Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How to Get Rid of Pill Bugs



 

The other day I went outside to inspect my dianthus plants.  They weren't looking too good, and I suspected they might have a problem. 

My suspicions were correct.  They most definitely did have a problem - a little isopod known as a pill bug (aka sow bugs, wood lice, potato bugs).

Pill bugs are supposed to be very good for the environment, because they eat decaying vegetative waste.  But if there isn't enough of that stuff around for them, they go after living plants.  Not good!

I declared war on those little pests!  Here's what you do if you have a pill bug problem:  Get some Diatomaceous.  You can find it at Lowes or any other gardening center.  It's a powder.  Spread it around and wait for the critters to walk over it. They'll dehydrate a few days later. 

If you want a quicker result, you can use Sluggo - a slug bait.  That stuff really wipes them out.  The only trouble is, Sluggo is dangerous to honey bees.  I don't personally use it, because I have a lot of honeybees buzzing around my house. 

There you have it.  If you don't know if pill bugs are your problem, and your plant looks like it's dying, dig around the roots.  You may find pill bugs lurking there.  Oh, and one last thing.  Pill bugs like really moist soil.  If you're having a pill bug problem, overwatering may be the cause. 

16 comments:

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    1. I didn't know it either when I was a kid. I just thought they were fun to play with!

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  2. Excellent! Didn't know this.

    Pearl

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    1. If you have a problem with these little critters, now you'll know how to get rid of them!

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  3. i didn't know what caused this--thanks!

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    1. You're welcome. Hopefully you don't have problems with these little isopods.

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  4. Yuck! My husband fights any evil in our garden. He's currently battling aphids on our crape myrtles. I hope you win the war.

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    1. Yes...aphids. I despise those little things!

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  5. I'm glad you figured out what it was and managed to deal with it!

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    1. Good news - my dianthus are looking better now that I got rid of the pill bugs. It didn't take long!

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  6. I guess I have selected a mind blowing and interesting blog.
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  7. bugs are really difficult to avoid since they are small. one of the best things that you can do is to maintain cleanliness...

    SSScat

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  8. I guess keeping a few of them would be nice for more fertile soil, since they eat dead vegetation and tend to poke around the soil. But yeah, that is just too much pill bugs. Going to try Diatomaceous if I run into that problem, since I also have some bees in the garden. Why is Sluggo dangerous for them, btw?

    Maurine Roe

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  9. Everything in excess is bad for the ecosystem. Most bugs in the garden have their uses, but when left unchecked, they can consume more than their fair share of the food supply and spill over whatever you’re growing. So just let the little critters do their soilwork, but be wary when there seem to be too much of them crawling around.

    Jeffrey

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  10. We always called them "Rolly Polys". I had a crazy moment and used mini nuggets around all my flowers. The poly's love it! I'll get those little critters now! They mainly eat up my daisies and cone flowers. Thanks for the info!

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