Pillbug Facts & Information

Everything you need to know about pillbugs

Pill bugs are between ¼-5/8 inches long and have seven pairs of legs and 2 pairs of antennae. Sometimes referred to as “rollie pollies” and spelled both ways (pill bugs and pillbugs), it’s the only crustacean that has become completely adapted to spending its life on land. This pest earned its nickname because the pill bug can roll up into a tight ball when disturbed. Pill bugs, or rollie pollies, are usually slate gray in color. Their bodies are oval shaped and become round when they roll up. They are easily recognized by their back, which is made up of seven hard individual plates. Very armadillo-esque!

Pill bug eggs hatch from a brood pouch on the underside of the female’s body. The eggs develop and hatch in about 45 days. After this period, the young pill bugs emerge from the pouch. On average, there are about 28 pill bugs in each brood. Young pill bugs molt twice within the first 2-3 weeks of their life. After that, they molt irregularly depending on the availability of food and other resources. The lifespan of a pill bug is about 2 years.

How Did I Get Pillbugs

Pill bugs typically enter buildings through door thresholds, especially homes or businesses with sliding-glass doors on the ground level. Seeing a pill bug in your home or office usually means that there’s a large population outdoors. Pill bugs are scavengers and feed on decaying plant material. So, if you have a lot of piles of grass clipping and the like, you could be creating a perfect place for pill bugs to hang out.

Where Do Pillbugs Live

Pill bugs live in moist locations. They are found under damp objects or under vegetable debris. Pillbugs remain inactive under objects during the day in order to minimize water loss. They often stay under trash, boards, rocks, flowerpots, piles of grass clippings, flowerbed mulches, and other decaying vegetation. They tend to reside in these areas of high moisture because their bodily structures leave them vulnerable to water loss. Rollie pollies are most active at night. They occasionally enter buildings and homes via door thresholds.

What Problems Do Pillbugs Cause

Pill bugs do not bite or spread disease. However, the pill bug is considered a nuisance pest indoors. Outdoors, they can cause damage to young plants. Mostly, you just don’t want them in your home or business and can give the perception that it’s less than clean. That’s a reputation killer whether it’s home for the holidays with family or guests coming into your business.

How Can I Prevent Pillbugs

Pill bugs do not survive more than a few days indoors without moist conditions and a food supply. The key to getting rid of pill bugs is to eliminate the moist sites that make their survival possible. Additionally, remove piles of grass clippings and leaves around the properly. Store firewood off the ground and away from the home. Properly ventilate basements, attics, and crawlspaces. If you need to get rid of pill bugs that have already entered a home or building, a vacuum cleaner can aid in their removal.

Why Waltham for Pillbug Control

We’re passionate about keeping pillbugs out of your home or business because we live and work here – it’s our neighborhood, too. With our 130 years of experience keeping homes and businesses in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island safe from pests, Waltham has the experience you can trust.
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