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Old 04-30-2010, 09:26 PM
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Are centipedes good or bad?????

I found centipedes inside my Cym's pots that are outside right now......
First thing I did (I have hard time killing anything...) was to water my Cyms with soapy water hoping for them simply to go away.
But then I went on line and found out that Garden Cemtipedes are preditors and hunters...... They are not interested with plants or roots. They hide in the dark and moist places and wait for small insects.......
So, am I right in assuming that it's OK for them to sit in my Cym's pots??????
And if this is OK, how do I make sure not to take them into my house when I bring my Cyms inside for the winter.............?????
Oh boy, how are you guys growing anything outside, let alone orchids......????

Last edited by orchidea; 04-30-2010 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:39 PM
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Yea, I had that same question about the plants I put outside. No centipedes (yet), though.

I think I'll have to pull everything out of it's pot, rinse and soak, inspect each root and leaf, and then repot before bringing it into the house.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:45 PM
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I had a single centipede living in my pot during winter. I dont think it did any damage. I havent seen it lately though. Perhaps it died - not sure how long they live, or got flushed away. I also have hard time to kill, expect for pests that attack my orchids
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orchidea View Post
Oh boy, how are you guys growing anything outside, let alone orchids......????
If you keep the pots off the floor, you get many fewer bugs in and under your pots. Use potrisers or that plastic shelving cut off low.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:49 AM
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EWWW. If I am scared of any bug it is centipedes. I hate them, and personally they are very bad. The only way to be sure you have no bugs is to repot and inspect. Also be careful. Some centipedes are poisonous.
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Old 05-01-2010, 08:38 AM
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Yes, I've read on national geographic that centepeds are one of the most poisonous creatures, and just like a cobra, when they inject their venom, you could become paralyzed.

Becareful, and personally I dont want anything in my orchids. No worms, centipedes, nothing.

Last year I bought in a big container plant hoping to save some Geranium cuttings my sister gave me. But it turned out their were centepeds and rollie pollies in there, and they just killed the geraniums. The dirt had lots of eggs, so I just dispoed of it.

Becareful because they can lay eggs and then swarm your house. They always seem to crawl throught cracks in my basement.
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Old 05-01-2010, 09:13 AM
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Poisonous? I use to play with them...me fainting now.
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Old 05-01-2010, 09:31 AM
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Thank you all, but I hope it's not as bad as some of you are telling me it is...
From what I read on line, they are actually pretty harmless. There are some big ones that could bite and it's better to stay away from them. But the small Garden Centipedes can't even penetrate human skin. Their bites are very rare, that's what the internet is telling me.....
Then, there are House Centipedes and Garden Centipedes, and they look different from each other. I have Garden Centipedes, so I REALLY hope that they are not going to be happy in the house even if they get here somehow, but just go away............
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Old 05-01-2010, 09:53 AM
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Unless you are an insect, the centipedes in N.A. will not be poisonous to you. It's a poison designed to kills their prey. Some can give a rather painful bite that could swell and be sore for a few hours but it's highly unlikely that it would kill you.

Millipedes...which is most likely (not definitely though) what you have in your pots...are unlikely to bite you because most do not have mouth-parts long enough or tough enough to penetrate human skin.

Centipedes eat other insects. Millipedes eat rotting/soft plant material.


I wouldn't recommend unpotting a plant just for these types of insects. Each time you unpot and repot you are causing set backs for the plants.

One thing you can do...let the plant dry out longer than normal. They need moisture to survive. If that's not possible, then there are insecticides that can kill them (at least the adults) and a medium drench before bringing back into the house should do the trick. Make sure the label reads that it's safe for ornamentals and houseplants. This will probably not kills the eggs but a dry out time should (not always) take care of the eggs. Even then, you may still find a few from time to time.

I'm not a big fan of using insecticides... unless absolutely necessary... but I will do a couple of medium drenches at timed intervals on most of my orchids before bringing them back inside. I don't want it "fresh" when they come back inside so I try to make the last drench at least 2 weeks away from the time I bring them inside. Even with the medium drenches...I still find a few pillbug hitchhikers after the fact. I assume they come from eggs that made it through my attempts at eradication.

Growing plants...means insects...some you'll never see or know they are there. But, they ARE there. Some are harmful...some beneficial. It's all part of the game.

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Old 05-01-2010, 11:07 AM
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Thanks Kat,
Yep that's exactly what I was reading on line....
I do have centipedes though, not millipedes. And as you said, they are not interested with the plant, roots or decomposed material. They are interested with bugs. So, I can see how they could be even beneficial to my chids... while they are outside.
I don't see them being beneficial to my chids or to ME (!!!!) when my chids are inside.
Thanks for offering some tips on bringing plants inside for the winter. You are right, to put the whole pot into a bucket of water will make centipedes to look for air or float......
Great idea!
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:21 PM
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OOPS! What I meant was an insecticide drench. Where you spray the whole plant...medium and all...getting it down in there.."drenching" the bark or whatever it's potted in. Wait a week or so (whatever label recommends)...repeat. This is why I try my hardest to do that last drench a couple weeks or so before bringing them back inside...don't want that lovely insecticide smell in the house and i want to make sure it's as close as possible to the end of it's working life.

