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hi,

I have been digging on my allotment and found lots of flatish orangey wormlike beasties in the soil. What are they,do they cause damage and how do I get rid of them?

Robot

If they are wireworms then they will eat the roots of anything you give them.  They are about 2cms long with a semi-hard skin.  I break them in half and put them on the bird table.  Or, if you have fish they love them too.

You could buy something to kill any soil born pests but if you want to be organic then you'll just have to keep cultivating your soil and nuke what you find as I do.  I always do at least an extra 3 of everything I put in and keep them in the tunnel or coldframe.  When I see a wilting plant I dig it up and 8 times out of 10 there's a chafer grub but the other times it will be a wireworm. 


 If not wireworms then I don't know what it could be.

I thought it may be a wireworm, but it seems too flat and has lots of legs!!

FloBear

What about a millipede? I have orangey ones, they are very thin. lots of legs and about 3cm-ish  long.

marshmello

Sounds more like a millipede if it got legs - nowt to worry about. No action needed, I have loads in my soil and they don't cause any damage.

Carry on planting and don't worry. hehe

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Excitable Boy

Sounds more like a centipede to me if it's flat and orange. If the legs come out the sides it's a centipede, if they're underneath it's a millipede - these are usually black.

Centipedes are your friends as they are carnivorous and eat lots of nasties.

FloBear

Oh, Excitable Boy, how useful to know which pedes are which, I've never been sure. Though I do know about stalactites and stalagmites - not a lot of use to the gardener, that one!

marshmello

Ok, done a bit of googling and it may appear that the description of the critters given from pennypat are infact geophilidae's, these are the creatures that I see loads of in my soil too.

Small centipedes

http://eol.org/pages/6382/overview

Excitable Boy

@ FloBear: I'm full of useless information - my wife even has a word for it!

@ marshmello: Yes I'd imagine these are they - loads in my garden too, although you don't see many proper centipedes (the larger ones) which is a shame as they are pretty fierce beasties:

http://eol.org/pages/576/overview

Quite easily take down a small horse, lol.

Welshonion

Usually if it moves fast it's a goody.  If it moves slow it's a baddie!

Robot

Oh, I didn't realise the "wormlike beasties" had legs.

nickybs

Do the centipedes eat slugs?

moe72
Not sure about slugs but Centipede's will eat things up to the same size as themselves. The geophilidae's mostly eat earthworms as they live in the soil and inflict a venomous bite. Poor wormy has no chance

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