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Re: What did you do in your garden today?picked millipedes

Millipedes are decomposers, eating dead plant material. The different
species are fairly specific in their food preferences, with some preferring
rotting logs, some rotting leaves, some requiring stuff in a more advanced
state of decay..They are beneficials in the grand scheme of things, but
like the Asian ladybugs, can be annoying when they invade your house by the

Centipedes are predators, definitely beneficial. The most visible
difference between the two are in the number of legs per segment -
millipedes have two pair per segment, centipedes have one pair. Some of the
larger centipedes can deliver a pretty nasty bite, so don't pick them up!

And some of the larger millipedes have an interesting defense mechanism,
too (but not the tiny parajulids that are mentioned in the original post).
They exude hydrocyanic acid from pores along their sides. Won't hurt you
(unless it gets in your eyes, another story) , but will burn your skin as
well as tanning it fantastic shades of red and yellow. 


At 07:39 AM 6/20/00 EDT, you wrote:
>Gerry, you did not say what they eat.  Do we want to get rid of them or are 
>they helpful?  Guess I need to do some more research on my own because we 
>also have centipedes, in the house.  N.
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