Pillbugs and Sowbugs
Most Common Types
Pillbugs and sowbugs, commonly known as roly polies and potato bugs, are known for their ability to roll into a ball. The most common species is the common pill bug (Armadillidium vulgare).
What They Look Like
Pillbugs are fairly small, with the largest species only about 3/4 of an inch long. They are normally oval shaped and vary from dark brown to black in color. Pillbugs have seven pairs of legs and antennas.
Where They Live
Pillbugs can be found all over the United States, but are more common in areas with high moisture.
Where They Nest
Pillbugs live in wet locations with limited light. It is common to find them under flowerpots and trashcans. If pillbugs enter a building, they will often dry out and die.
Steps to Prevent
In order to prevent pillbugs, keep your home and the areas around it clean and dry. Be sure to try to repair any cracks located in the foundation of your home as pillbugs live and travel underground. Flowerbeds should be no deeper than two inches, and flowerpots should be on racks off the ground.
Are They Harmful?
No, most pillbugs are seen as unwanted, harmless home pests.