Pillbug & Sowbug

Pillbug, also known as “roly-poly” (Image 1) and sowbug, also known as woodlice (Image 2) (which can NOT roll up) are not insects, they are terrestrial crustaceans called isopods.

These are nocturnal and live their entire life on land. During the day they hide in dark, humid placesunder rocks, logs, leaf litter and other such locations.

Both are decomposers and mainly feed on decaying plant leaves and other organic materials. They will take advantage of fruit or plants that have been previously damaged by something like hail, birds or something mechanical. Some have occasionally been found causing damage to tomato, lettuce, pea, beans and cucumber plants.

Pillbugs and sowbugs are beneficial in the garden or landscape, but when they enter the home or congregate near the home, they become a nuisance, living for 2 to 5 years.


As is often the case with nuisance pests, exclusion from the house is the first line of defense.

Clean up debris and limit areas where they can hide. When or if that fails to work, baits are often the most effective control. Natural Guard® Brand by ferti•lome® Bug, Slug & Snail Bait is the best and most recommended by universities for control. Simply apply the bait in the evening, lightly moisten the bait and it does the work for you. It emits an aroma that will draw the bugs out of hiding to feed on it, then they will return to their hiding spots and die, leaving no dead bodies.

Hi-Yield® Bug Blaster II Bifenthrin 2.4 or Hi-Yield® Bug Blaster II granules can be used in the yard and around the foundation to kill and create a barrier to keep pillbugs, sowbugs and other insects away from the home.

Hi-Yield® Indoor/Outdoor Broad Use Insecticide can be used in the yard and on the foundation, and be used indoors in sheds, garages and basements. See label for all of the indoor uses.

For a long-lasting dust with a little more “kick” use Hi-Yield® Multi Use Dust indoors or outdoors.

For indoors use only, ferti•lome® Indoor/Outdoor Multi-purpose Aerosol Spray and Natural Guard® Brand by ferti•lome® Diatomaceous Earth are both good choices,
with the
Natural Guard® Brand by ferti•lome® Diatomaceous Earth being the all-natural product option.


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