when they eat the roots of beans, cabbage, carrots, corn, potatoes, strawberries tomatoes, and turnips.

Centipedes and millipedes overwinter as adults in the soil. In spring they lay clusters of translucent eggs. Nymphs are smaller versions of the adults. There are many generations of centipedes each year. There is just one generation of millipedes each year.

To prevent centipedes and millipedes from eating the above ground portions of plants, sprinkle wood ashes, diatomaceous earth, or cinders around plants, seedlings, and near rows of germinating seeds.

Centipedes and millipedes are found throughout North America.

How to Get Rid of Millipedes in Your House

Millipedes can be difficult to get rid of. Understand more about these insects so you can have a better understanding of millipede control.

Millipedes usually live outside in damp areas under mulch, leaves, compost piles, flowerpots, boards or stones. However, they may wander into your house by mistake or in search of water during periods of drought or in need of shelter when heavy rains drive them from their natural habitat, causing an infestation in your home, basement, crawl space or garage.

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If you have a heavy millipede infestation in your house, there are likely millipedes breeding in your lawn or under mulch, leaf litter or debris near your foundation.

Preventing millipedes from entering your home is the best approach to millipede control. Michael F. Potter, extension entomologist at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, says to remove mulch, leaves, grass clippings, boards or woodpiles, stones, boxes and similar items that are on the ground next to your foundation, as these items attract millipedes. If you can’t remove an item, raise it off the ground.

Here are a few other ways for how to get rid of millipedes:

  • Remove moisture from foundation or crawl space.
  • Use properly functioning gutters, down spouts and splash blocks to keep water away from your foundation wall. If your house has poor drainage, you may need to install tiles or drains or slope the ground so water drains away from your foundation.
  • Repair leaky faucets, water pipes and air conditioning units.
  • Adjust your sprinkler system to minimize water pooling on your lawn.
  • Reduce humidity in your crawl space or basement by providing adequate ventilation, sump pumps and/or polyethylene soil covers.

Millipedes also thrive in the moist thatch layer of poorly maintained lawns. De-thatch your lawn and mow the grass short to make it less appealing to millipedes. Avoid over-watering or watering your yard at night to keep millipedes at bay.

Seal cracks and openings in your outside foundation. Here are a few suggestions for how to best accomplish this:

  • Apply thresholds or tight-fitting door sweeps at the base of all exterior doors.
  • Caulk the sides and bottom outside edge of door thresholds.
  • Seal expansion joints where patios, sunrooms and sidewalks are next to your foundation.
  • Inside your house, seal expansion joints and gaps along the bottom of your basement walls.

Apply insecticides. A trained pest management professional will know best how to apply and how to kill millipedes with insecticide. To kill millipedes, apply insecticides to these outdoor areas:

  • Along the bottom of exterior doors
  • Around crawl space entrances
  • Around foundation vents and utility openings
  • Up underneath siding
  • Along the foundation, in mulch and plant beds; be sure to rake back mulch and leaf litter to expose the millipedes’ hiding places
  • A few feet up the base of the foundation wall

Applying insecticide along the interior foundation walls of your damp crawl space or unfinished basement may also help with millipede control. A Terminix® pest control professional can easily take care of this for you.

Wait it out. Millipedes can only live for a few days in the dryness of your house, so your millipede infestation will be short-lived.

  • Remove potential food sources and habitats from in and around your home.
  • Millipedes curl up into a tight coil when they’re disturbed or dead. You can just pick them up with your vacuum or broom.

Rats in the Garden – How to Deal With them Permanently

Have rats in the garden? It’s a serious problem and as challenging as rats inside our homes. These are disease-carrying pests and can really spread dangerous diseases. Getting your garden into shape can be difficult with the presence of rodents. The rodents can inflict an array of destruction and damages to your garden. So, it’s imperative to get rid of these uninvited guests.

Well, if you ask how to get rid of rats in the garden, there are many ways to do so. However, the very first thing is to know where they are coming from. You will have to find out why and from where they are coming, what signs to look for, and how to prevent. The answer to these simple questions will help you know the root cause and get rid of rodents permanently.

