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Roly Poly / Pillbug Control How to Get Rid of Potato Bugs

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Quick View Termidor SC
Termidor SC
5 out of 5 stars (851)
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Termidor SC is one of the most effective termiticides and ant control products available today.

Demon WP Insecticide
4.5 out of 5 stars (676)
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For crack and crevice and/or spot applications for residual and contact control of many insect pests.

Quick View Talstar P (Talstar One)
Talstar P (Talstar One)
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Excellent residual insecticide with a broad label: Long residual control over termites and 75 other pests.

Quick View Tempo SC Ultra
Tempo SC Ultra
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Ultra effectively controls a broad spectrum of indoor, outdoor, and turf and ornamental pests.

Talstar PL Granules
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Talstar Granules (PL) protect your lawn for 2-3 months against a broad range of pests. The EZ and PL are the same product. PL Granules are smaller.

Phantom II Aerosol Spray
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Phantom Aerosol Spray has changed to Phantom II. Phantom insecticide in a convenient and easy-to-use aerosol can. Effective on pyrethroid-resistant strains of bed bugs and cockroaches. Excellent for ants too.

Tempo 1% Dust
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1% Cyfluthrin in a dust form that is excellent against hornets, wasps, bees and many other insect pests

Talstar XTRA Granules - 25 lb. bag
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Talstar XTRA featuring Verge granular insecticide is labeled for use against most ants (including fire ants) as well as chinch bugs, fleas, ticks, mole crickets, crane flies and many other lawn pests.

Onslaught Insecticide
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Multi-use insecticide with excellent residual control of over 200 insect pests.

Bifen IT
4.5 out of 5 stars (458)
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The exact same label as the popular Talstar One but less expensive.

Demon Max
5 out of 5 stars (59)
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Residual pest control with dual action to control and repel over 30 types of pests including ants, cockroaches, fleas, ticks and termites.

Bifen XTS
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Bifen XTS

Orthene PCO Pellets
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Acephate 97.4% for excellent systemic insect control on turf, tree and ornamentals.

Quick View Tempo Ultra WSP Insecticide
Tempo Ultra WSP Insecticide
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Tempo Ultra WSP Insecticide is a wettable powder that targets infesting pests on indoor and outdoor landscapes

Tri-Die - 8 oz.
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Tri-Die Pyrethrin Dust Aerosol

Evergreen Pyrethrum Dust 1%
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Compare to Drione Dust! Evergreen is a botanical insecticide dust labeled for a broad range of insects including bed bugs.

Temprid Ready Spray
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The superior performance of Temprid combined with new Bayer Ready-to-Spray technology

Demand G Granules - 25 lb. bag
4.5 out of 5 stars (16)
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An excellent granular insecticide for lawns from the makers of Demand CS.

Orthene 97 Spray Insecticide
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Orthene 97 Spray is a broad spectrum insect control offering no dust, low odor and accurate measuring

Alpine PT Insecticide Aerosol
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This contains the active ingredient of Dinotefuran, the same as in Alpine Dust that controls many crawling and flying insects.

Cyper WSP
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A Crack and Crevice and/or Spot Treatment for Residual and Contact Control

Alpine Dust
5 out of 5 stars (7)
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This dust contains the active ingredient of Dinotefuran, a non-repellent insecticide, and Diatomaceous-earth that controls a broad-spectrum of crawling and flying insects.

Harmonix Insect Spray
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A biological insecticide that sets the new standard in residual performance.

Optigard Flex Liquid
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A non-repellent liquid insecticide that can be used to control pests both indoors and out.


Pill bugs, also known as roly poly bugs or Woodlouse (or Woodlice), are curious creatures that are recognized as common crop pests. Are Pillbugs poisonous? Yes they are, but pose no threat to humans, not even small children. These can invade gardens as well, and usually do not cause problems unless found in large numbers. Therefore, it is important to know how to get rid of roly poly bugs and keep them at low numbers so they do not cause damage to your plants.


How to Get Rid of Pill Bugs

Pill bugs will enter homes when there is damp, dark areas and decaying plant matter near the home’s foundation. They do not cause damage indoors and can be simply vacuumed or swept up. To reduce the chances of this happening and to keep populations at a low level there are three levels of control measures to take:

  • Habitat modification: Make sure you weed often and clear excess leaves and dead plants. Piles of leaves in your yard are perfect habitats for these pests so make sure you get rid of these leaves as soon as you can. Keep a one or two foot space clear around the foundation of your home. Eliminate dense vegetation and any debris. Mulch near the home can harbor moisture and create a habitat for many pests, including pill bugs.
  • Moisture control: Do not overwater your garden. Water during the day so water sitting in the soil has time to dry. 
  • Exclusion: sealing all cracks and gaps near your foundation will not only help to keep pill bugs out, but will prevent all insects from invading your home. Use caulk, foam, or fine mesh, and make sure you focus on all chord and pipe access points. 

Pill Bug Identification

Pill bugs are actually soft-shelled crustaceans called isopods, more closely related to shrimp and lobsters than insects. Since they are crustaceans, they need to be in moist, dark environments. They are about 3/8th of an inch long, wingless and have seven pairs of legs. They roll into a ball when threatened or scared, which is where they get their nickname.  Pill bugs are usually found in the cracks in the dirt and under plant residue. They are active in the late spring, and usually at night. They are often lumped together with sow bugs or potato bugs, and while they are very similar, they are not exactly the same. 

Pill Bug Food Sources

You will often find these tiny crustaceans in areas with large amounts of decaying plant matter. They feed on any decaying organic matter, which is why large populations can often be found in compost piles and piles of leaf litter. Since they would rather feed on decaying matter, they will usually ignore healthy plants. However, when populations get high, they will feed on new growth and young plants. 


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