How To Get Rid Of Pill Bugs In Potted Plants

black Pill Bug

Are you struggling to get rid of pill bugs in your potted plants? If so, you’re not alone. Pill bugs (similar to sow bugs) can be a nuisance, but you can get rid of them quickly with the right tips and tricks. Pillbugs are clever creatures that have found a way to live on land. They’re one of only a few crustaceans who’ve adapted fully as amphibians. They build organic shells out of their bodies to protect against predators like birds or bigger animals that eat pill bugs.

Contact Ortex Pest to inquire about products that can help deter pill bugs. These might include a solution to spray on the soil or granules to sprinkle on top of the soil.

What Do Pill Bugs Look Like?

Pill bugs are common arthropods found throughout the world in a variety of habitats.

Size And Structure

These small, shield-shaped critters are closely related to crustaceans like crabs and shrimps, and their appearance reflects this. Measuring between ¼-5/8 inch in length, pill bugs have seven pairs of legs and two pairs of antennae. Their body is typically gray or grayish brown, although some specimens can be slightly darker or lighter than this.

Rolling Behavior

One of the most distinctive features of pill bugs is their ability to roll into a ball when they feel threatened or experience physical stress. This behavior is thought to help protect them from potential predators by allowing them to quickly tuck themselves into a tight protective ball while they escape danger. When at rest, pill bugs tend to be oval-shaped, with their soft bodies closely tucked underneath their rigid exoskeleton plates. However, their bodies will become more rounded when under stress or disturbed.

Segmented Appearance

Pill bugs also have another unique characteristic that sets them apart from other arthropods: a segmented appearance caused by hardened plates called tergites that cover their back and round sides. This helps give the unique look of individual sections on the backs of pill bugs that can easily be mistaken for small separate creatures from afar! Overall, these fascinating little critters are an exciting addition to any ecosystem and make for an intriguing topic for anyone interested in biology and zoology.

How To Get Rid Of Pill Bugs In Potted Plants?

If you have pill bugs inside your potted plants, chances are you probably have a very inviting environment outside your house, and they were living closely outside your home and found a way in.

Leave The Bugs Alone And Wait

One option for removing pill bugs in potted plants is to let them be. Pill bugs typically enter potted plants in search of water or otherwise moist areas, so if you allow your plants to dry out a bit, you may find that the bugs leave on their own. This can be an effective strategy if there are only a few bugs in your plant, as it requires little effort.

Dry Them Out

This strategy involves removing the potted plant pests from your plant by hand, then drying it out before putting it back into place. The key is to ensure that every last drop of moisture has been removed from the soil, including any moisture on or near the pot’s surface. You can do this by exposing your plant to sunlight and air for some time, possibly supplemented with gentle heating.

Changing The Soil

Due to roly-poly bugs’ preferences for damp environments, pill bugs are unlikely to stay in dry potting soil for long. Therefore, replacing your soil with fresh potting mix or similar material can effectively starve any existing pill bug populations and prevent new ones from settling in.

Diatomaceous Earth

Using diatomaceous earth, or DE, around your plants can also be a natural and effective way to deter pill bugs. This substance comprises the fossilized remains of microscopic organisms and has sharp edges that can cut through soft-bodied insects used in repelling pill bugs.

Use The Potato Trapping Pill Bug Method 

To try this approach, you will need a small piece of raw potato and some shelter material such as old newspaper or cardboard scraps (this provides a cover for your trap). Next, thoroughly wet down both the potato slice and your shelter material. Next, insert these into your plant and several live pill bugs already there (or insert other bait after establishing a colony). This method will repel pill bugs.

Increase The Temperature Near Plants

Pill bugs prefer humid temperatures. Placing heat lamps or other heat-producing devices near your potted plants will increase the temperature. Or you can also move your plant to a sunny location where it will get more direct sunlight to eliminate pill bugs.

Plant Japanese Tree (Cryptomeria Japonica)

Planting Japanese tree ferns or other suitable deterrents around your potted plants can also help repel pill bugs naturally. These plants tend to be unfriendly or even toxic to these types of pests, making them an effective solution for dealing with pill bugs without resorting to harsh chemicals and pesticides. 

Get Rid Of All The Things Bugs Could Live In

Removing potential shelter from pill bugs is another crucial step in getting rid of these pests. This could involve clearing out accumulated plant debris or pruning any heavily overgrown branches to remove any nooks and crannies that could provide a hiding place for bugs. 

Use A Trellis Or A Fan 

Dampness will attract pill bugs, so keep the area dry. The fan will improve air circulation around them and limit their access to the surface of your pots. This could involve installing fans around the perimeter of your patio area, for example, or using mesh screens on top of your planters that allow airflow while discouraging bug infiltration.

Are Pill Bugs Harmful?

Usually, a question arises whether pill bugs bite or not. The answer is no. At first glance, pill bugs may seem like harmless little creatures. These tiny insects are usually found in dark and damp areas, such as mulch beds or under rocks and logs. The pill bugs eat decomposing organic matter. However, some argue that these critters can harm plants because they consume leaf debris and other organic matter. Others contend that pill bugs help break down rotting vegetation, fertilize the soil, and improve plant growth.

Ultimately, it is difficult to say whether or not these critters are beneficial or harmful to our world. Some scientists believe they perform an essential role by helping to control pest populations through predation. In contrast, others argue that their consumption of decaying matter weakens soil quality over time.

So, despite their unassuming appearance, pill bug problem deserve careful consideration when deciding whether or not to include them in your garden. Ultimately, only further research can reveal the true impact that these tiny critters have on our planet.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what pillbugs look like and what is there location. It’s time to get rid of these pests. You can follow some tips to do the job, but we recommend calling in a professional pest control company. Not only will they be able to quickly and easily get rid of all the bugs, but they will also help to prevent them in the future.We hope that now you feel armed with the knowledge necessary to deal with these pests. If you’re looking for a top-rated pest control company in your area, check out Ortex Pest today!

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