The moist, warm environment of the Sunshine Coast is the ideal area to find sow bugs and pill bugs. These creatures are actually land crustaceans and are closely related to animals like shrimp and crayfish. They are not dangerous and work as decomposers. Sometimes, however, they can become a nuisance and cause damage to vegetation, including potted plants. In most situations, no treatment is necessary.

Identification

Sow bugs (AKA wood lice) have flat, oval shaped bodies with plates on their backs that are overlapping and articulating (jointed to allow motion). They have 7 pairs of legs and antennae that are about half the length of their body. Sow bugs grow to approximately 15 mm long and 8 mm wide and are generally gray in color. They also have two tail-like appendages that can be found at the tip of the abdomen.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/8095290752

Pill bugs (AKA slaters, wood lice, or rollie pollies) are very similar to sow bugs in appearance, but tend to be more round from side to side and range from dark brown to black in color. When pill bugs are frightened, they will roll up into a tight ball to protect their delicate inner organs. Sow bugs can not do this.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pill-bug_doodle-bug_potato-bug.jpg

Behavior

Both sow bugs and pill bugs rely on a moist environment to survive. They are often found in flower beds, under leaf litter, in damp basements or crawl spaces, and under objects on the ground like rocks, flower pots, and firewood. Pill bugs and sow bugs feed on decaying and rotting organic matter. Unfortunately, they may also eat the roots of young garden plants, as well as potted plants. 

s, flower pots, and firewood. Pill bugs and sow bugs feed on decaying and rotting organic matter. Unfortunately, they may also eat the roots of young garden plants, as well as potted plants. 

Control Methods

While control of pill bugs and sow bugs is not often needed, doing these things can help to keep them away from your plants and out of your home.

  • Remove harborages including: rocks, leaf litter, wood, pet droppings, and lawn clippings.
  • Store firewood away from your home and off the ground.
  • Try to reduce moisture by: watering lawns in the morning, clearing out gutters and downspouts, using fans and vents in your home, and not overwatering.
  • Seal the exterior of your home to prevent entry. Do this by filling any cracks and gaps with caulk or expandable spray foam and adding weatherstripping to doors and windows.
  • For large infestations, you can hire a pest control professional to help resolve the situation. They can help identify problems and apply a residual pesticide around entry points, baseboards, foundation walls, etc. 

Pest Control on the Sunshine Coast

If you are struggling with pests on the Sunshine Coast, contact the experts at Radar Pest Control. We serve the great people of Buderim, Nambour, Bli Bli, and the surrounding areas. We do it all — pest control, lawn care, and termites! Radar is your best bet for Sunshine Coast pest control.