Most millipedes are scavengers. They feed on decaying organic
matter such as leaves, compost and grass clippings. They may
sometimes injure small, young plants by feeding on the roots and
tender plant parts, but this is rather rare.
When they enter
the home in large numbers, they can become quite a nuisance.
They do not bite, feed on clothing or cause any real damage.
They are simply a nuisance. Control of millipedes in the house
is best accomplished by running the vacuum cleaner.
Most insecticides are not very effective against millipedes.
The best way to prevent them from entering the home is to remove
and discard accumulations of leaves, rocks, boards and other
trash from around the foundation of the house. Also, keep
shrubbery and flower beds free of leaf mulch during the warm
Foundation sprays of permethrin or bifenthrin may have some
effectiveness, but they may not provide satisfactory control. To
apply these chemicals, spray the foundation of the house and the
adjacent foot of soil. In severe cases, you may need to expand
the soil treatment area -- and maybe spray the entire yard.
Overtaking the lowly millipede, the most-often-asked question
overall this past week has been, "What is this weed, and how do
I control it?" Of course, if you looked at
last week's column, you probably have the answer already.
This time of year we will actually have several groups of
broadleaf weeds in the lawn. We will have winter annuals until
the "hot" weather sets in, the perennial weeds, and the annual
weeds are just starting. The type of weed that you have will
dictate the timing and the material you need to use to control
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Most of the broadleaf weed killers that we use in turf are
selective. Unfortunately, they can't distinguish between lawn weeds
and flowers or shrubs. The three most common products are 2,4-D,
MCPP and dicamba. All of these are selective. The most common
nonselective product is glyphosate, which is Roundup or Kleenup, and
this should not be sprayed on any large areas of turf since it kills
grass as well as broadleaf weeds.
The most common weeds coming into the office now are chickweed
and henbit. For chickweed, you will have to use at least a 2,4-D and
MCPP combination, such as is found in most weed and feed products.
Henbit is best controlled by a three-way combination of 2,4-D, MCPP
Straight 2,4-D works just fine for some of the most common lawn
weeds that are just starting to appear. These would include
dandelions and plantain. Some of the hardest to control include
violets and ground ivy. This hard-to-control group will probably
require some determination and repeated applications of the
three-way mix on your part, and the addition of the chemical
triclopyr really helps pick up the control of violets.
Many have been asking about this year's Master Gardener plant
sale. It is set for April 29 from 9 a.m. to noon (or sellout) in the
Exhibition Building at the fairgrounds. Featured will be rhubarb and
several varieties of hosta.
The Logan County Extension office has redone the local website.
Check it out at
http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/logan/index.html. You can find
events, fact sheets, links and contacts for your area of interest.
Fulton, unit leader,
University of Illinois Extension,
Logan County Unit]