Millipede Damage – Diary of a Rocket Gardener

Something that I’ve learnt over the past few years, is that the creature you find residing in a damaged potato or root veggie is not always the main culprit.

The other day, I found what I initially thought was a wireworm in my potato. On closer inspection, I saw its little legs and deduced that it was in fact a millipede, and I was surprised that millipedes may have done so much damage. To me, it was a new pest to contend with, until I remembered that often creatures move into damaged crops rather than doing the damage themselves.

This seems to be the case with millipedes. I’m fairly sure that the initial damage came from slugs, and that the millipede was then attracted to the part of the potato tuber that was rotting.

Further research confirmed this – I read on the RHS website that millipedes rarely cause damage but that they feed on decaying matter.

I thought I would share this as it’s a good reminder that the seeming ‘culprit’ can sometimes be an innocent opportunist, and quite often the opportunity is a hole made by a slug. So, the moral of my story, is to keep on top of slugs – in general I find that growing using the no-dig method helps to keep slugs down, and I tend to use beer traps as back up. You may find if you’re growing in pots that copper tape or wool pellets work better – find whichever way seems to work for your garden, and try and get on top of it now, before the real sluggy weather comes in over the next few weeks. That’s my advice anyway!