When you turn a log or rock over and see oval-shaped, armored bugs crawling around, you may think you've found some insects. But pillbugs and sowbugs aren't insects. Insects have three pairs of legs. Pillbugs and sowbugs have seven. So, if they're not insects, what are they? These two critters are crustaceans. If you're not familiar with the term, it is what we classify shrimp, crayfish, and lobsters as. But pillbugs and sowbugs are terrestrial crustaceans. They can't survive underwater, even though they have gills. Yes. Gills! It may seem weird, but pillbugs and sowbugs don't breathe through spiracles as insects do. They breathe through gills that are modified to breathe air (instead of removing oxygen from water). There is one big drawback to having gills instead of spiracles. Gills must be wet to function properly. This is why you won't find pillbugs and sowbugs far from damp habitats, and why they're attracted to locations around your home that are damp. Here are a few more interesting facts you might want to know about pillbugs and sowbugs in Frisco.
How are pillbugs and sowbugs different?
Pillbugs are often called roly-polies because they curl up into a ball to protect themselves.
Sowbugs don't curl up in self-defense.
Sowbugs have two rear appendages. Pillbugs do not.
These two differences can help you tell these crustaceans apart, but it isn't really necessary. These two critters behave the same way when they come into Frisco yards.
Are pillbugs or sowbugs dangerous?
Many bugs present a threat to you and your family. We're happy to say that these two do not. They don't bite or sting and they aren't known to spread harmful organisms or diseases.
Do pillbugs or sowbugs damage plants?
Generally, pillbugs and sowbugs are considered beneficial when they get into landscaping and gardens. It is only when populations become large that they can present an issue. They can damage the roots of your plants while feeding. They can also get into your home.
Why do pillbugs and sowbugs get inside?
Your home is not the right environment for these critters. If they're getting in, you likely have a moisture issue that should be addressed. Pillbugs and sowbugs will explore damp, rotting wood. If you have damp, rotting wood in your home, it should be replaced and you should deal with the source of your moisture problem. Here are a few possible reasons for damp, rotting wood:
Clogged gutters or a broken gutter system.
Leaking pipes or damaged spigots.
Damaged garbage disposal.
Overwatering of landscaping.
Poor gradation near your foundation walls
If you have puddles, damp ground, mossy patches, or some other evidence of a moisture issue, alter the conditions to protect your property from damage. Pillbugs and sowbugs aren't a threat to you or your property, but other pests that are attracted to moist conditions such as carpenter ants, termites, rodents, and other wood-destroying pests can be.
Are there any other conditions that can lead to a pillbug or sow bug infestation?
These critters will be found underneath leaf piles, leaf litter, sticks, logs, and other organic debris. If you have lots of organic debris near your home, or underneath exterior structures, it can lead to an infestation inside your home—even if you don't have rotting wood. Pillbugs and sowbugs can slip underneath your exterior doors, get in through cracks in your foundation, pass through gaps around pipes, and find other ways into your home. Blow leaves out of your landscaping and out from underneath decks, stairs, porches, and other structures.
Interior Pillbug And Sowbug Prevention
Most of the time, it doesn't take much to arrest an infestation of pillbugs or sow bugs. If you remove moist conditions within your home and seal entry points around your home, you can stop these bugs from getting in. If conditions make this difficult, you might need a little help.
Remember the team at All-Safe Pest & Termite is ready to assist you with all your pest control needs. We service Frisco, Texas, and the surrounding area. Reach out to us today for help.