Centipede eating rhubarb leaves

by Marise
(Sydney)

The rhubarb leaves are slowly being eaten away into a lacy pattern and then the stalk starts to die. Discovered a tiny centipede today. How do I treat the four plants. Two are badly affected. One is OK. One has just become affected recently.

Comments for Centipede eating rhubarb leaves

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Jun 03, 2012
centipede centipede ? NEW
by: bill t

Are you sure centipedes are eating the leaves and not some form of caterpillar.Centipedes move around leaf "Litter" at ground level scaveging the leftovers of dropping leaves and thus adding to the marvelous world of compost. Try a pyrethrum garlic spray,which requires daily treatment for a while. Also if possable, plant an alternative to attract predators away from your wanted plants and also confuse. Mixing herbs, flowers, salad and vege plants wont save all but will alow us to share with all of natures wonders. I've had a look at some websites about rhubarb, not much success with your problem other than, rhubarb leaves are poisonus to humans as well as insects and animals,(contains oxalic acid). I'll keep looking for answers. Happy gardening Bill T.

Jun 04, 2012
need litter NEW
by: Adina

In all of the cases where I have seen compost invertebrates up on the crops it is a sign that there isn't any organic matter on the soil for them. Put down some leaf litter, or some old hay, or straw and let a few weeds grow cutting them down from time to time to fall to the soil.

Jun 05, 2012
Controlling earwigs NEW
by: Barrie

Roll up some newspaper, soak it a bit, or use any old damp small cardboard box, and leave it near or under the leaves of your plants. This way you can collect the sleepy earwigs taking a nap in the daytime.

The few earwigs I had used to nibble the tips of my chard, then hide in the curled up sides, so I trapped them with the above method. Don't know why your earwigs like tough old rhubarb leaves.

I also read that a small container of salad oil buried to the rim will attract them in, but I didn't need to do this.
Post back any success if you can. Best, Barrie

Jun 05, 2012
Centipedes/millipedes/earwigs and rhubarb NEW
by: MGSteve

Millipedes crawl among the leaf and other litter eating it; great recycling composters. Centipedes crawl among the litter pouncing on anything they think they might overpower; voracious, venomous predators. It's really important to make certain your ID's of any suspects so you can act accordingly.

And also it's very important to determine if the creature you see on a plant is the one who was eating it or the one who ate what was eating the plant. Chances are that if you don't see the insect eating the plant then it isn't what's been eating the plant.

If it was a centipede you saw, then it definitely wasn't eating the plant. They're predators that eat any living creatures they can catch and overpower with their venom and all those sharp limbs.

Earwig is a good possibility and in addition to the control methods already suggested, you might try the bamboo stake method. Take some bamboo garden stakes and cut directly above each node so that you have hollow tubes with one end open and one end closed.

Scatter the bamboo throughout the garden or gather several pieces facing the same way and tie them together. This gives them a whole lot more space to hide and get trapped in. With a rod in the center that is a number of inches longer than the bamboo, you can stick the rod in the ground so the bottoms of the bamboo are nearly touching the ground. That gives the earwigs a chance to climb up off the ground to shelter and may increase your catch.

After it gets sunny and warm, collect the bamboo and either dump the whole thing or just shake the earwigs out of them into a bucket of warm, soapy water. And please don't use the pyrethrin or any chemicals unless they're really necessary and you know you're attacking the pest and not the pest control.

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