Texas residents know what we are talking about if we start complaining about “roly polies” in the backyard garden. All you want is to have a nice yard and a few nice landscaping plants, but these little guys seem to keep rolling in to ruin them. While pillbugs may be a nuisance to your Plano yard and home, you don’t have to deal with the damage anymore. Your dream yard is closer than you think.
The Pillbug Problem
Roly polies, potato bugs, doodlebugs, or… slaters? The pillbug may be a pest with many names, but it’s a pest with one main interest: vegetation. These night-crawling plant eaters are classified as a crustacean because of their hard outer shells and reliance on moisture. While most crustaceans thrive in the ocean, pillbugs make do with the moisture in the soil. The soil they most prefer is mulch or flower beds as they prominently feed on the decaying plant matter in the soil.
The problem is when these pillbugs turn on your existing plants. Doodlebug might be an adorable nickname, but it is the opposite of adorable when you plant new landscaping only for it to get eaten. Some of the pillbug’s favorite meals include freshly planted hosta, pansies, blue lobelia, and daisies. When the conditions are right, including heavy rainfall and consecutive warm days, pillbugs will ascend above the soil line and attack living plants. When this happens, gardens can fail within weeks. Pillbugs can even consume young or transplanted vegetation in a single night.
Saving The Plants
While pillbugs are a nuisance in your garden, there are some prevention methods that can save your freshly planted flower beds. Pillbugs reproduce at an alarming rate, so preventing an infestation is essential to ensuring the money, time, and energy spent on your garden does not go to waste. With 30 to 80 offspring per breeding cycle and up to three cycles per year, a pillbug family can grow quickly and spread to all the vegetation in your yard.
To limit their reproduction and reduce damage to your yard, focus on destroying potential mating sites. Since pillbugs thrive in damp soil, it’s important to limit direct contact between the soil and the items in your garden (such as flowerpots, planters, dog houses, bricks, etc.) to allow for the soil to dry out under them. Also set an irrigation system up to allow for drying in between sessions. Remember, if the moisture remains in the soil, so will the potato bugs.
Protecting Your Time And Effort
While pillbugs don’t present a threat to your health, they may get into your house and cause some uneasiness. If you seal up entryways and put weather stripping on the bottom of your doors, you won’t get a lot of pillbugs in your home. Out of the soil, these pests can only survive for about two days. Most of the time, the pillbugs you find in your home will already be deceased, and you can just vacuum them up. However, seeing pillbugs in your home is a sure sign of an infestation in your yard, meaning your garden and landscaping are at risk.
If you notice any signs of pillbug infestation, the safest thing you can do is contact a pest control company. If you contact All-Safe Pest & Termite for more advice and assistance on how to protect your garden, you’ll be getting the best service and know-how in the business. More importantly, you’ll be ensuring your garden and landscaping (and all of the time you put into it) are protected from these destructive pests.