Millipede, Centipede, Corn Demon?! –UPDATE

Little Help please!  year before last, I started this ‘new farm’ for this person I know, and I come across a ‘new bug’ I’ve never seen before.  didn’t think too much of it, cuz it was late harvest and I was ‘on the run’, so I just made a mental note of it cuz I didn’t see it doin’ any harm (at the time!).  it appeared to have come in with potted plants- most likely recycled soil from an unknown source.  I make a special point of this, cuz it is found nowhere else on this ‘virgin’ farm!  unfortunately, I was short of potting soil, so I brought the old unused pot-soil into the greenhouse and mixed it with the store-bought potting soil, so that I could make it stretch for my needs.

then, it happened.  last years spring plant, I started hundreds of corn seed in the beds in the greenhouse.  the sprouts never came.  weeks went by, and I got concerned (1st real attempt at growing corn, seriously), so I did some digging.  now, my personal preference is to use my hands as much as possible, cuz I can get a better feel for it’s condition, moisture content, workability, etc. and as I do so, I’ve developed a decades-old habit of squishing dirt clods as I go.  I started noticing, a pattern in where certain “feeling” clods would squish with a nasty slimy center, with these “C-bugs” (I couldn’t find there name, so that’s just the way I always saw them, lying in or on the soil in a non-moving “C” shape), kinda of like in a mini ‘nursery’ inside—many of them!

GROSS!  unidentified corn worm 020unidentified corn worm 023unidentified corn worm 024

* didn’t think to put them next to anything for size comparison, but I’d guess they are no bigger than 1/16” diameter across their width, and in their normal “curled” pose, they are no larger than the end of a #2 pencil eraser!  and I never noticed the bazillion legs, last year, cuz, frankly- I don’t like getting’ that intimate with bugs unless mandatory! *

I asked around and not only could I not find anyone who had any experience with these, but I could neither find a local Master Gardener, let alone anyone that knew what one was!

I am located in plant zone 8b, inland coastal of the Pacific NorthWest, Washington, if that helps any.

I’ve spent far too many hours totaling up to days on the internet finding nothing that looks like these”C-bugs”.  even with in depth research into University Ag Dept. research on corn.  Nothing.

They’re still in the greenhouse (they were imported from somewhere else to this farm that had never been used for anything other than the orchard down below);  they only attacked my corn seed- in ground, and wiped out several hundred seeds leaving me 8 stunted plants.  I have poultry and waterfowl and MUST grow corn successfully.  PLEASE HELP!


Sincerely from the bottom of my Composted Heart~

Violet Skye,  Hippi~Billi FarmGyrl

copyright 2014 by Violet Skye

        copyright 2014 by Violet Skye


I have a Wonderful and Intelligent Friend Back East that, to his Father’s despair, studied Botany and Entomology instead of….medicine or law…..

He has once again, made positive identification in order that I may continue the Good Fight against Crime in the Garden (“Truth, Justice and the American Way” prevail once again, my Friends!)

This morning I received this post from him on face:

  • “That’s Noctuidae or cut worm caterpillar……they normally attack seedling stems or new buds.
    ~Botany including entomology….btw       ; )
  •  Oh, use DE or Apply Bacillus thuringiensis in your beds to control them. And get rid of them when you see them.”
Well, there you go Kidz….. on about your business in the Garden now….

The Groovi-est, Purple-Beaded, Ever-Laughin', Dukk-Lovin', Barefoot, Dirt-Farmin', Hippi Chikki that you'll ever have the Sublime Pleasure to get to know!

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Posted in BEFORE The Fall....
3 comments on “Millipede, Centipede, Corn Demon?! –UPDATE
  1. Whatever it is, it sure is ugly! Best of luck.


  2. christine says:

    I have been having the same problem and am nearly your neighbor! Have you found out what they are? My garden is not doing good at all since these have invaded over the last few years!


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