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New York, ny
plantobsessed
Mar 30, 2018 11:59 AM CST
Thumb of 2018-03-30/plantobsessed/2eee42

These bugs keep coming out of my houseplants. Any idea what they are and if I need to take any action? (Like immediately change all the soil)
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Mar 30, 2018 12:45 PM CST
How big are they? Do they have a hard shell (not soft and squishy like a tomato horn worm)? Do you think they're centipedes?
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Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Mar 30, 2018 1:08 PM CST
Looks to be maybe some kind of grub or larvae.
What type of potting soil are they in?

Beetle larva perhaps. Real hard to say. Hopefully you'll get a more definitive answer.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Mar 30, 2018 1:17 PM CST
It appears to have two pairs of legs per body segment (as far as I can tell from the picture). That would make it a millipede. It may not be damaging the plants but maybe you are keeping them too wet. Is there a lot of organic matter in the mix?
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Mar 30, 2018 1:22 PM CST
Great point Sooby, if it is a millipede/centipede it would have a pair of legs on each segment.
And insect larvae would have only three pair of legs total.no matter how many segments there are.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
[Last edited by BigBill - Mar 30, 2018 1:23 PM (+)]
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New York, ny
plantobsessed
Mar 30, 2018 1:29 PM CST
I googled and it seems like a millipede. It's tiny. I know they feed on dead matter, but does that mean i should change the soil? It's in my parlor palm and pothos. those two were bought already planted and ready to decorate so I don't know what soil was used.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Mar 30, 2018 1:31 PM CST
Keep the soil as dry as possible and they will probably very slowly die off. If you change the soil, you may kill the plant, not just the critters.

For the future, be careful where you purchase your plants and with any soil you use.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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New York, ny
plantobsessed
Mar 30, 2018 1:32 PM CST
It had decorative moss over the top soil, I'm thinking if I throw the moss away maybe that will help?
Name: Greg Chrislip
Lawrence, KS (Zone 6a)
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GregC
Mar 30, 2018 1:34 PM CST
I used to rear African Giant Millipedes they grew to around 10 inches. Couldn't miss them. Rolling on the floor laughing
Crazy Entomologist
“The centipede was happy, quite, Until a toad in fun Said, 'Pray, which leg goes after which?; This worked his mind to such a pitch, He lay distracted in a ditch, Considering how to run.”
Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Mar 30, 2018 1:34 PM CST
If the plants are small enough, you can set the pots up to their rims in a sink filled with plain water and leave them for a couple of hours. The flood will probably drive the critters out of the soil in search of oxygen.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Mar 30, 2018 1:35 PM CST
They may have been introduced with the moss, but with the soil is more likely. Don't use that soil again.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Greg Chrislip
Lawrence, KS (Zone 6a)
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GregC
Mar 30, 2018 1:42 PM CST
I believe the moss is the likely culprit.

Thumb of 2018-03-30/GregC/771925

Crazy Entomologist
“The centipede was happy, quite, Until a toad in fun Said, 'Pray, which leg goes after which?; This worked his mind to such a pitch, He lay distracted in a ditch, Considering how to run.”
New York, ny
plantobsessed
Mar 30, 2018 2:16 PM CST
@gregc eek!!

@willc thank you for all your advice!!
Name: Greg Chrislip
Lawrence, KS (Zone 6a)
Sempervivums Cactus and Succulents Bookworm Cat Lover
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GregC
Mar 30, 2018 2:50 PM CST
Yes, I am truly a crazy entomologist. Rolling on the floor laughing
Crazy Entomologist
“The centipede was happy, quite, Until a toad in fun Said, 'Pray, which leg goes after which?; This worked his mind to such a pitch, He lay distracted in a ditch, Considering how to run.”
N. Ohio (Zone 5b)
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Tisha
Apr 1, 2018 9:15 AM CST
Glad it`s not one of these https://www.google.com/search?...
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Apr 2, 2018 2:25 PM CST
GregC said:I used to rear African Giant Millipedes, they grew to around 10 inches.
Thumb of 2018-03-30/GregC/771925


Used to?
And not now?
They look awful cool...

Can you eat them?
looks like survival preps...
Could you maybe feed them to the goldfish & koi?

Name: Greg Chrislip
Lawrence, KS (Zone 6a)
Sempervivums Cactus and Succulents Bookworm Cat Lover
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GregC
Apr 2, 2018 2:30 PM CST
I have federal permits to rear them but the cost went from $10/each to $125.00/each when USDA stopped imports. Now only permit holders can have them if they can find stock.
Crazy Entomologist
“The centipede was happy, quite, Until a toad in fun Said, 'Pray, which leg goes after which?; This worked his mind to such a pitch, He lay distracted in a ditch, Considering how to run.”
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Apr 2, 2018 3:48 PM CST
Each individual millipede?
or each variety?

I guess that you wouldn't eat them...

Do those African millipedes have a hardy enough constitution to escape into the wild and overpopulate the place?
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
Apr 2, 2018 4:10 PM CST
Way cool, for Greg to rear them. Way horrifying to think they could escape and survive...OMG
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Greg Chrislip
Lawrence, KS (Zone 6a)
Sempervivums Cactus and Succulents Bookworm Cat Lover
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GregC
Apr 2, 2018 4:33 PM CST
Only survive in extreme warm climate. $125 per giant millipede.
Crazy Entomologist
“The centipede was happy, quite, Until a toad in fun Said, 'Pray, which leg goes after which?; This worked his mind to such a pitch, He lay distracted in a ditch, Considering how to run.”

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