Pillbugs

Armadillidiidae
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What do pillbugs look like?

pillbug in a garden outside a new jersey home looking for a way inside

Pillbugs are closely related to crustaceans like shrimp, crabs, and lobsters. They are land living crustaceans that have seven pairs of legs, two antennae, and may grow to be around ½ of an inch in length. Pillbugs are brown or gray in color, have segmented bodies.  

When threatened or scared, pillbugs roll themselves into balls, this is where there nickname “rollie pollies” comes from.

Why do I have a pillbug problem?

Pillbugs are unique in that they cannot retain water inside their bodies and therefore need to live in areas of very high humidity to survive. During the day pillbugs live outside under piles of compost, leaves, mulch, and in the cracks besides foundations, driveways, and sidewalks. At night they come out of their hiding spot to feed on decaying organic matter that they find.

While foraging for food they enter into homes and other buildings through spaces found underneath of exterior doors and through cracks found in the foundation. Because of their moisture requirement pillbugs are most often found living inside in basements, crawlspaces, bathrooms and laundry rooms.

Are pillbugs dangerous?

Pillbugs are nothing more than a nuisance pest that has the ability to invade homes in large numbers. Pillbugs do not bite or sting people and are not known to pose any health threats to people or pets.

Can I control pillbugs?

While pillbugs are occasional invaders that are not dangerous, they show us that your home or business is susceptible to pest infestation.  After all, if they’ve made their way inside, what other bugs or rodents have?  If you find pest activity, we recommend contacting a pest control company to discuss ongoing services.  

At Arrow Pest Control, we offer highly effective home pest control plans that protect your home and family against invading pests. We also work with New Jersey businesses to develop customized pest management solutions for their facilities.  If you have discovered pillbugs in your structure, give us a call.  

How do I make my property less attractive to pillbugs?

To discourage pillbugs, you should:

  • Seal any opening that would permit their entry.  
  • Correct any moisture issues by running a dehumidifier in areas that have excessive moisture or repairing leaking pipes or appliances.
  • Inspect items before bringing them inside.
Deborah S.

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