Pillbugs / Sowbugs

Pillbugs and sowbugs are dark grey in color and ¼ to 5/8 inch long. These humpbacked, oval crustaceans appear to be covered with segmented armour. Pillbugs can be distinguished from sowbugs because pillbugs are able to roll up into a ball when alarmed.

Order/Family

Crustacea/Isopoda

Scientific Name

Armadillidum vulgare Porcellio laevis Koch

Biology

Female pillbugs and sowbugs carry their eggs in a brood pouch where the young hatch in about 45 days. There are 24-28 eggs in each brood; and one to three broods are produced each year.

Behavior

Pillbugs and sowbugs are found in moist areas where they feed on organic matter. They are commonly found outdoors under stones and plant materials. They frequently invade basements and crawlspaces. They do not cause damage, but are considered a great nuisance.

Control

For effective control, it is beneficial to reduce moist environments by removing any piles of organic matter, wood, and any other materials that create harbourage areas.

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