What You Need to Know About Pill Bugs

Author: Kurt Treftz, Cascade Pest Control

Whether you grew up calling them potato bugs, roly-poly’s, or armadillo bugs, the pill bug is what you were referring to. These tiny critters are best known for their signature move of rolling up into a ball, but what else can you say you know about them? Do you need to be concerned if you see them around your home or business? Cascade Pest Control has the answers.

Fun Facts About Pill Bugs

One of the best ways to keep your home or business safe is to understand the different species living on or in your property. This helps inform whether the pests are harmless, or what type of removal method is best if they aren’t. Here are some informative and interesting facts to better get to know pill bugs:

  • Pill bugs are not native to the United States. They were originally introduced from Europe through the lumber trade.
  • Pill bugs have seven pairs of legs and two set of antennae.
  • Pill bugs get their nicknames from their ability to roll their body into a ball. This is mostly a defense mechanism, and can be triggered if they feel threatened. It is also the largest difference between the pill bug and a sow bug, for which it is commonly mistaken.
  • While creepy looking, pill bugs do not bite, sting or carry/ transmit diseases.
  • Pill bugs are not actually bugs! They are crustaceans who have adapted to living entirely on land, and they’re the only species of their kind to have done this.
  • White decaying matter is the pill bug’s primary food source. They will also eat living plants, particularly strawberries, decaying animal matter, and other dead bugs.
  • Pill bugs can live up to 2 years in the right conditions.
  • Pill bugs breathe through gills. This is due to their marine origins, and also why they require moist environments to survive.
  • Pill bugs don’t have a typical brain. Rather than a single complex brain, the neural ganglia in each of the 7 thorax sections exerts independent control over the different body parts.
  • Pill bugs are nocturnal.

What to Do About Roly Poly Bugs

Like we mentioned earlier, these crustaceans don’t bite, sting, or transmit diseases of any kind. They also don’t naturally exist indoors—roly poly bugs need a very moist, damp environment in order to survive, so if you see any inside your space, they will usually die naturally on their own within a couple days. In this respect, they pose a very low threat to your residence or business.

That being said, roly poly bugs are still not the most pleasant to look at, nor are they the most sanitary creatures. If you begin to find a problematic amount inside your home or business, this is most likely a sign that there is a large population outside of your home. People who live in more densely wooded areas with a lot of undergrowth might experience more roly poly bugs. Working with a pest control company is best in this case so their experts can identify the exterior colony and treat it properly.

Cascade Pest Control has been around for over 40 years now, and we have encountered nearly every pest and rodent related issue in the Seattle and Greater Puget Sound area. We are dedicated to providing comprehensive, effective, and reliable pest control, including assessing and doing inspections about non-threatening pest species. Our customers’ peace of mind and security is our top priority.

Call 888-989-8979 to get started with Cascade Pest Control toady!

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