Woodlice are known by many names, but here in the States they are most commonly known as sowbugs, pillbugs, or roly-polies. These names actually encompass a variety of species. They are small, usually no larger than half an inch in length and dark grey in color. They have hard, rounded exoskeletons that appear in segments. Kids can often be found playing with them, due to their tendency to curl up into an enclosed ball. This is also how they garnered the “roly-poly” nickname.
Like millipedes, these bugs feed on decaying organic matter. As a result, they are non-damaging to homes and gardens. During the day they can often be found hiding in covered, damp areas. Under stones, mulch, and flower pots are some of their top choices for spending the day. They are much more active at night, where they may wander around patios and other outdoor areas. Woodlice prefer damp outdoor areas, and really can only survive in those conditions; as a result, entry into homes is typically an accident. Once inside, they will not last more than a few days unless in a high-moisture area.
If outside your home we recommend leaving woodlice be, as they can actually be as beneficial to your lawns and gardens as earthworms. Additionally, they neither bite nor sting, and are considered harmless to humans. However, if they are gaining entry into your home, give Advanced Wildlife Control a call! Frequent entry by these creatures could be a sign of a breeding site close to the foundation of your home, or that there is moisture problem inside. Our technicians can help locate these areas, take care of the population, and suggest ways to keep these little bugs from moving back in.
Did You Know?
Woodlice are actually crustaceans, more closely related to shrimp and crabs than insects.