Pest Identification: Potato Bug
Most Common Types
The potato bug (Armadillidium vulgare) is a species of woodlice, commonly known as the pill-bug, the pill woodlouse, and the rolly polly.
What They Look Like
As the genus name Armadillidium indicates, potato bugs have an armadillo-like appearance. They are brown, half of an inch in length and—like armadillos—roll into a ball when disturbed.
Where They Live
With origins in the Mediterranean region, potato bugs are now found throughout North America and worldwide and are one of the most abundant crustacean species found on land.
Where They Nest
Potato bugs live in the soil where they feed on lichens, algae, and decaying plant matter including tree bark. They prefer warm temperatures and enter a state of dormancy when cold.
Steps to Prevent
Potato bugs are drawn to dark, moist habitats with organic matter and rarely require preventative steps.
Are They Harmful?
Potato bugs are harmless and because of their rolly polly act, are sometimes kept as pets.