Pillbugs Aren't As Harmless As You May Think

Pillbugs may seem more like harmless creepy crawlies than threatening insects, but these seven-legged creatures can wreak havoc on yards if they are left alone to multiply and grow their populations. 

pillbug on a rock outside a new jersey home looking for food

Referred to as a roly-polies, potato bugs, or woodlice, pillbugs are the silent archenemies of root systems everywhere. These little insects crouch into tight balls when threatened, which is why they are often mistaken for pill millipedes, an unrelated insect with a similar build. A pillbug’s greatest identifier is its half-inch grey or brown body with small plated segments. Touching a pillbug will cause it to fall into a defensive curl, waiting until the threat has subsided. These small (almost cute) bugs may not seem menacing, but the damage they can cause to root systems can be catastrophic for homeowners. 

Rolly Polly Considerations 

Pillbugs enjoy a variety of staples in their diet, mainly: 

  • Heavy metal deposits 
  • Fecal matter 
  • Decaying or decomposed plant matter 
  • Tree and plant roots

Pillbugs love to munch on tender young plants, so don’t expect your backyard tomato garden to survive long if you have an infestation of pillbugs. 

The best way to avoid root damage caused by pillbugs is to prevent these insects from approaching your lawn in the first place. Here are a few ways to make your home and garden less attractive to these commonplace pests: 

  • Pillbugs can’t store water inside their bodies, so they need to remain close to areas offering high levels of moisture. Remove piles of compost, leaves, unused mulch, and any other materials or items that hold water from around your lawn.
  • Moisture issues within the home can also pose problems. Try running a dehumidifier in problem areas around the home. 
  • Leaking pipes or appliances that you can’t fix on your own should be looked at by a professional. 
  • Got fissures? Fill in the cracks around foundations, driveways, and sidewalks. These are perfect nesting locations for pillbugs.

Remember that no amount of preventative measures can remove an existing infestation of pillbugs once it has begun. The best way to ensure that pillbugs stay off your property is to contact a professional pest control company. 

Need Help? We Help. 

Even if you haven’t noticed a surge of pillbug activity on or near your property, if they are present, the potential root damage around your home can destroy the current property value and/or simply make a mess. If the pillbugs on your property get out of hand, the professionals at Arrow Pest Control have the tools, experience, and team members you need to end the infestation once and for all. 

Don’t sacrifice your peace of mind for pint-sized invaders. Reach out to the professionals at Arrow Pest Control today and schedule a free inspection for your home.

Renee R.


‟We’ve been using Arrow for the last 4 years. We have a monthly plan, so they come and service the interior and exterior regularly. We can also call them anytime for anything we see...wasp, wasp nests, rodents, ants, whatever...our coverage literally includes the mailbox at the curb all the way to the furthest point of our backyard fence and everything in between. All the technicians we’ve had, including Jason, were friendly and knowledgeable. But, Jason, goes above and beyond with his service and willingness to do more for his customers. Highly recommend Arrow Pest Control!”
Renee R.
Short Hills, NJ
Arrow Pest Control received an average rating of 5.0 out of 5 stars from 1380 reviews. 5.0 Read Google Reviews

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