Sowbugs

Actual Size: 5/8″

Characteristics: Technically classified as crustaceans. Pillbugs curl up, sowbugs do not.

Habits:

  • Confined to areas of high moisture due to their innate severe water loss.
  • Found in mulch, under rocks, etc.
  • Sowbugs do not survive long indoors.
Category:

Description

OVERVIEW

For the most part, sowbugs are almost identical in appearance and behavior to the pillbug. While the pillbug has a segmented body that enables it to roll into a ball, the sowbug does not. Instead, they have flatter bodies with two tail-like appendages extending from the rear end. Both bugs are similar in behavior and habitat, and are commonly found outside under stones, rocks, wood, etc.

Sowbug Behaviors

Because sowbugs have gills, they need a constant source of moisture in order to survive. Although they prefer to be outside, they will often make it into homes or buildings through cracks at ground level. Damp basements and crawl spaces often make for the perfect environment inside of homes for sowbugs. In general, sowbugs are nocturnal as well as avid scavengers—their preferred diet is decomposing organic matter, including leaves and other decaying plant matter.

Preventing & Controlling Sowbugs

If there are a large amount of sowbugs in your home, there is likely a larger infestation outside. As mentioned previously, sowbugs love moist environments and can often be found in areas of the yard with damp soil or mulch. When sowbugs are driven indoors, they can make their way inside a building through cracks in walls, doors, windows, and more.

Preventing these bugs from getting inside requires reducing sources of moisture around your home. Keeping vegetation trimmed, placing stacks of wood away from the house, and installing proper ventilation can all help protect your home from sowbugs.