We plant trees and vegetation outside to cleanse the air, right? Yes. In the same thought, we plant indoor plants to help us breathe clean air while at the same time beautifying our spaces. I don’t know if you have ever noticed some peace and relaxed mood in a room full of plants. The air in there is less toxic plus the beautiful scenery is visually appealing.
Why Is Indoor Plants important?
House plants are important for several reasons some of which include:
1. Air Purification
Plants are our opposites in the sense that while we are inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, plants take in the carbon dioxide and give out oxygen. This is what happens in an environment with sufficient plant cover. The best way to bring the benefits closer home is by having the plants in the house.
2. Improving Productivity and Focus
There is an intrinsic relationship between humans and plants. Plants tend to bring a cool ambiance to a previously boring space. The ambiance is responsible for creating a more focused and calm environment that the people in there will adapt to.
Plants have been used since time immemorial to beautify space. Natural plants are perceived to be expensive. They are therefore being replaced by artificial plants, which still serve the beautification purpose, but they lack the authenticity that comes with having natural plants.
Challenges of Planting and Maintaining House Plants
Most people get discouraged from keeping houseplants because the plants need frequent maintenance and care. Some of the challenges faced with indoor plants include:
- Infestation by insects
- Disease outbreaks
- Nutrients deficiency
- Environmental factors such as lack of sufficient water, too much or too little light, and excessive salinity in the soil.
Attack by Millipedes
Millipedes to be specific are a headache to house plants because getting rid of them is not an easy task. This is because they lay eggs in the soil, meaning even if you remove the living ones, the eggs will hatch later on.
How Will I Know My Plants Have Been Infested By Millipedes?
Millipedes have elongated bodies with so many segments. Each segment contains a pair of legs and they mostly have hard brownish skin cover. Millipedes are approximately 1 inch long, but they mostly coil especially when they detect a threat.
The only way millipedes can be found indoors is when they are in the potted house plants. They can only thrive in a damp area and feed on decomposing matter.
How to Get Rid of Millipedes in House Plants
First, it is important to note that Millipedes are harmless. They do not destroy furniture, clothes, or even the plants (unless the leaves are discomposing).
It is however not interesting to see crawling things moving around the house. Some people suffer from Entomophobia and the sight of Millipedes in the house can send them into panic mode.
It is also important to note that Millipedes are very useful to gardeners because they help in the process of decomposing matter to make organic manure. Instead of killing them, therefore, you can collect and throw them in the compost pit.
Steps You Should Follow To Getting Rid of Millipedes From Houseplants.
1. Identify Their Source
The main agenda in controlling millipedes is to keep them outdoors, and not to eliminate them. The most effective way of doing this is by identifying their source and how they get to the house plants.
One of the possibilities would be they might have laid eggs in the soil which was used in the potted plants. They then hatched and the millipedes came to be. Nothing much can be done about the eggs because they are very tiny.
In some cases, however, the millipedes find their way to the houseplants when the plants are placed outside for watering. Millipedes mostly stay under rocks and other damp hidden places.
You should, therefore, avoid such areas when watering your plants from outside, to reduce the chances that a millipede will crawl into the plants.
2. Clean Up Dead Leaves and Plants From Around The House, Balcony, and Windows
Millipedes feed on the dead matter; hence they will be attracted to dead plants and leaves around the house. To keep the crawlers away from your house, you will need to frequently clean up the dead leaves and plants from around the house, on the window sills, and balconies.
Remember as harmless as the millipedes may be, they can be a menace once they reproduce. This is because they hatch in thousands; hence you will have so many crawling creatures around your home. It is not a good sight.
3. Using Insecticide To Get Rid of Millipedes
As mentioned earlier, millipedes are harmless creatures but they can be irritating especially when they become too many. The surest way of getting rid of them for good is using insecticides. There are different types of insecticides which can be used, and are explained below:
When buying an insecticide, you must that it is suitable for millipede control. The best liquid insecticides for this course include Talstar P and Suspend Polyzone. This insecticide comes in concentrated form.
Be sure to read the leaflet which contains instructions on how to mix and cautionary measures to be taken. You will then need a sprayer, preferably a handheld sprayer because it is easier to focus on the plants.
Insecticide dust is another form of insecticide that is very effective in getting rid of Millipedes in house plants. Dust is more effective because it lasts longer, and kills slowly. It is best placed in cracks, on windows, and other damp areas where millipedes can thrive.
It is important to remember that you have to pick a product that will be effective under moist conditions. Delta dust meets this criterion and once applied will only need to be replaced after the rainy season is over.
You will need a hand duster for better application
While using either of these insecticides, remember to protect yourself according to the instructions given. Ensure you have gloves on, a coverall, and a face cover. All chemicals can be potentially harmful when they are not handled well.
You should also keep all chemicals away from children to reduce the possibility of ingestion or skin contact. In case such an accident occurs, get in touch with a doctor and carry the leaflet or container with you.
As you do away with the millipedes, remember they are not harmful in any way. If anything, they can be of benefit to you as a farmer. If you can manage to collect them and put them in a compost pit, they will help hasten the decomposition process. This means you will get your manure much faster.
Before you settle on the insecticide therefore, you should at least try the other natural methods. Insecticides eliminate the arthropods, while they can be useful elsewhere.
There are, however, situations where we are left with no option, such as when the millipedes become too much in the house and we are not able to control their movements. There are also cases where they cause panic.
Again when there are crawling children in the house, you will not want them interacting with crawling insects. In this case, you will be justified to eliminate the Millipedes.