Rat-Proof Garden: How to Get Rid Of Rodents in Garden Spaces

If I talk about my garden, it’s the most beautiful place of my home where I love to spend time. I have put a lot of time and effort into making it look wonderful. Unfortunately, my garden became home to one of our biggest nightmares, the rats. And trust me, rats eat grass, leave droppings everywhere, and hide away. Worst of all, they multiply super fast.

To rat proof your garden, first you need to know from where they are coming from and where are they hiding. If you don’t know the root cause, you cannot pick the right solution. You can’t directly use a pest control as it may harm your plants. You need to find a solution that is suitable for you as well as your garden. To find the best solution, you need to know the main reason.

Where to Rats Live in the Garden?

In most cases, gardens are a favorites place for rodents to inhabit. And the most common rodents are rats and mice. Whether large or small, a garden is always an ideal place for rats to live. You must be thinking why…because there is ample supply of discarded food and other waste. This ensures that they would not go hungry.

Here are the probable places to hide:

  • Under a flower pot
  • In dark areas
  • In wood piles and bushes
  • Around doors and windows
  • In gathered yard debris
  • Under decks

Here are the common signs that you have rats in your garden:

  • Droppings
  • Gnaw marks
  • Burrows
  • Runways
  • Food tampering
  • Damage to fences

Ways to get rid of rats in garden spaces?

Well! You must be waiting for the moment I share the most important information – how to get rid of them…

So, without wasting your time let’s quickly jump to the solutions:

  • Plant Mint – Yes, it is true that you can keep the rodents away by planting mint. The smell of mint is a natural repellent for rodents. All you need to do is just keep a few pots around the perimeter of your garden. Another way is to use peppermint oil around the openings of the garden.
  • Grow Herbs – Create a border of herbs with strong scents as rodents don’t like the strong herbal smell. You can plant the herbs like garlic, basil, Echinacea, or thyme around the outside of your garden. Growing these herbs as a border of your garden will make the place non-interesting for rats.
  • Use Traps: If your garden is already infested by rats, you can use the traps that do not kill animals. There is a huge variety of humane traps available out there that you can use such as Havahart Animal Trap . It is a simple trap that you can use in your garden. It protects and prevents injuries to animals.
  • Use Feeder – Do not scatter bird feed on the ground as it also attracts rats and mice. They enter your garden in search of food and stay there forever due to easy access. If you notice a severe rat infestation in your garden, stop feeding birds and other animals for a while. You can use secure containers if you can’t resist feeding them.
  • Use Ultrasonic Devices – Ultrasonic devices emit high-frequency sound beyond the range of human hearing. The sound repels rats and mice without affecting humans or other pets. This is a great alternative that can be easily used in your garden and a huge variety of products is available online.
  • Move Things Around – Do not make your garden too comfortable for rats by not moving anything. You should try to move things around frequently as rats have a fear of new things. Rodents don’t like any kind of disruption to their territory, so it is the best way to make your garden a challenging place for them to survive.
  • Build a Fence – If you don’t have a fence, build a sturdy one. You need to pay extra attention to the garden gate as rats crawl through it. You can dig a trench along your fence to stop rats to burrow. The best way is to create an underground barrier with the help of a professional constructor.
  • Use Onion Oil – It is the easiest way to keep rodents away because onions are pungent and rats hate them. You don’t have to grow them in your garden. All you have to do is place some cotton balls drenched in onion oil where you suspect rats. The best way is to place them at the entry points.
  • Remove their Shelter – Rats infest any place in search of food and shelter. They like t make nests in wood piles, bushes, and bushes. So, don’t make your garden an ideal place for rodents. Keep grass cut throughout the year and discard the leftovers in the trash on regular basis. Turn the compost weekly and spray it with a garden hose.
  • Improve Sanitation – Just like indoor sanitation, outdoor cleanliness is extremely important. Improve sanitation in and near your garden to keep the rodents away. Do not keep garbage or recycling bins near the garden. Make sure there are no leftover food particles or scents on the bins.
  • Keep An Eye – Yes, keep an eye on everything in your garden because rodents often infest ignored areas. Rats will eat most crops and vegetables, so keep an eye on crops and store them somewhere secure. Make sure everything is properly maintained, cleaned on regular basis, and seeds are stored in secure containers.
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Do rats dig holes in the yard?

