pill bugs - Knowledgebase Question

Harrisburg, Pe
Avatar for poorannette
Question by poorannette
June 30, 2010
I am at my wits ends with these pill bugs (rolly pollies or sow bugs) our ground is INFESTED with them and they're finding their way in our house. The pill bugs and ants are killing everything I plant. How can I get rid of them for good? Thank you, I need help.

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010
I'm sorry that they are annoying, but in a way it's a compliment to your soil, as they like rich organic debris. Pillbugs, or sowbugs, are one considered beneficial soil builders that consume decaying organic debris. Sometimes their populations, especially in cool, damp soils, gets overwhelming and they begin to attack living plant material. You can trap them by placing damp folded or rolled newspapers on the soil in the evening. The bugs will crawl between the folds to hide. In the morning pick up the newspapers and put them in the compost pile, where the bugs will help break down plant debris, or into the trash if you don't have a compost pile. After a few days of transporting the bugs out of your garden, you won't have such a problem with them. (If there are kids about, pay them a penny apiece for pillbugs that they trap!). You can also rake up your organic mulch into a pile, drying out their preferred environment, then replace it when they're gone. Mulch is so good for the garden that I wouldn't recommend removing it permanently because your plants and soil will suffer. Best wishes with your garden.

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