These occasional land dwelling crustacean invaders from the outside are arthropods and not insects. They are more closely related to shrimp and crayfish than to insects. The Pill Bug are sometimes called “roly-polies” and get this common name because they roll up into a tight ball when disturbed. Both are inactive during the day and remain hidden under objects to reduce moisture loss during the day. They can be found around buildings in such places as under trash, boards, rocks, flower pots, piles of grass clippings, flower-bed mulches, and other decaying vegetation.
They occasionally enter buildings via door thresholds, especially homes with sliding-glass doors on the ground level. Indoor invasion typically means that there is a large population immediately outside the building. Indoors both will not survive for more than a couple of days unless there are high moisture conditions and a food supply present.
Pill and Sow bugs are scavenger and feed on decaying organic matter, usually plant material but occasionally animal, very similar to millipedes. They cause not damage and are considered a nuisance pest indoors. Outdoors they occasionally injure young plants.
The key to controlling or eliminating Pill or Sow Bugs from your environment is to reduce or eliminate the moist areas which make their survival possible. Removal of piles of grass clippings and leaves, store boxes, lumber, firewood, and flower pots of the ground, and provide adequate ventilation in crawl spaces. An appropriate labeled residual pesticide can be applied to the foundation and walls of buildings, perimeter flower and plant beds, unfinished basements, and crawl spaces.
Collier Pest Control, Southwest Florida’s Pest Authority, can manage Pill and Sow Bugs and most of Florida’s problem pests. If you live in Naples, Fort Myers, or anywhere in Southwest Florida call 239-455-4300 for a free explanation on any of our services or look us up on our web site at collierpestcontrol.com. Remember Florida does not have to be shared with insects.