Pill bugs, also known as Rolly Pollies or sow bugs, are a common garden pest found in many areas of the world. These small, crustacean-like insects are known for their ability to roll up into a tight ball when threatened.
While they may be a nuisance in gardens and lawns, it is important to understand what they eat and how to manage their population.
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What are Pill Bugs?
Pill bugs are small, grayish-black insects that are often found in gardens and lawns. They have an elongated, segmented body and are typically around 1/4 inch in length. They belong to the order Isopoda and the family Armadillidiidae.
They are known for their ability to roll up into a tight ball when threatened, which is where they get their common name of “Rolly Pollies.” They have seven pairs of legs and two pairs of antennae. They are not harmful to humans and do not spread disease.
Pill bugs are decomposers that feed on dead plant material and are most active at night.
Other Names for Pill Bugs
Pill bugs are known by a variety of names, including:
- Rolly Pollies
- sow bugs
These names reflect their physical characteristics and behavior.
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What Do Rolly Pollies Eat?
Pill bugs, or Rolly Pollies are decomposers, which means they primarily feed on dead plant material. They are particularly fond of decaying leaves, mulch, and other organic matter. They can also be found feeding on live plants, but this is less common.
- Decaying leaves
- Organic matter
- Rotting wood
- Leaves of live plants
- Flowers of live plants
- Roots of live plants.
When feeding on dead plant material, pill bugs will consume leaves, twigs, bark, and other organic matter. They are known to be opportunistic feeders and will consume whatever food source is available. This makes them useful in breaking down dead plant material and returning nutrients to the soil.
In addition to dead plant material, pill bugs can also consume other forms of organic matter such as rotting wood, compost, and even feces. They are known to be opportunistic feeders and will consume whatever food source is available.
However, pill bugs may also feed on live plants, but this is less common. They are known to eat the leaves, flowers, and even the roots of plants. This can cause damage to plants and cause them to wilt or die.
How to Get Rid of Pill Bugs
If you have a pill bug infestation in your garden or lawn, there are several ways to manage their population. One effective method is to remove their food source by regularly removing fallen leaves, mulch, and other organic matter. Another option is to use a pesticide specifically designed for pill bugs. However, it is important to follow the instructions on the label and be mindful of any potential environmental impacts.
Note that these methods may not completely eliminate the pill bug population, but they can help to keep their numbers under control. It’s also important to be patient and persistent in your efforts to get rid of pill bugs, as it may take some time before you see a significant reduction in their population.
5 Tips to Keep Pill Bugs Away from Your Lawn and Garden
- Keep your lawn and garden clean and free of debris.
- Use a deterents specifically designed for pill bugs.
- Create a barrier of diatomaceous earth around your plants.
- Provide proper drainage to prevent damp conditions that pill bugs thrive in.
- Introduce natural predators such as birds and centipedes to your garden.
5 Facts about Pill Bugs
- Pill bugs are crustaceans, not insects.
- They are able to roll up into a tight ball for protection.
- They are decomposers and feed on dead plant material.
- They are most active at night and prefer damp conditions.
- They are not harmful to humans and do not spread disease.
(Video) Dealing with Pill Bugs In the Garden
FAQs About Pill Bugs
Are pill bugs and rollie pollies the same?
Yes, “pill bug” and “roly-poly” are common names for the same animal, scientifically known as Armadillidium vulgare. They are also called “sow bugs” or “potato bugs”
How do I get rid of roly-poly pill bugs?
There are several methods to get rid of pill bugs. One way is to reduce moisture around the home to make the environment less attractive to them. Another way is to use a pesticide specifically labeled for use against pill bugs. Also, handpicking and disposing of them can be effective.
Are pill bugs harmful?
Pill bugs are not harmful to humans or pets, they do not bite, spread diseases or damage property. They are considered a nuisance pest because they may enter homes in search of moisture and food.
What is the lifespan of a pill bug rolly polly?
The lifespan of a pill bug can vary depending on the species and environmental conditions, but most pill bugs live for about 2 years. Adult pill bugs typically have a lifespan of several months, during which time they reproduce before dying.
In conclusion, pill bugs, also known as Rolly Pollies, are a common garden pest known for their ability to roll up into a tight ball when threatened. They are decomposers that feed on dead plant material and are most active at night. While they may be a nuisance in gardens and lawns, it is important to understand what they eat and how to manage their population. With the right management strategies, you can keep pill bugs away from your lawn and garden and keep your plants healthy and thriving.
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