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.
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:
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.
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.