I know w/some of these guys...as well as the pillbugs and snails...they can survive under water. I've soaked plants overnight and still found living creepy crawlies in the medium.

Again...make sure the label reads that it's safe for ornamentals and houseplants. Some of these chems can damage orchid roots.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:27 PM
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centipedes are beneficial in that they prey on the kinds of bugs that would otherwise be harmful to your plant. i have 1 small centipede living amongst the sphag of one of my Catt alliance plants (all my plants are indoor plants). i leave him be bc i know he's doing a good job - being carnivorous is a good thing.

the only ones i would really worry about are the big red or black ones that scream 'No Touch!' beyond that, i would leave the Little Helper where he is.
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Old 05-01-2010, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
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Poisonous? I use to play with them...me fainting now.
I know how you feel. When I was a kid I use to play with stick bugs and years later I found out that many of them are poisonous. :P
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:03 PM
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Hmmmm. None of the insects commonly referred to as stick bugs are in any way venomous. Are you sure you are talking about stick insects and not something else? These guys are totally harmless and are very frequently kept in classrooms and kid-frindely insect exhibits because they are easy to handle and very benign http://naturescrusaders.files.wordpr...walk-stick.jpg . As far as I am aware, none of the Phantasmids (order these guys are in) are dangerous, although I suppose eating one might not be good for you if they are feeding on toxic plants.
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Old 05-02-2010, 10:52 PM
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Anything with over 100 legs is just wrong, not to mention the hair standing-on-end and freaky, creepy chills that they give me. It would have to be introduced to either the rocks that I would throw at it while screaming or the Lovey Dovey and his size 10 shoes.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:58 AM
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Centipedes are predators and eat other bugs.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:50 PM
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If the centipede eats other bugs, why is he in your pot? It might mean that the pot is infected with other bugs. Why would he stay where there isn't any food? And if there are other bugs....?
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:27 PM
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Yes, walking stick. I was told by our bug sprayer at the time. I did not ask questions I just quit playing with them. :P
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11Orchid126 View Post
If the centipede eats other bugs, why is he in your pot? It might mean that the pot is infected with other bugs. Why would he stay where there isn't any food? And if there are other bugs....?
That is a very good question.
The only bugs I know for sure are there are the fungus gnats. I added some potting soil to the mix when I repotted my cyms recently. I know bagged potting soil always comes with fungus gnats for some reason..... Then it's so difficult to fight them.
So maybe it's not such a bad idea for few centipedes to visit my cyms while they are outside......
They can have all fungus gnats and their larvae they want!!!!.......
I think I like them more now!!!!!!
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katrina View Post
Unless you are an insect, the centipedes in N.A. will not be poisonous to you. It's a poison designed to kills their prey. Some can give a rather painful bite that could swell and be sore for a few hours but it's highly unlikely that it would kill you.

Millipedes...which is most likely (not definitely though) what you have in your pots...are unlikely to bite you because most do not have mouth-parts long enough or tough enough to penetrate human skin.

Centipedes eat other insects. Millipedes eat rotting/soft plant material.


I wouldn't recommend unpotting a plant just for these types of insects. Each time you unpot and repot you are causing set backs for the plants.

One thing you can do...let the plant dry out longer than normal. They need moisture to survive. If that's not possible, then there are insecticides that can kill them (at least the adults) and a medium drench before bringing back into the house should do the trick. Make sure the label reads that it's safe for ornamentals and houseplants. This will probably not kills the eggs but a dry out time should (not always) take care of the eggs. Even then, you may still find a few from time to time.

I'm not a big fan of using insecticides... unless absolutely necessary... but I will do a couple of medium drenches at timed intervals on most of my orchids before bringing them back inside. I don't want it "fresh" when they come back inside so I try to make the last drench at least 2 weeks away from the time I bring them inside. Even with the medium drenches...I still find a few pillbug hitchhikers after the fact. I assume they come from eggs that made it through my attempts at eradication.

Growing plants...means insects...some you'll never see or know they are there. But, they ARE there. Some are harmful...some beneficial. It's all part of the game.

Katrina is right. It's extremely unlikely for any North American centipede to create much more than a painful bite, unless you happened to be allergic. Unless you knew were more suceptible to different venoms (like bee stings) I wouldn't be overly concerned. Generally the smaller centipedes in the US are not very dangerous, I believe. It is very rare for a fatal envenomation from the largest centipede (which is native to south america).

If you are removing millipedes from your pots, you'll want to wash your hands afterward, as some of them can give a toxin that may irritate your skin as a defense, but I don't believe that's typical for the North American millipedes.
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