Garden symphylans are soil-dwelling, centipede-like creatures that feed on plant roots and can cause extensive crop damage. They cause frequent and often misdiagnosed problems in well managed western soils with good tilth. This soil pest may not be familiar to farmers and agricultural consultants. This document describes the garden symphylan life cycle and the damage symphylans can cause. It includes monitoring techniques to determine whether symphylans are present in the soil and sustainable management options to prevent economic damage.
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