Pill bugs, a.k.a. sowbugs, are extremely common. They are Armadillidiidae, which is a family of woodlice. They are of the Class Crustacea and share the class with lobsters, crabs and shrimp. Pill bugs are the only crustaceans which have thrived on land. They inherited their name from their ability to roll into a ball to defend themselves.  

An Unusual Defense Strategy

Their ability to do so is known as conglobation. Vibrations and pressure often trigger conglobation, which is a defense not only to predation but also against respiratory and water loss.

Pest or Pet?

While many a child has been known to keep pill bugs (“roly polies” or “creepy crawlies”) as pets, their parents usually look at them as pests. Pill bugs are known to invade basements and gardens alike. However, insect and spider aficionados may employ pill bugs to clean the cages of those with whom they share a habitat.

Pill bugs are also capable of returning organic matter to the soil which can then be digested by fungi, protozoans and bacteria. By so doing, pill bugs make nitrates, phosphates and other nutrients available to vegetation. While pill bugs have been known to feed on roots on occasion, they do minimal damage and should not be considered a “garden pest.”

What proof. Professionals Do To Get Rid Of Pill Bugs

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