Woodlice eating plants - Knowledgebase Question

Washington, Di
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Question by toni602
September 18, 2009
I have just planted out some violas as fall bedding and they are being decimated by woodlice (potato bugs, pill bugs). How do i protect them?

Answer from NGA
September 18, 2009
Pillbugs, or sowbugs, are one of those beneficial soil dwelling critters that consumes decaying organic debris. They help break down dead plant matter, so killing them isn't recommended. 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 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. Best wishes with your garden.

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