Gumpo Azalea Infestation
My Gumpo miniature azaleas have dozens of what appears to be centipedes around the pot. They seem to emerge from the soil when damp. They are about 1 inch long. These centipedes are everywhere outside and some places inside. They seem to be harmless. How can I let them know that they are not welcome? Earlier in the year, the pot rims were covered with 100's of tiny (5 could fit on the head of a pin) red bugs running about. Is that related?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
If the bug has 12 legs or less it is a garden symphylan. Here is some help with that creature: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/garden-symphylan-small-white-worm-like-bugs-in-the-soil.htm
If the bug has more than 12 legs, it is a centipede of some kind (though we are uncertain as to the exact species). Centipedes are not harmful and actually helpful to your yard, as they eat all kinds of bad bugs. But they can be a bit alarming looking. If centipedes are what you have, we would recommend that you repot the plant and replace the dirt, shaking off as much dirt as you can from the roots (but do not wash the roots as this should only be done if absolutly needed). Put the infested soil out in your yard so that the centipedes can do their job without being seen.
Also, the tiny red bugs you describe sound like red spider mites and would not be related. However, if these become a problem, you can treat the plant with neem oil. Here is more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/pesticides/neem-oil-uses.htm