Entomology (Study of Bugs)/centipedes


QUESTION: I live in Virginia close to the Chesapeake Bay and have gardened here since 2004.  This week is the first time I've come across this infestation of white/cream colored centipedes in the grass and in the borders just piling on top of each other.  Thousands of them seemed to have hatched out this weekend now that the weather has warmed and the sun came out after 11 days of rain, mostly on the southern exposure.  I sprayed the perimeter of my vegetable garden, hoping, in vain, to keep them out of my young vegetables and strawberries.  I have woods behind and on one side of my acre property.
Last night there was a tobacco brown, finger thick, 6-7" centipede on the front porch.  
The year of the centipede - AAAUGH!

ANSWER: Rosemary,

Can you post a picture of the centipedes?

Jack DeAngelis

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QUESTION: Thanks.  I don't have one of the brown centipede but will attach photos of the cream ones.


This is a bit confusing but these are not centipedes. I think there may be a mix of several different critters that were possibly washed out of the soil by the rains and collected in pools. This is not uncommon following heavy rains. I see what looks like millipedes and small beetle larvae plus what looks like a small shrimp-like crustacean. None of these are a concern and there's no need to treat as they won't harm the garden.

Jack DeAngelis

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.


20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Ph.D. in Entomology

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