Pillbugs and Sowbugs
Pillbugs and sowbugs are crustacean pests that are more closely related to shrimp and crayfish than to insects. They are dark slate grey and measure approximately 2 cm in length. Pillbugs and sowbugs are very similar in appearance.
Sowbugs and pillbugs are scavengers and feed mainly on decaying organic matter. Sowbugs and pillbugs thrive only in areas of high moisture and tend to remain hidden under objects during the day. Around buildings they are common under mulch, compost, boards, stones, flower pots, and other items resting on damp ground. They leave their natural habitats at night, and crawl about over sidewalks, patios, and foundations. They often invade crawl spaces, damp basements and first floors of houses at ground level.
Pillbug/Sowbug Life Cycle
Female gives birth to numerous, live young that she carries in a pouch on the underside of the body. The brood is carries for an average of 44 days. Usually 2 new generations are produced per year depending on environmental conditions with an average of 28 young in brood. New generation are white in colour. 1st moult within 24 hours (7th pair of legs appear after 1st moult). 2nd moult during 2nd week. 3rd moult during 3rd week. 4th instar moults every 2 weeks until the animal is 20 weeks old. After 20 weeks, periods between moults are irregular.
Humidity in crawl spaces and basements should be reduced by providing adequate ventilation, sump pumps, and the use of dehumidifiers. Clear leaves, grass clippings, heavy accumulations of mulch, boards, stones, boxes, and similar items laying on the ground beside the foundation. Don’t allow water to accumulate near the foundation or in the crawl space. Seal cracks and openings in the outside foundation wall, and around the bottoms of doors and basement windows. Install tight-fitting door sweeps or thresholds at the base of all exterior entry doors.
Pillbug/Sowbug Service Prep Guide
There are many things that should be done to prepare for a pest treatment. For the full list of ways to make your pest treatment successful, view our Pillbug/Sowbug Preparation Guide.
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