Milipede infestation - what can I do

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Milipede infestation - what can I do

Post  EpicusMaximus on Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:57 pm

I have a ficus benjamina in a 10 gallon nursery pot since September. I am keeping the plant indoors. Growth is strong and the tree looks healthy. I was planning on re-potting in the spring and doing root removal.

However, the soil is currently infested with millipedes. At first I thought there were only a few, but after a good watering the other day, I noticed perhaps 20-25 millipedes on the surface crawling around. Unfortunately, my weak insect spray did not kill them. They disappear back into the soil when it dries up.

My problem is I don't have an area where I can re-pot now, and there's no way in hell I am bare rooting this tree indoors considering the number of bugs I may find!

So what do I do until spring? Should I over water the plant and remove the bugs when they come to the surface to limit their numbers, or is there a stronger product I could use to kill them deep in the soil?

Please help ASAP!

Thanks

Crying or Very sad

EpicusMaximus
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Re: Milipede infestation - what can I do

Post  EpicusMaximus on Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:04 pm

Oh, and I know they probably aren't dangerous for the tree itself, but I hate critters. I almost lost it when I turned on the light the other night.

I'm reading elsewhere that I could submerge the roots for a few hours perhaps and drown them?


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Re: Milipede infestation - what can I do

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:29 pm

These bugs are frequently a sign that the soil is too wet. If the soil dries out the bugs will cease to be a problem. I would get a big plastic bag and totally bag the pot, do not water until you see the tree begin to wilt, this may be weeks, this should cure the bug problem.

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Re: Milipede infestation - what can I do

Post  EpicusMaximus on Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm

I had actually not watered a lot for a while, hoping that the plant drying out would help, and for probably 2-3 weeks I didn't water at all. Then I could see some leaves going a little limp so I over watered for the first time in a while and that's when the bugs reappeared.

When you say wrap the whole pot in a bag, do you mean I fasten the top of the bag around the base of the trunk?

Also, when you say "wilt" what exactly am I looking for? A very weak "saggy" leaf? Or do I actually wait for some leaves to drop?

Thanks

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Re: Milipede infestation - what can I do

Post  John Lee on Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:18 pm

Go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy some of this: http://www.bayeradvanced.com/rose-flower-care/products/disease-control-for-roses-flowers-shrubs, mix it up as directed in your watering can, and water your tree. The critters will be dead in a couple of hours. I have used this for a while (have trouble with ants) and it works, everytime.

Hope it Helps,

John

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Re: Milipede infestation - what can I do

Post  bumblebee on Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:30 am

At my house we have these giant millipedes as fat as my fingers and about 4+ inches long. They are out in the yard, though.
I don't know what I would do if they invaded my indoors!

Libby

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