Millipedes or thousand-legged worms
Millipedes are not insects, but are related to them. They have many legs (30 to 400) with a hard-shelled, round segmented body. They are brown to blackish brown in colour. They move slowly and curl up when disturbed. Millipedes lay eggs singly or in clusters of 20 to 100 in the soil. They live in moist soil and congregate around the plants in soil that is rich in organic content. They dry out easily and die. Thus, they seek wet places, such as compost piles, leaves and other plant debris, to hide under during the day. They tunnel into potato tubers.
- Clear hiding places. Remove volunteer plants, crop residues, decaying vegetation, dead leaves, grass, compost piles, excess mulch or other similar debris. Litter under trees, abandoned termite hills, and neglected home nurseries can also harbour large populations of millipedes.
- Avoid wet areas
- Trap millipedes. They like hiding during daytime. They can be attracted by placing flat objects (such as pieces of plywood) on the ground where they hide under and can be collected subsequently.