Are you having problems with pill bugs in your home or garden? You’re not alone. Many people have these bugs in their gardens or lawns, and they can be highly problematic.
These garden isopods — also known as doodlebugs, roly-polies, or potato bugs — usually don’t cause too many problems. But they can become a nuisance if they come in large numbers.
While pill bugs play a significant role in breaking up organic matter, they can cause massive damage to your plants when they become too many. They commonly attack new germinating seedlings and damage the leaves, especially during rainy seasons.
Pill bugs have a high preference for damp, food-abundant, and dark places, such as vegetable debris, piles of compost and mulch. They also infest around food sources, such as gardens and lawns, where they feed on decaying plant matter and animal feces.
There are many ways you can protect your garden from pill bugs and keep your home and plants safe. Here are some of the common ways to control and prevent these garden isopods.
Natural methods for pill bug control
If pill bugs have started infesting your home and garden, there are several natural methods for pest control in Orange County to keep them out of your home and garden.
Pillbugs thrive in moisture-filled environments. Reducing moisture content in damp areas such as around leaky pipes, cracked areas, and basements can affect their breeding cycle and prevent them from reproducing. Isopods can’t survive without moisture, so this is a good way to keep them at bay and prevent them from spreading into your home. Additionally, you can also ensure your garden is graded away from your home so that water doesn’t accumulate in the foundation.
Use diatomaceous earth to remove moisture from the environment. Diatomaceous earth is a fine food-grade powder made up of crushed shells that act as a drying agent. For best results, sprinkle diatomaceous earth throughout the base of plants affected by pill bugs to form a line between your plants and the insects.
Use neem oil
Another way to prevent pill bugs while keeping the environment safe is by using neem oil. This is an organic insecticide spray that repels garden isopods with a strong smell. Smearing plants with neem oil gives them an unpleasant smell or taste that upsets the bugs’ systems.
You can also get rid of pill bugs by cleaning up your garden. Rake up debris and remove bricks, dead plants, wooden planks, and any unwanted matter that might facilitate the growth of doodlebugs. Also, ensure that all openings around the foundation of your home are correctly sealed.
Environmental methods to control pill bugs
Controlling pill bugs using environmental methods helps you redirect your plants and lets pill bugs exist beneficially in your garden and home.
Placing toilet paper tubes around the plants
Pill bugs have a high preference for tender, growing plants. Surrounding the germinating seedlings with paper tubes helps prevent the bugs from eating the leaves, which are in contact with the ground.
Plant the seedlings on raised beds
If you plant your seedlings too close to the soil, the fruits or leaves will come into contact with the ground, making them susceptible to pill bugs. That’s why it’s essential to raise your planting beds so the leaves or fruits can hang to avoid reaching the ground.
Get rid of pill bugs using decomposing matter
You can decompose corn cobs or leaves and let the waste sit for some days. Then move them to a new location. As the waste decays, it will attract hundreds of pill bugs that you can then dispose of is a safe place.
Use protective methods
Some protective methods might seem too conventional, but they can significantly reduce the impact of pill bugs on your garden and home. You can use an old tee or hammock to cover the hanging leaves or fruits and prevent them from touching the soil.
Alternatively, you can use chemicals for both indoor and exterior areas to protect your home against pill bugs. This becomes particularly important if the pests have already infested your home. In this case, you can sweep and vacuum as well as control the moisture content in damp areas.
You can also use chemical control on exterior locations. Apply appropriate insecticides around the crawl area entrance, utility openings, and exterior doors, plus underneath the siding and foundation vents. It can also help if you use the chemical along the bottom of the foundation of mulch beds, a few feet up to the foundation wall, and unfinished places. Doing so can keep pill bugs away from your home.
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