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Millipedes

Discussion in 'Issues, Disease and Pests' started by AHAB, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. AHAB

    AHAB New Member

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    I've found small millipedes (3/4" long or so) in my greenhouse, they are in the sphagnum and bark

    They seem to be just eating the "dead" media and sheaths from bulbos.
    But I am not sure about the live roots.
    I am not sure they are causing damage but I want to get rid of them.
    What pesticides would work?
    Thoughts?
    Thanks,
    Jim
     
  2. Dale

    Dale New Member

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    Sevin
     
  3. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    +1

    Sevin is great for stuff like that.
     
  4. AHAB

    AHAB New Member

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    Sevin it is!
    Thanks!
     
  5. Paul J

    Paul J New Member

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    Indeed, Sevin will work, but so will repotting. As you observed, the greenhouse millipede, Oxidus gracilis, is primarily a feeder on dead and decaying organic matter. An excellent medium for maintaining these cuties will have bark and sphagnum, more decay resistant components will help keep them at bay. They will also feed on algae, moss, bacterial slime, fungi, and dead roots, bracts, and other plant parts. Millipedes are extremely useful for indicating decayed and rancid media. In high numbers and stressed for food, millipedes will feed on green root tips.
     
  6. AHAB

    AHAB New Member

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    Yep, that would be right!
    I had bought some sphagnum from our local store, apparently it was not very good quality, actually it sucked, it broke down in less than one season.
    Now I ship in the good stuff from Calwest.
    Just got a bunch last week and will be repotting.
    The large bark that I used for my phrags is breaking down as well. The phrags are sitting in 1/4" trays of water. They are very happy and putting out new shoots, so I'm reluctant to repot those right now. The bark is large enough that the roots are still getting plenty of air circulation.
    My paphs while they stay somewhat moist, are not having the millipede problem.
    The pots/media are dry enough that they don't like it.

    In another forum, a guy named Rick has been successfully growing paphs and phrags in a mix of sphagnum and some inorganics.
    Anyone here try that?
    Thanks again!
     
  7. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Calwest does have good sphagnum. It lasts several years in my conditions, even on constantly moist draculas. I have been using there premium grade but am waiting to get a bail of their next grade up to try. What bark are you using?
     
  8. AHAB

    AHAB New Member

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    The bark was from the same vendor, if I remember right it was some common name.

    Next time I will spend the money and buy Orchiata bark.

    Buying the better grade of sphagnum is well worth the extra money, actually saves money in the long run.
     
  9. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have been using the Orchiata for about a year now and really like it. It is worth the money to me.
     
  10. Paul J

    Paul J New Member

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    My plants responded tremendously well when I shifted from Chilean sphagnum commonly available to the better NZ moss from Cal-West. This, with reduction or elimination of fir bark, reduces decomposer populations, gives a better pH balance with my water, and better root growth. As AHAB noted, the benefits of NZ sphag justifies its extra expense. Haven't tried the Orchiata; a pine bark is it not? Shipping costs higher than the price of product bothers me.
     
  11. AHAB

    AHAB New Member

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    Hi Paul J,
    Shipping is always a problem...
    You might try to get a nearby orchid society(s) to go in a group purchase and get a/some
    pallets. It drops the shipping price substantially.
     
  12. Paul J

    Paul J New Member

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    Jim,
    "Nearby orchid society"? Hah! :) In my dreams! The nearest ones are 3.5 hrs (Omaha) or 4.5 hrs (Minneapolis) drive. Besides, as noted, after switching to sphagnum only, or sphagnum with charcoal, perlite, and Hydroton pellets, I rarely and selectively use bark anymore. I pick up what is needed of heavyweight items during travels.
     
  13. AHAB

    AHAB New Member

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    Paul J,
    Sorry to hear you don't have any orchid societies nearby.

    That makes this site all the more important! :clap::clap:
     
  14. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    Repotting plants alone isn't going to solve the problem. You need to treat the dirt, greenhouse floor, and surrounding areas with a pesticide in addition to replacing media.