Pill bugs have an oval-shaped body and a hard shell cover that allows them to roll up into a tight ball. They’re slow moving and don’t bite. Pill bugs are also known as roly-polies and can be grey, brown, or an odd purple in colour.
They can produce 30 to 40 nymphs when they mate. The eggs are kept by the female in a pouch. Pill bugs can have two hatchings every year when the conditions are right. Their large number can become a huge problem within one growing season.
There are a lot of things that you can do to control the population of pill bugs. You should try eco- friendly methods before using chemical products. Here are some tips on how to control pill bugs.
- Improve the circulation of air around plants. Provide support like a trellis for heavy plants that may drop downwards. This prevents pill bugs from accessing the plants.
- Get rid of any debris from the landscape and garden. Plant and grass clippings, sticks, leaves, and pulled weeds are potential habitats for these pests.
- If there’s a pill bug infestation inside your home, you should first fill or repair any cracks in the walls or foundation wall that the bugs used to enter your property. Find the source of moisture that allowed the bugs to survive inside your home and work on minimizing moisture on the area.
- Consider using mulch that doesn’t hold water. Black mulches create an environment that’s too hot for pill bugs. Course mulch is also a good option because it doesn’t retain water.
Pill bugs cannot damage your property, but they are unwelcome guests. If their number gets out of control, they can cause significant damage to your garden. Reducing their habitat is the best way to deal with these bugs.
Causes of a Pill Bug Infestation
Pill bugs are usually found underneath compost, leaf piles, landscaping ties, mulch, and stones. They come out at night to feed on decaying organic matter and may unintentionally enter homes through crevices and cracks in the foundation, underneath exterior doors or crawl spaces.
Since they can’t retain water, they have to live in an area with a high humidity level. When they enter homes, they’re usually found in crawl spaces, laundry rooms, and basement windows.
Food and Habitat
Pill bugs have to stay in a place where there’s plenty of water because their body doesn’t retain water. They are usually found around composting sites, near storm drains and almost any site where water collects.
You may also find them on damp basements or anywhere in your home with damp grounds. It is likely for them to be found on ground levels where there is water. This is the main reason why observing water loss in common hiding spots is among the simplest yet most effective way to get rid of these crustaceans.
These bugs enter homes, but they may not stay for a long time. There’s usually not enough water available to pill bugs and they either die or leave the place to look for water.
Pill bugs are scavenger pests that are feeding on decaying organic matter. They play a role in the decomposing process, but a large number of these pests in an area can harm plant life. Roly-poly bugs eat young plants such as young roots and tender leaves.
The presence of these pests may not seem harmful, but it may bring recurring issues when you leave the infestation unattended. Though they may not generally affect the structure of your home or carry any diseases, it is still better that you get rid of the pests as soon as you can.
Should You Get Rid of Pill Bugs on Your Own?
Pill bugs invade areas that are hard to reach, which makes finding and eliminating them difficult to accomplish. You can get help from a pest control company that has the right experience and tools for the job. They can help you find and get rid of common household pests such as sowbugs and pillbugs.
Pest control products that are found at hardware stores are often ineffective against household pests and can be dangerous for your family as well as your pets. Take note of this especially if the chemicals are not stored or used properly.
The safest and best way to get rid of pill bugs and prevent a re-infestation is to hire a pill bug control professional.
How to Prevent Pill Bug Infestations in the Future
Aside from the pest control program that will be implemented by the pest control company, you should also try the following tips to prevent pill bugs problems in your home:
- Use air conditioners or dehumidifiers to reduce the level of humidity inside your home.
- Put door sweeps underneath exterior doors.
- Avoid placing thick soil covers such as monkey grass near or next to a foundation because pests such as mice and spiders can use it as their home.
- Remove items that are in contact with the ground or floor. Pile up the lumber, firewood and other similar items from the ground to prevent pill bugs from accessing them.
- Seal drip holes by installing screening or a piece of wire mesh in the openings. Treatments are usually not needed because these pests dry out fast and die.