The Q&A Archives: Pillbugs Eating Bean Seedlings

Question: My young bean plants are being devoured by pillbugs at the point where the stem and ground meet. My garden seems to be infested with pillbugs. How can I control them without using pesticides?

Answer: Pillbugs are fans of moist, cool locations, where they generally feed on decaying organic matter. As you've found, they do like tender seedlings as well. If you have mulch or leaf litter on your garden, pull it away from the area where the beans are planted. If that doesn't deter them, sprinkle diatomaceous earth (DE) around the plants. DE is fossilized remains of single-celled creatures called diatoms. Each fossil has sharp edges that irritate and deter soft-bodied insects.

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