The pill bug is actually a crustacean. Unlike most other crustaceans, pill bugs can spend the entirety of their lives on land. However, they must live in wet or damp areas in order to survive. Without a water source, pill bugs will dry up and die. Common places for pill bugs to live include under flower pots, rocks, mulch, and among decaying vegetation. They can also be found hiding in damp grass near sidewalks and the foundation.
Pill bugs are extremely vulnerable to water loss. As a result, they tend to stay inactive during the day in order to maintain water supplies. Pill bugs are nocturnal and feed primarily on decomposing and dead vegetation. Their preferred food includes dying grass, rotting leaf litter, and mulch.
Female pill bugs have a pouch on their underside where their eggs hatch. Eggs tend to develop and hatch within 45 days. On average, around 28 pill bugs will emerge from a female pill bug’s pouch. Depending on food resources and water, a pill bug can live up to 2 years.
Pill bugs are slow movers, making them easy to catch. They are a popular food source for soil dwelling insects and arachnids. Pill bugs are known for their ability to roll into a ball. This is really their only defense mechanism. Rolling up into a ball allows the pill bug to use its armor to protect it soft underbelly.
It is quite common for children to discover pill bugs while playing in the yard. There is no need to worry about your child being in any danger if he or she plays with a pill bug because they do not bite and do not spread disease to humans. If you’re a gardener, pill bugs are a bigger threat to your young, growing plants. However, damage to plants is often minimal as pill bugs prefer to feed on decaying organic matter rather than living plants.
When it comes to getting rid of pill bugs, prevention is the best management strategy. As mentioned previously, pill bugs need water to survive. As a result, the key to getting rid of pill bugs is cutting off their water supply. In order to prevent pill bugs from entering your home, you should implement the following:
Divert water away from your home or business’s foundation.
Control humidity in crawl spaces and basements with proper ventilation or a dehumidifier.
Keep the landscape around the foundation dry by removing damp vegetation and mulch.
Seal any cracks beneath doors or within the foundation to eliminate common entry points.
Although pill bugs will likely die once they enter your home, they can be a nuisance. If you see living, dried up pill bugs in your home, you should call an Aptive professional to help with removal and control as this could be a sign of a larger outdoor infestation. An Aptive professional will be able to locate any well hidden infestation sources and help reduce the chances of inward migration.