Pill Bugs

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Pill Bug Facts

  • Less than an inch in length.
  • Pill bugs roll into a ball as protection against predators.
  • Also commonly known as the "roly-poly" bug.

Pill Bug Infestation

In their immediate vicinity, pill bugs are beneficial as they provide minimal soil improvement. Pill bugs form an important component of the larger decomposer fauna, along with earthworms, snails, and millipedes. All of these animals return organic matter to the soil where it is further digested by fungi, protozoans, and bacteria, hence making vital nutrients available to plants. Although they may occasionally feed on roots, pill bugs do minimal damage to live vegetation and should not be regarded as pests. They are also a food source for other animals. A pill bug begins its life as a tiny egg. The young pill bug looks almost like a miniature adult. As it grows, it molts (sheds its old, outgrown exoskeleton) 4 to 5 times.

This species lives where it is wet or moist and usually in a shaded area. They are found under damp objects or in organic garbage such as vegetable debris. Look under logs, moist leaf litter, outdoor pet dishes, and under paving bricks or stones. If pill bugs enter a building, they will often dry out and die. Most pill bugs live for up to two years.

Pill bugs are scavengers and typically feed on decaying organic matter such as plants and animals. They occasionally feed on young living plants but the damage inflicted is seldom significant. They are most active at night.

Additional Information


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