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Both these beds were planted with seedlings and seed at the same time a few weeks back. The bed on the left is infested with (what I call) Wood Cockroach. Both have lots of Slaters. The cockroaches and slater both serve important roles breaking down the organic matter in the beds but the cockroaches are in such huge numbers they have eaten everything else as well!

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Comment by Christa on May 13, 2018 at 12:55

Plenty of helpful suggestions Susan, my only thought is sprinkling a bit of wood ash or lime over them.  My husbands mother had a good idea with common cockies. Bury a bucket or ice cream dish and put something tasty in the bottom and grease the inside rim.  She would scream when it filled up and put the whole lot in a plastic bag and tossed them in the bin.  

Your mulch must be the best in the neighbourhood.

Comment by Dave Riley on May 13, 2018 at 9:22

I guess they came with the mulch? Is must be of wood derivative.

If you covered the bed with black plastic, maybe you could cook the mulch...and the cockies.

Just saying: spraying the mulch with a eucalyptus oil solution may give them cause to evacuate.Try it on a patch.

Or dig the mulch in. And replace it with a grass if it wasn't originally grass.

Or drown them -- by running a hose into the bed.

Comment by Elaine de Saxe on May 13, 2018 at 6:30

It's the parthenogenesis which accounts for their rapid increase once they've found a place they like. They sound ghastly and doesn't seem as though the local insect-predators find them tasty.

Comment by Lissa on May 13, 2018 at 6:22
Comment by Lissa on December 14, 2014 at 5:38

They have escaped from the bed :( A few night back I realised the little b's were milling around the base of the bed in droves in the newly spread mulch.

I have attempted to smother/compost out the ones in the bed with a thick layer of grass clippings followed by a thick layer of composted horse poo. I may just be feeding them... but there was very little movement on the surface last night, just a couple of them running around. The rest could be down there munching away :/

Comment by Lissa on December 11, 2014 at 5:07

I've put toads in there in the hope that they would go num num free tucker, but all they wanted was one roach then out! The gheckos eat a few each.

I think they have exhausted the food Rob. Last night you could hear them moving - the whole bed was alive with moving bodies hunting for food. They try to get out but the sides are just too high though I do find the odd one outside on occasion and quickly put them back in. I'm hoping they will just starve themselves into oblivion...but am also fascinated by the whole thing. I really don't want them out and infesting the whole of my garden. At the moment they are contained.

The black plastic over the bed sounds like quite a possible idea.

One good thing. The soil in the bed is now incredible due to their activities - thousands of them tunneling, chewing up mulch and pooping. It's moist and friable. (Moist with what I hear you ask lol).

I really want to get to the museum with a sample so I can learn all I can about their life cycle but it's a bit difficult when I work 9hr days M-F.

Comment by Rob Walter on December 10, 2014 at 15:12

I really want you to give my escape idea a go! You could mound the soil up so that it's spilling over the edge in one area (maybe about a metre wide, as they aren't climbers) and then maybe build a bridge/ramp down to the ground. And if that doesn't work, cook 'em!

Comment by Rob Walter on December 10, 2014 at 13:48

What are they eating when you're not feeding them seedlings? Surely they must have exhausted their food supply by now. Maybe they have! Maybe they're actually trapped in there, desperately hungry, which is why they are eating live food when they would never normally eat that. You could try building something for them so they can get out. Of course, that could just make the problem much, much worse by spreading it to the rest of the garden, but it might also work. Or make absolutely no difference.

Comment by Lissa on December 10, 2014 at 6:26

Still there - put a Pyrethrum plant in there the other day. One night they ring barked the stem. The next night they ate most of the leaves. By the third night nothing left but a stick in the ground.

Comment by Lissa on November 29, 2014 at 4:23

Hard to get a photo of the little sods when I pull back the top layer of mulch, but there are thousands of them. Found them cannibalizing one of their own the other my hopes up that they might start eating each other to oblivion but it seems to be a once off occurrence. 

The museum have given me long winded instructions for preserving some insects to send to them, or I can just go there one day with some live specimens.

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