Unknown root eating Arthropod?

Asked May 22, 2020, 1:07 PM EDT

These worm like things have lived in my garden soil for many years. I live off Colorado lake drive in great farming top soil, no clay. I have a green house, 30 yrs, and start all my own veg starts. I have identified all the good and bad pests so far except for this one. Cant find anything on it. I believe they solely live in the soil , egg to Arthropod? If it is is an Arthropod. The worm like thing eats the roots of cabbage, radishes, and onions. Most plants survive, but the weak end up in the compost. They don't bother to many other plants and I have a very large garden and lots of variety. These worm things munch away on the roots with their many legs retracted, only when they are bothered or put on a flat surface the legs come out and they're quite fast. They have two antennas and two black dots for eyes? FYI, 10 yrs ago 5 acres of tulips were planted between my house and Emmons Meat. Discovered what a European brown snail was, 1000's that year. I now go out each morning and kill many many snails. They are about 1/4 to 3/8ths of and inch and not much liquid in them. What is it? Thanks Jeff Please don't make our email public.

Linn County Oregon

1 Response

Hi and thanks for contacting Ask an Expert

These are millipedes. They live for a few years. They develop into somewhat different looking worms over time. I have attached a link from UC Extension for your information.

They can be taken out with several sprays. I used Neem oil (pure Neem found online). The mixed Neem sprays may have toxic chemicals you don't want in your soil near your food plants. They were in the strawberry beds. They love moist soil and they love strawberries, even though most info on the web says they are harmless and do not bother plants. It took finding them in the crevices and spraying for a couple of months, but most if not all are gone.

I would pull back the strawberries and spray them in the early morning, and then take a trowel and push the soil away from the side of the raised bed. That's where most of them were.

Here is the link I spoke of: http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7472.html

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