Millipede dilemma

Lucky123

Arachnoknight
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So my sister has two millipedes in cypress mulch which I recently found out was toxic. We would have already removed them but they haven’t been sighted in months and we suspect they are underground molting. Should we risk very gently digging them up or should we just leave them in the cypress mulch?
 

Arthroverts

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I would say, since they've been living in it already for months (sorry to say this, if they aren't already dead as what you've posted about before didn't exactly seem like the best of millipede care), then it would be better to leave them. How long have they been underground?

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

Lucky123

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I would say, since they've been living in it already for months (sorry to say this, if they aren't already dead as what you've posted about before didn't exactly seem like the best of millipede care), then it would be better to leave them. How long have they been underground?

Thanks,

Arthroverts
They are in two different enclosures, one has always been alone the other had tank mates but they already died so it is likely that he died to, the one who is alone has been under for about 2.5 months. Just a question though, what would be the worst that could happen if they were dug up? Would taking off tiny bits of substrate off at a time be okay? Because I want to slowly replace the substrate with something else.
 

Arthroverts

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Hmm.

The worst that can happen is that they are a lot closer to the surface than you thought and you kill a freshly molted/molting one.
Slowly scooping out substrate could work, but the above still remains an issue. I'd suggest leaving them for another month; if you haven't seen them by then it might be a good idea to check and make sure.

Hope this helps,

Arthroverts
 

Lucky123

Arachnoknight
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A few weeks ago my sister added more substrate a mix of compost and fresh cypress mulch, would this change things for the worse? Or better? Another strange thing is that all of her millipedes have been living in it for almost half a year and only now their have been deaths.
 

Arthroverts

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I am not sure; fresh cypress would probably be worse, but considering they have lived in it for a while now it may add nothing more to the problem. Certainly wouldn't help though I think.

The deaths may have a cause outside of the cypress OR a build-up of the cypress in their bodies may be finally putting a kabosh to it. If they are still alive and you find them, I would strongly encourage just starting over with a new, good substrate.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

Lucky123

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If I’m going to try and find them I would like to know how long does the actual molting process take and how long does it take for them to harden up afterwards?
 

Lucky123

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Thanks for all of your help, to me this problem doesn’t seem to have a straightforward answer (if there is one please let me know) but I think that I will slowly remove the substrate and if it is not molting I will remove it and start fresh. If it is molting or has freshly molted. I will cover it back up with new substrate and wait a week (is that long enough?) then try again. Any objections?
 

cecdog

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Hello there, I'm no expert but I saw your thread and fig I'd throw in my experience. At one point I owned Ivories, Flame-legs, and a Bumblebee simultaneously. The ivories and flame-legs spend a lot of time on the surface, but the bumblebee millipede spends most his time underground. When they molted, they would disappear from anywhere between two weeks to two months, depending on age and cycles. (I've noticed that they do "group molts" where they molt at the same time as each other.) I do know they are extremely fragile when they are in the middle of molting. Once they harden up, they will resurface. My general advice is to be patient and let them do their thing. But I have some questions that might help me better understand your situation...

How many months has it been since you've seen them?
What kind of millipedes are they?
Are they adults?
Have you tried putting a piece a cucumber in the enclosure?

The cucumber was my last resort before digging around in the substrate, if you leave it in there for a few days the millipedes find it irresistible. Whatever you decide, good luck. I always bought a substrate online that was specifically made for millipedes. and it has been fantastic.
 

mantiscatamp

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how did your sister not know its toxic e,e im stupid and that was the first thing i learnt with millipedes
 

Lucky123

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how did your sister not know its toxic e,e im stupid and that was the first thing i learnt with millipedes
I told her it was okay because I knew cypress mulch was harmful but I didn’t know that it was cypress mulch.
 

Lucky123

Arachnoknight
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Hello there, I'm no expert but I saw your thread and fig I'd throw in my experience. At one point I owned Ivories, Flame-legs, and a Bumblebee simultaneously. The ivories and flame-legs spend a lot of time on the surface, but the bumblebee millipede spends most his time underground. When they molted, they would disappear from anywhere between two weeks to two months, depending on age and cycles. (I've noticed that they do "group molts" where they molt at the same time as each other.) I do know they are extremely fragile when they are in the middle of molting. Once they harden up, they will resurface. My general advice is to be patient and let them do their thing. But I have some questions that might help me better understand your situation...

How many months has it been since you've seen them?
What kind of millipedes are they?
Are they adults?
Have you tried putting a piece a cucumber in the enclosure?

The cucumber was my last resort before digging around in the substrate, if you leave it in there for a few days the millipedes find it irresistible. Whatever you decide, good luck. I always bought a substrate online that was specifically made for millipedes. and it has been fantastic.
The Orthoporus ornatus hasn’t been seen for about 2 months the Ivory about 1.
They are Juvenile-sub adult-ish
Not the cucumber but I set up a feast with many different things and it all molded before they came out.
 

Lucky123

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Okay I couldn’t bear to leave him in the substrate if there was a possibility that he was still alive, and my worst fear came true. He escaped! I was 100% sure the the air holes were too small for him but somehow. He escaped over a month ago so unless he some how made it outside he would have starved to death. I’m going to search the area near his enclosure but he is probably long gone 😢. The other is most likely dead but the search continues.
 

Lucky123

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🥳 the other guy is alive! But the one that escaped was mine I never should’ve given him to her 😭. I can’t believe it he must’ve died from starvation, or maybe he made it to the wild and was eaten or stepped on.
 
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