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Farm News - 01-28-2009 Print E-mail

Joe E. Varn, Jr., County Extension Agent


Last week we talked about centipedes. This week we will discuss millipedes.

Millipedes are long, slow moving, worm-like animals with many body segments. There are two pairs of legs on most body segments. They are often called thousand-leggers. They should not be confused with centipedes that have one pair of legs on most body segments and are very fast runners. While centipedes have venomous jaws and eat small insects, millipedes mainly eat decaying vegetation and do not bite people or pets.

There are many different types of millipede. Black and red species several inches in length are often seen and pose no danger or threat as a pest. These large millipedes should be left alone.

The millipede that most often invades homes in large numbers is the garden millipede. Garden millipedes are gray-to-brown and 1/2-3/4 inch long. They mainly feed on dead plant material and occasionally, young plants. They are most active at night.

Garden millipedes usually live outdoors in moist, protected areas such as under mulch and rocks. They can also live on trees, in tree holes and even in clogged gutters. Unfortunately, these millipedes sometimes migrate in huge numbers, especially after heavy rains in the spring. It is during mass migrations that they often enter homes. They climb walls easily and enter through any small opening.

Millipedes do not carry serious diseases and do not damage food or belongings in the home, but their mere presence is a nuisance. If crushed, millipedes can leave stains. Many millipedes have glands which produce fluids which are irritating and can cause allergic reactions. These fluids can be harmful to the eyes and produce a nauseating odor. It is important to wash hands thoroughly after touching a millipede.

Non-chemical Control. If garden millipedes are occurring in great numbers indoors, it is usually an indication that there is a large population in the area surrounding the home. To control these pests, the most important step is to remove materials that give them shelter in the immediate area around the home. This includes excessive mulch, leaf litter, thick grass, rocks, boards and similar materials.

De-thatching the lawn and mowing closely allows for drier conditions, which reduces the areas where they can live. Watering in the morning rather than the evening, also gives the lawn a chance to dry before they become active at night.

Try to prevent garden millipedes from entering the house by making sure doors and windows fit tightly, and as many cracks and crevices are caulked as possible. Remember that they may be entering your home from high areas just as easily as low areas.

In most situations, garden millipedes found indoors can be easily removed with a broom or vacuum.

Chemical Control. Pesticides provide only temporary control unless the non-chemical measures are taken as described above. However, if necessary, pesticide dusts such as boric acid powder applied to cracks, crevices and indoor void areas where millipedes enter homes will help kill them more quickly. Many pesticide powders will not work well if applied in areas that are too moist.

For millipedes found outside, pesticide sprays applied to foundation walls or other entry points can help reduce entry. When treating leaf litter or mulch, use enough water to penetrate the ground cover or rake the ground cover back before spraying to ensure that the pesticide reaches the areas where millipedes live. For pesticide applications both indoors and outdoors, make sure you only use products appropriately labeled for millipede control in the areas you are making your applications.

If garden millipede numbers are extremely high and difficult to control on your own, consider hiring a licensed pest control operator. Pest control professionals have special equipment and pesticide formulations such as wettable powders, suspension concentrates, or microencapsulated products that may be able to provide better control than common, non-professional equipment and materials. For tips on hiring a professional, see our Insect Information Fact Sheet: Choosing a Pest Control Company, IIS/HS-23.

For other publications in our Entomology Insect Information Series visit our web site at

Prepared by Eric P. Benson, Extension Entomologist/Professor, Rachel Rowe, Program Assistant and Patricia A. Zungoli, Extension Entomologist/Professor, Department of Entomology, Soils, and Plant Sciences, Clemson University.

Brand names of pesticides are given as a convenience and are neither an endorsement nor guarantee of the product nor a suggestion that similar products are not effective. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.

Lifestyles - 01-28-2009 Print E-mail

Smith-Williams to wed

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith, Jr. of Bamberg announce the engagement of their daughter Lauren Blake Smith of Columbia to, Charles Hiram Williams III of Columbia, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hiram Williams II of Orangeburg.

The wedding is planned for May 16, 2009 in the First Baptist Church in Orangeburg.

