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Question About Millipede "Stains"

Discussion in 'Myriapods' started by pitbulllady, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. pitbulllady

    pitbulllady Arachnoking Old Timer

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    I have a large group of Narceus americanus, which I keep not only because I think they're neat critters but because their poop makes for some fantastic planting fertilizer, especially for ferns and other primitive plants, and they produce a LOT of it. However, as I'm sure many of you milli keepers know, these secrete large quantities of a brownish liquid in defense when handled, and it stains the skin. I mean, REALLY stains, as in this stuff could be used for semi-permanent "tattoos" that don't involve needles. How DO you get this stuff off? I've tried everything from white board cleaner to WD-40, with no luck. The stains last for weeks, not just a few days, and actually cause the skin on my fingertips to peel, which seems to be the only way to get rid of it. Have any of you keepers found anything that can remove it without removing the skin?

    pitbulllady
     
  2. First off, try not to rile them I suppose :)

    I have always let the stains go naturally and in a few days they were gone. If your hands are not used for anything that would tend to rub skin off maybe they last longer. I'd try taking some abrasives to the stained areas to get some of the outer coat of skin off and promote new skin growth.

    I don't have any chemical remedies for you except to wash off with soap and water asap.

    You could just don some disposable gloves when handling them.
     
  3. Cavedweller

    Cavedweller Arachnoprince

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought to use them for fertilizer! I've only just started though. Do you use them just like you'd use worm castings?

    Whoa, the stains I've received only lasted a few days (never handled a Narceus though). I wonder if there's something different about Narceus poison that makes the stain last longer. I've got no advice for removing it, I'm afraid.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. pitbulllady

    pitbulllady Arachnoking Old Timer

    After several days, I notice that the bottom of their enclosure was all droppings, which quickly breaks down into what appears to be black soil(and basically, it is), so I transfer the 'pedes to another temporary holding area and remove the top layer(mostly old punky oak wood and dead leaves, plus whatever else I've fed them) and scoop out the bottom layer, and voila! Perfect fertilizer! Plants like ferns and Selaginellas really love this stuff. Most of my encounters with the poisons have been when I first collect a millipede, and I've got some really large specimens.

    pitbulllady
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Lime/lemon peels/juice can be used to hasten the stain removal in your skin or clothes
     
  6. pitbulllady

    pitbulllady Arachnoking Old Timer

    Thanks, Tongue Flicker! I will give that a try! Can't hurt, anyway.

    pitbulllady
     
  7. MrCrackerpants

    MrCrackerpants Arachnoprince

    tyi
    Be aware that you may be removing eggs when you do this. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. But it is good that you do this because otherwise the substrate could poison the pedes. It does flamelegs at least, but then I usually have several hundred young in a container, so maybe the sheer numbers just exhaust the substrate quickly.

    So what you do is put the old substrate in a separate container where you let it sit for a few months, then look for babies. If there are none you can use it as potting soil.

    I decided to take my own advice and use a disposable glove today when moving many pedes...awesome. No stains--no dirt on my hands even.
     
  9. MrCrackerpants

    MrCrackerpants Arachnoprince

    tyi
    I gently remove the old substrate and gently add new dead leaves, coir, moss and rotten wood. I then use this "recharged" and diluted substrate to start new colonies in new enclosures. This preserves any possible eggs and provides a healthy substrate. By doing this I have accumulated a large number of Trigoniulus macropygus (Flameleg Millipede) colonies. I never take this substrate from one millipede species and started a new colony with another millipede species.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014

  10. As space and time is limited one can't use your method forever :p
     
  11. pitbulllady

    pitbulllady Arachnoking Old Timer

    I'm aware of that, but the eggs are going into another favorable environment for hatching. They just won't hatch in the tub with the adults. I look for eggs by sifting through the spent substrate, but any that I miss aren't being discarded, since I'm using that material.

    pitbulllady
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. MrCrackerpants

    MrCrackerpants Arachnoprince

    tyi
    Cool! :) :) :)

    ---------- Post added 06-20-2014 at 09:59 PM ----------

    ...if one contemplates the "millipede space-time continuum" all methods are possible forever...
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2014
  13. LOL. I'll have to come to your house in a few more years...probably be hard to walk in there hehe!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. MrCrackerpants

    MrCrackerpants Arachnoprince

    tyi
    lol...ya, it's packed out already...too many arachnids and roaches... :)
     
  15. Sorry OP for hijacking your thread.

    I'll have to post a photo thread after I finish the tower that's going on top of my 100g aquarium...When you can't build out, build up! I mean hey, the wall is totally blank above the 100G...utilizing that space is just smart ;)
     
  16. MrCrackerpants

    MrCrackerpants Arachnoprince

    tyi
    Ya, sorry OP. :(

    Yes, I would like to see that SDCPs. :)
     
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