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Need help identifying
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Author:  PhilipFtw [ Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Need help identifying

I'm going to try again with my above-ground vegetable garden. It's year 3, and I have built it up with organic amendments. I went to pull up the fall veggies and started turning dirt. I found rollie-pollies (that's the only name I know for them) and another strange red/orange worm. I need to know if the work is friend or foe. And I need to know if rollie-pollies are ok in my garden. I attached the worm picture.

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Author:  northwesterner [ Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Need help identifying

I'm not sure what this "worm" is - I suspect a cousin of the millipede/centipede type of insect. I ignore them. I wear gloves while I work in the garden and when I encounter pests or the ones I think might be a pest I simply toss them out of the bed. Manual removal is one way to know what is in your garden (in contrast to just spraying stuff on the plants and hoping they kill whatever bad stuff is in there). You want to encourage the beneficial insects and discourage the pests - so keep up looking at what is out there. If I spot this in Howard's Texas Bug Book and can still find this thread I'll post an answer. That book is very helpful, by the way, because you're going to meet lots of new insect faces as an organic gardener.

The roly polys can be a problem if there are a lot of them, and snails/slugs are always a problem in my garden, so my practice is to put in the plants then sprinkle some of the Sluggo Plus in the bed. Sluggo regular variety gets rid of the snails that munch plants and produce, the Sluggo Plus has spinosad and takes out the pill bugs/roly poly pests. Sluggo is part of the organic choice of pest control.

Author:  PhilipFtw [ Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Need help identifying

Thank you for the reply, Northwesterner. I just saw this response. The closest I could find on Google to this critter was the wireworm even though it looked too short in the pictures to be my culprit . I went ahead and made a garlic tea and had the foresight to mix in a little Sluggo and DE in bed prep. Then I sprinkled a little more Sluggo, DE and coffee grounds on top after I planted. The organic guides said to plant a half-potato for a day or two as a worm trap for wireworms, so I tried that. I pulled out the potatoes today after 2 days and not a worm to be seen (despite the fact that I ran across at least a dozen in a small area while prepping the bed) - so I guess that rules out wireworms.

I also haven't seen any roly polys lately. So either I zapped them or they are hiding really deep. Please do let me know if you have any other thoughts. I put out HB beneficial nematodes Saturday. Hopefully that will help. I'm still going to research and figure out what these guys are.

I really appreciate you taking the time to reply.

Author:  northwesterner [ Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Need help identifying

I came across a couple of those yesterday when planting - and I tossed them onto the driveway. Sometimes just manually getting what look like pests out of that part of the garden is the best thing to do.

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