Colin Murdock Carter

Colin was born Monday, October 27th 2008 at 7:45 am in The Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg SC. Colin weighed 8 lbs 2 ozs and was 20 3/4 inches long. Colin's parents are Mr. & Mrs. Clinton (Clint) Murdock Carter of Ehrhardt SC. He has two sisters Victoria Taylor Lyons 8 yrs old and Amelia Grace Carter 4 yrs old.

Maternal Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. David (Zina) Hiers and the late Robert M Kinard Sr. of Ehrhardt SC and Mr. Robert Wayne Snyder of Lexington SC. Maternal Great- Grandparents Mrs. Betty Jo Sanders of Olar SC and the late James Martin Sanders and Mrs. Erline Kinard and Mrs. Dorothy Hiers of Ehrhardt SC and Mrs. Christine Snyder of Swansea SC.

Paternal Grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. John (Drema) Carter Jr. of Ehrhardt SC. Paternal Great-Grandparents Mrs. Lucille Sanders of Charleston SC and the late Mr. and Mrs. John W Carter Sr. of Ehrhardt SC.

Obituaries 01-28-2009 Print E-mail

Funeral services for Angelo Richburg, 45, of Bamberg, were held Monday, Jan. 26, 2009, in the Greater Sidney Park Baptist Church in Bamberg. He was born Oct. 23, 1963, in Bamberg, to Willie James and Modestine Richburg.

Mr. Leroy Tyler, formerly of Denmark, died January 15, 2009, in Charleston. Funeral services were held Saturday, January 24, 2009, at Greater Sweet Branch Baptist Church of Govan.

Mrs. Mary Black Hartzog, of Denmark, died January 21, 2009.

Funeral services for Mary M. Tyler, 71, of Denmark, were held Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009, in the Eden Baptist Church in Bamberg. Mary McMillian Tyler was born May 16, 1937, in Bamberg County, to the late John and Gladys McMillian.

Funeral services for Calvin Lee Davis, 28, of Denmark, were held Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2009, in the Denmark Chapel. He was born Jan. 18, 1981, in Bamberg to Calvin Fickling and the late Selina Davis.

Funeral services for Willie Mae Davis, 77, of Ehrhardt, were held Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009, in the Zion Pentecostal Rescue House of Prayer for All Nations in Ehrhardt. She was born to the late Mr. Lewis and Mather Grant on Nov. 5, 1931, in Bamberg County.

William Marcus “Bill” Brasington Sr., 79, passed away Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. A native of Bennettsville, S.C., he was the son of the late Charles Norman and Gladys Carlisle Brasington and the widower of Virginia Carolyn Townsend Brasington. Funeral services were conducted Saturday, January 24, 2009 at the First Presbyterian Church of Woodruff.

Manuel Redrick Steedley, 68, of Bamberg, died Friday, Jan. 23, 2009, at Bamberg County Hospital. Funeral services were held Monday, Jan. 26, 2009, in the Spring Branch Baptist Church in Bamberg. Mr. Steedley was born April 26, 1940, in Bamberg, a son of the late Manning Richard Steedley and the late Della Steedley Sharam.

A graveside service for Jones A. Smoak Jr., 75, of West Columbia, were held Monday, January 26, 2009 in Crescent Hill Memorial Gardens. Mr. Smoak, loving husband of Sue Watson Smoak, passed away on Friday, Jan. 23, 2009. Born in Bamberg County, he was the son of the late Jones Angus Smoak Sr. and Nellie Gardner Smoak Sturkie.

Sidney Smoak, 63, of Orangeburg, died Friday, Jan. 23, 2009, at the Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg. Funeral services were held Monday, Jan. 26, 2009. Mr. Smoak was born June 16, 1946, in Bamberg, a son of the late Thomas Otis Smoak Sr. and the late Lillian Hutto Smoak.

Shirley Ethel Dantzler Smith, 83, of Smoaks, died Wednesday, January 7, 2009. She was born to Marvin Summers Dantzler and Ethel Lee Clark on August 26, 1925 in Martinez, Ga.

Opinions - 01-28-2009 Print E-mail

When will we catch up?

