Rolly-Pollies and Sow Bugs: Serious Summertime Pests
Though often seen as cute and harmless, pill bugs (aka rollie-pollies) and sow bugs can be quite the little pests if they decide to invade your home or yard in great number. A staff writer for Springerpest.com had this to say about these insects:
“These funny-looking bugs are closer in relation to shrimp and crayfish than their cousins in the Crustacea class of insects. Sow bugs typically have two appendages at the tip of their abdomen. Meanwhile, pill bugs lack appendages all together and are commonly called Rolly-Pollies.
These guys usually live outdoors, feeding on decaying organic matter, young plants and roots. Pill bugs and sow bugs hang out around flower bed mulches, grass clippings, leaf litter, rotting boards, trash, and rocks. Thankfully, they are not vectors and don’t carry disease, and unable to live for long indoors.
But pill bugs and sow bugs do crawl for cover. It’s in damp basements and crawl spaces where they launch their home invasions. Pill bugs and sow bugs are vampires (minus the fangs) who remain under objects on damp ground during the day and only become active after sunset when the temperature falls.
Thankfully, they are spring and summertime-only pests. Pill bugs and sow bugs are inactive during winter months. But if you spy one pill bug or sow bug, you’ve likely spotted an army. Heavy infestations of pill bugs and sow bugs usually indicate a large population residing right outside the building.
Adequate moisture is essential for pill bugs and sow bugs survival, which leads them to group in masses to reduce water loss.
How do you tell sow bugs and pill bugs to get lost for good?
Destroy Their Habitat. Preventing a sow bug or pill bug infestation starts outdoors by removing harbor aging locations that hold moisture, like wood debris, rocks, grass and leaf clippings, and debris around foundation walls, doors, basement windows and other points of entry. Store firewood off the ground. Water your lawn in the morning to ensure your grass is dry in the afternoon. Remember, flowerbeds are sow bugs’ and pill bugs’ favorite hotels, so don’t over mulch your bed.
Bug-wire Your House. Now go inside and ensure your basement and entry points are not prime real estate for sow bugs and pill bugs. Properly ventilate basements and subfloor crawl spaces to eliminate excessive moisture. Repair and seal cracks and openings in your foundation walls, around doors, and basement windows with caulking compound and weather stripping (all doors should be weather stripped). Drain and remove any standing water and moisture around potential points of entry.
Terminate The Colony. Apply professional residual insecticides around your home’s exterior foundational walls about three feet long for a perimeter treatment. D-Fense SC Cyper Wp is an extremely effective perimeter treatment. Then spray entry points, cracks and crevices and baseboards. D-Fense WC doesn’t leave visible residue on dark surfaces and is a good weapon for entry points like doors and windows. Aerosol sprays like Micro Care Pyrethrum are also proven pillbug and sowbug killers. Re-apply liquid residual and granule treatments like Bifen LP every three months to maintain a strong defense shield around your home. Granule treatments offer an advantage over liquid residuals because they hold up under rainfall.”
Like most insects, sow bugs and pill bugs can be stubborn home invaders. For troublesome lingering home invasions of these and other pests, consult us at Homestead Pest Management! Contact us today to learn more about all the services we offer or to schedule an assessment for your home or property.