In every state of the United States, you will find pill bugs, or as they are also known, rolly-pollies. They are the only known crustacean adapted to living on dry land full-time. In nature, these little guys spend most of their days in piles of leaves, under rocks, logs, or any other dark place to avoid losing moisture from their bodies, coming out to scavenge for decaying plant material as the sun sets.
From time to time, when their population gets high in numbers outside of your house, a pill bug might wander into your home, attracted by the dripping plumbing pipe in the basement or unventilated crawl space. While generally not a threat but more of a nuisance, sharing your home with pill bugs (and if you're seeing one rolly-pollie, there is a good chance you'll be dealing with a whole brood shortly) is not the smartest of ideas.
Let's take a look at a few interesting facts about pill bugs, pill bug behavior, the issues they bring with them if they make it on your property, what you can do to keep them away, and what Houston pest control professionals advise as the most effective pill bug control treatment.
How To Identify A Pill Bug
Pill bugs in Houston are small land crustaceans, usually between 1/4 and 5/8 inches long, with slate grey bodies sporting seven pairs of legs and two pairs of antennae. Their bodies are covered by seven easily identifiable hard plates that serve to protect them if threatened.
Pill bugs can't bite but will roll into a ball if disturbed, presenting the plates covering their backs to the threat or a predator.
Pill bugs' lifecycle starts as one of the 28 eggs in a brood pouch carried by a female bug. After 45 days, young pill bugs will hatch and exit from the pouch, molting twice over the next days as they grow to full size.
Problems Pill Bugs Can Cause On Your Property
Pillbugs don't bite or transfer infectious diseases, but finding them scurrying out of a dark spot in your home can be pretty disturbing. Outside of your house walls, pill bugs are known to damage young plants, presenting a serious threat to newly transplanted seedlings and low-growing berries like strawberries and cranberries.
Tips To Deter Pill Bugs In Houston
The strategy to deter pill bugs from making your property their next home revolves around ensuring they don't have places to hide during the day. Pill bugs are nocturnal and avoid the harsh rays of the sun during the day to keep from dehydrating. To keep pill bugs out of your house, start with the following:
- Get rid of moist areas where they can hang out during the day, like rocks and logs lying in the shade on the moist ground.
- Pick up the grass clippings after mowing your lawn.
- Make sure your basements and crawl spaces are well-ventilated.
- Fix plumbing leaks promptly.
- Keep firewood stored away from the house's walls.
Pill bugs multiply fast, and if you see one sneak into your home, there is a good chance a sizable population of male and female pill bugs is right outside the door.
Professional Pill Bug Control Formulated For Houston Homes
While not generally a threat, getting rid of pill bugs camping out in your home can be complicated. We're talking about a crustacean who figured out how to literally survive outside of water. The pill bug's ability to adapt and overcome is second to none in the world around us.
At All-Safe Pest & Termite, we specialize in eco-friendly, non-toxic home pest control treatments to keep pill bugs and other unwelcome critters off your lawn and outside your walls. If you're scared to lift a plant pot for fear of hundreds of rolly-pollies scurrying all over the place-give us a call, and we'll make sure these escapees from the ocean depths find another place to hang out!