Dear Editor,

When will we catch up? The two new fire trucks in our county are greatly appreciated. Our ISO (insurance services office) rating in rural Bamberg County is a 9, which means all rural home owners have to pay around $400 or more in premiums each year. This is because county council will not authorize equipment for the fire departments that is needed to get a better ISO rating for our fire stations. The county council is saying we don't want to raise taxes. Where is the money that the property owners have paid for fire services over the years? If the tax money that Bamberg County has collected over the years had been spent on the fire department trucks, pumpers and equipment, we would have a better ISO. Other neighboring counties have done it. When will we? Colleton County has for years had an ISO of 4 in some of their stations which help a homeowner have a reduced insurance premium. Therefore, in Bamberg County we pay property taxes for fire protection and pay higher homeowners and fire insurance premiums because the fire department ISO rating is 9. This is caused by the Bamberg County councils' wishes not to upgrade the fire departments equipment.

I understand Bamberg County is up for an ISO review in the near future which is done every 10 years. Will we be ready for this review to give us a better ISO rating? Bamberg County council needs to be contacted now. Whatever the rating now, we have to live with for 10 years.

The community fire stations are prestigious, but without the proper equipment our brave volunteer firemen are at a disadvantage when they answer a call. Have you checked with your insurance agent to see how much your homeowners or fire insurance premium would be if Bamberg County had an ISO rating of 4? It's in the hands of our county councilmen. When will we catch up?

L. R. Harriett, Lodge, SC

Remembering the Pruitt’s

Dear Editor,

I’m not sure how many folks living here remember Ruby and Elmer Pruitt who resided at 111 Brabham Street, the old two story home with the white picket fence that once belonged to our Dr. Robert Black. Their two children, Danny and Luana attended the Bamberg school system. Seeing her obituary in the T and D this morning brought back memories of the 50’s and 60’s., respectfully. Ruby operated a rooming home, and in 1958 my husband, Lanier and I purchased the old home from Ruby and Elmer. We operated a rooming and boarding home there for the next eight years. Thinking back, these were some of my roomers and boarders. Donnie Crider, James Cleckley, Victor Martin, Grady Dukes, Ramsey Clark, Mike Hogan family, Mr. Ketcherside, Lonnie Frye, Neil Brown, a Ms. Johnson, and also others who would come in at dinner time and eat at our long dinner table were, Ms. Lula Knoy and Kay, Mid’s mother, Ms. Poe, Graham Padgett, Horace Jones, Wimberly Bessinger, Alfonso Newsome, (my dad), Clint Morris, and still others, I delivered dinner to were, Ms. Bernie Lynch, Ms. Lewis, Ms. Pearl Lane, Mr. Black, (had the wholesale grocery), Mr. Tom Ducker, Mrs. Ella Dukes Black, (her old home is now the Historical Chapter), Mrs. Helen Ray, Ms. Wilkosky, Ms. Margaret Mathaney, Ms. Natalie Hooton and many, many others. They could count on it being there at 12:00 each day. Later, after selling to us Mr. and Mrs. Pruitt they moved to Orangeburg; Lanier and I visited with them occasionally but later lost track. Yes, reading the obituaries can really jog your memories! Our heart felt sympathy goes out to Danny, Luana, and the Pruitt family.

Colleen N. Jolly, Bamberg, SC

Increasing government transparency at the local level

Dear Editor,

A few months ago my office unveiled the state’s first spending transparency Web site for state government. Visitors to the Web site ( can find detailed spending information for more than 80 state agencies.

Think of this as a sort of online check register. Visitors can see, for example, that in December the Election Commission made seven purchases of office supplies that totaled $3,757, and in October the Department of Mental Health made 45 purchases of copying equipment supplies that totaled $30,183. The Web site, arranged by agency, shows the date and amount of each purchase, the vendor who was paid, and the source of money used for each purchase.

Initially, state agencies were reluctant to provide this information, arguing that gathering it would be too costly. So my staff and I compiled this information and posted it on the Web ourselves. We were surprised to discover that the process wasn’t difficult or expensive. We did this without hiring additional staff and at a relatively low cost.

