Friend or foe?

Rollie pollie’s – are these good or bad?  Known more commonly as pill bugs, these little crustaceans are part of Nature’s recycling team. Looking somewhat like mini armadillos, they feed on decaying materials, but sometimes they become pests when they feed on young shoots and roots, or on fruits and vegetables that lie on damp ground.

They generally hide under boards, rocks, flowerpots, piles of grass clippings, flower-bed mulches, and other decaying vegetation, where there’s plenty of moisture. No need to do anything if you find them outdoors.  If they make it into your house, simply vacuum them up.  Find out more about these unusual critters.

If you have more than you’re comfortable with outdoors, here are some ways to manage them:

  • Limit Soil Moisture – Water early in the day so soil can dry by evening when pillbugs become active.
  • Protect Young Plants -Ward off problems by planting seeds deeply and not watering them until they have their first true leaves.
  • Trap and Kill – Put out rolled up newspapers in the garden in areas where you see them; they’ll hide there during the day, and you can easily shake them out into the soapy water.

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