Yes! Rats can dig holes in your yard as they look for a safe nesting area. The rats rarely go farther down in the ground than 18 inches. However, they can dig much deeper when they are trying to dig under foundations. Also, they like to keep their nesting area warm with dry leave, soft grass, and other debris.

Rats dig holes in the yard to create underground pathways from their nest to food sources. Also, they make burrows in your garden to escape predators. These holes are often located in dense vegetation or under bushes. Most times, the rat burrows contain the main entrance and 1 or 2 exit holes. The exit holes are a bit away from the main entrance.

However, you can keep rats from digging holes in your garden. Here’s how:

  • Make the soil had for rodents to dig
  • Use aeration
  • Keep the soil wet
  • Make a thick, healthy well-rooted lawn
  • Develop healthy turf with strong roots
  • Remove piles of wood
  • Cut overgrown areas
  • Do not scatter bird feed on the ground

Use Fresh Cab Rodent Repellent

Fresh cab repels rats and mice with a scent that they don’t like at all. Fresh cab pouches are made with a blend of plant fiber and botanical extracts. This blend is specifically formulated to repel rodents whether they are in your home or garden. You must be thinking that is it safe for pets? Fortunately yes! It is safe for use around pets and still effective.

You can buy the fresh cab rodent repellent pouches online and this is a preventive measure for non-infested areas. All you need to do is to remove plastic overwrap and place one pouch for every 125 sq. feet. These non-toxic pouches are made with balsam fir oil and can be used indoors as well as outdoors. Replace the pouch every 30 days for best results.

What kind of plants keeps rats away from your garden?

This is true that some plants can keep rats and mice away from your garden. But what are those plants? Here’s the list of plants and herbs that you can grow in your garden and repel rodents naturally:

  • Peppermint – Mint has a pleasant aroma to most humans but a natural repellent for rodents. Rats and mice don’t like the smell of mint so growing it in your garden can help a lot. You can also use peppermint oil and spray it over areas that are infested by rats. It also repels fleas, ticks, and ants.
  • Garlic – It has so many health benefits for human beings but a strong repellent for rodents. Plant garlic in your garden and keep rats at bay as it contains several sulfur compounds that create a pungent odor. You can also make a simple spray out of garlic cloves and spray it in areas you suspect rodents.
  • Herbs – The herbs that you can grow in your garden to keep rodents away include oregano, black pepper, sage, and cayenne. You can also sprinkle these herbs on plants, soil, and entryways to keep the rats away. The strong smell of these herbs is often disliked by rats and mice.
  • Flowers – Isn’t it great that you can keep the rodents away by planting flowers? Some flowers that are natural rodent repellent include Daffodils, Marigolds, and Lavender. These flowers emit a fresh scent that we all enjoy but disliked by rodents. Rats and mice don’t like it at all.

Mice Infestation in Garden

Rodents are a serious problem and mice infestation in your garden can be extremely unpleasant. Mice infestation in your garden can be very destructive. They not only carry serious diseases but also cause severe damage to your property. They will chew anything through pipes and wires to your favorite plants, causing costly damages.

Gardens can provide a safe place for mice and rats as it gives them food, water, and shelter. They cause damage to the flowers and vegetation. The type of damage caused varies depending on the species of rodent. The most common damage includes:

  • They eat a wide range of vegetables and crops.
  • They eat fruits and seeds in storage.
  • Rodents cause structural damage to the foundations.
  • They damage containers and packaging.
  • They gnaw on electrical wires, water pipes, etc.
  • Rodents can enter your home and infest the entire building.

My Verdict

After discussing the whole lot of information with you guys, we can say that rodents are a big problem. They carry a wide range of diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, and worms. They can not only infect us but our pets too. Apart from the diseases they carry, they also bring in pests like ticks, mites, fleas, and lice into our homes. They also cause a serious damage to our property as they chew on everything that comes across their path.

Fortunately, there are ways to deal with rats in the garden. There are a large number of products available, all of which need a degree of skill and care to use. All you need to do is to read the instructions carefully before using anything. Though it’s legal in many countries to use poison, I would not suggest killing animals. You can also get rid of them without killing them.

I must say that precaution is better than cure. Understand what attracts rodents to your garden and work on it. The most common things that attract rodents include food, water, and shelter. So, remove their food, water, and shelter to make your garden an unpleasant place for them. Discourage them from taking up residence in your garden…

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