We’ve also been pleasantly surprised at the level of public interest in our spending transparency Web site. Since its inception, the site has far exceeded 50,000 visits. (In the first month it was available, it had nearly 10,000 visits!)

This spending transparency site has put South Carolina at the forefront of a national transparency movement; several states have contacted us seeking advice, hoping to duplicate our efforts. (We’re one of just a few states to make state spending so easily available to the public.)

In recent months, we’ve expanded the scope of our transparency efforts. We're now working with local governments -- counties, municipalities and school districts -- to encourage them to voluntarily post their spending details on the Internet. We’re offering to assist any local governments that need help, answer questions they might have and, if necessary, host the information on our own site.

In addition, we’re explaining to local governments the benefits of making this information easily available to anyone via the Internet. Not only is it good government -- increased transparency would ultimately help rebuild trust in government and provide better information to the public -- but there are tangible benefits as well. Providing spending detail on the Internet is likely to greatly reduce the number of written requests for this information, which in turn will greatly reduce staff time and copying costs associated with responding to written requests for information by the public and the media.

Of course, any effort to bring additional sunlight to government is going to meet with some resistance, and our efforts are certainly no exception. Arguments I’ve heard against putting spending details on the Internet include complaints ranging from the cost of gathering the information to what some perceive as a lack of public interest or understanding. In meeting with local governments, I’ve been working to dispel these notions.

But there’s an even more basic reason local governments should disclose the details of their spending on the Internet: It’s not their money they’re spending. It’s your money. You have an absolute right to know how government is spending your money, and you should be provided easy, no-cost access to the details. Period.

Richard Eckstrom, Comptroller General

Sports - 01-28-2009 Print E-mail

Chavis learns skills for life in karate

Bamberg may just be home to the next Bruce Lee or Karate Kid. After only three months in the sport of karate, five year old Chandler Chavis of Bamberg is doing quite well.

On Saturday January 17, 2009 Chandler, who presently holds a white belt and will soon be a yellow belt, participated in his first tournament, the War Angel Challenge in Dillon S.C. in the five year old “Little Dragon” Division, and came away with a great big trophy for his efforts.

Chandler Chavis is the son of Lesley Chavis, and the grandson of Johnny and Evelyn Chavis all of Bamberg. Master Bowman is his karate instructor.

BEMS boys’ team splits two games

On January 8, the BEMS boys’ basketball team took a (11-0) first quarter lead and survived a furious fourth quarter rally to take a 46-44 win over Blackville-Hilda in Blackville.

On January 13, the B-Team Red Raiders fell behind 14-3 in the first quarter and was not able to recover in dropping a close 35-28 decision to the Allendale-Fairfax B-Team at home.

Red Raiders defeat archrival Vikings

Four Red Raider boys’ varsity players scored in double figures as the team captured a key 64-61 victory Wednesday night in Denmark.

BEMS wrestlers advance to state championship

By virtue of their performances in the 7th Annual Leopard Invitational on January 17th at Lugoff-Elgin High School, along with their prior finishes earlier in the season at the Wildcat Open Tournament, five BEMS wrestlers qualified to wrestle in the prestigious Carolina Invitational State Championships on January 31 at Lexington High School.

Lan Hiers, 1st place (110); Mark Moody, 2nd place and Todd Folk, 3rd place (115); Player Long, 1st place (120); and Casey Jones, 1st place (132); battled with 500 other wrestlers in a 10 hour event to qualify for the state finals.

Bamberg City basketball league

You would’ve thought that a state championship was on the line, listening to the cheers after each made basket Saturday morning, as the Bamberg City Youth Basketball League got its season off to a flying start.

“The old gym is rocking once again in Bamberg,” said league director Craig Walker now in his fourth year with the program.

“We’re just excited about the program, it’s been everything I could ask for,” Walker said. “We have lots of participation as well as volunteers, who have been phenomenal; many of the volunteers don’t have children in the program that says a lot about the people of the city, county, and basketball program.

“We’re teaching the kids fundamentals, character development, and leadership skills, not only for basketball but for life,” Walker said.

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