Millipedes Eating Seedlings - Knowledgebase Question

Hudson, MA
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Question by puzzles
May 21, 1999
We have LOTS of millipedes in our garden. How do we get rid of them, (without using pesticides if possible)? We are having a hard time growing anything from seed or transplanting something with a small diameter stem... they get cut off at ground level when they start to grow. (We have seen these millipedes wrapped around the stems of several plants in the past).

Answer from NGA
May 21, 1999
Milipedes like rich, moist, dark places. If you can reduce their hiding places (for instance, they like to hide under garden debris and mulch), it may help cut down on their numbers. You may be able to deter them with diatomaceos earth (DE). This powder is made up of tiny, sharp-edged silica particles that cut through the creatures' exoskeletons.Dust your seedlings and the soil around them, and the pests should stay away. It's available at most garden centers, or from Gardener's Supply Co., (, 800/863-1700). Best of luck!

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