Pill bugs prefer damp and dark environments for hiding places, so clearing away extra mulch, wet leaves, dead plant matter and rock debris from your garden may help make it less appealing to rollie pollies. Also take care not to overwater as moisture attracts these pesky creatures!
Setting out shallow dishes of beer throughout your garden at night to attract pill bugs and drown them can also work to catch slugs and earwigs.
Use Diatomaceous Earth
Pill bugs (Armadillidium vulgare), also known as roly poly bugs, are oval-shaped hard-shell crustaceans that feed on organic material and help enrich soil. Unfortunately, they also tend to invade gardens and greenhouses when conditions are humid and dark where they like hiding out to feed on organic matter – leaving seedlings vulnerable, crops damaged and the environment at risk if left unchecked if left without effective control measures in place. Luckily there are ways you can manage them so your garden returns to normal – both ways can work to their benefit and get back in control of them both!
As pill bugs prefer living and breeding under mulch, removing it may force them into traps or vulnerable areas where they’re more easily captured. You should also eliminate other places where they could hide, such as fallen leaves or twigs; remember they’re attracted by moisture so reducing how often you water can also help!
Diatomaceous earth (DE) can also help eliminate pill bugs by desiccating them by cutting through their exoskeletons. DE is safe and natural; however, it will kill other insects such as ants as well. To apply DE, scatter it around where pill bugs are active while wearing protective gloves to protect your hands – don’t forget to reapply it if rain washes away any of the DE.
Other natural methods for eliminating pill bugs from the garden include coffee grounds or rubbing alcohol – these techniques work by absorbing oil from their exoskeletons – but for maximum effectiveness use the Steinernema carpocapsae nematode which specifically targets and kills them by entering through their skin pores.
Nematodes can be an extremely effective and safe method of attacking pill bugs; simply dig a hole where they reside and insert a nematode. Watch as it kills them without using chemicals – though be mindful that this takes longer. Nematodes work best in early spring when their effectiveness against pill bugs peaks; however, later use may still be needed if the issue remains.
Pill bugs are predators that feed on dead plants, animals and fruits/veggies in gardens. Preferring moist and shaded environments during the daytime and being most active at night – often found under leaf litter, boards, compost bins, mulch bags or stones they can even invade flower pots in search of sustenance to feed on. Affected plants become stunted and dry. To keep these insects at bay in your garden regularly clean away rotting vegetable debris as well as other forms of organic material to deter them.
A garden with plenty of light, air circulation and moisture encourages strong root systems that can better withstand pill bug attacks. Removing any overgrown plants that might provide hiding places will further deter these bugs from attacking.
Although these measures are effective, preventing pill bugs from entering your garden in the first place is much simpler. This starts by regularly cleaning up soil, clearing away leaf or compost debris that might attract them and improving drainage to reduce excess moisture levels.
Keep a one- to two-foot buffer between your home’s foundation and any landscape plantings, and store firewood, garden tools and other items off of the ground to decrease damp environments where pill bugs thrive. Installing a dehumidifier in the basement may also help deter this pest.
When encountering pill bugs in your garden, do not kill them as they can be beneficial in turning plant debris into compost. Instead, capture them using an easily closed trap such as an empty tuna can.
To create a pill bug trap, dig holes near affected plants large enough to accommodate an empty can or plastic receptacle that has been rinsed clean and filled with beer (any type will do), then burying it so its lip meets up with soil’s surface level. Bugs will be drawn in by yeast-laden beer and crawl inside where they will drown in it – saving money and using up less resources in doing so! The can can then be reused again later as needed.
If you prefer more natural solutions, other ways to get rid of pill bugs include coffee grounds and natural repellents like cedar oil or citronella candles. Keep in mind that they’re drawn to gardens for their food, water and shelter sources; therefore it is important to remove those sources and make it less attractive for these bugs to visit your garden.
Pill bugs are an extremely common pest in home gardens, often attracted by many of the same things that make a garden attractive – dead leaves, mulch and organic matter as well as rocks and decayed wood can all attract pill bugs to settle there and feed off of your plants or even kill them – once they settle in they will begin munching away at your plants and may even kill them outright! There are various natural ways of eliminating pill bugs such as decreasing favorable environmental conditions by creating physical barriers or using natural repellent chemicals; or just simply repelling them using natural chemicals!
Pill bug traps are simple and quick solutions for quickly eliminating pill bug infestations. All it takes to create one is a shallow dish filled with beer and some type of bait – such as mashed potato, sugar or cornmeal mixed together for example – placed near plants affected by pill bugs and left for several days; check and change the bait frequently to maintain effectiveness.
The key to successfully combatting pill bug issues in your garden is eliminating what attracts them – this includes regularly clearing away leaf debris and mulch build-up, not overwatering plants and making sure there are enough opportunities for sunlight to reach their roots.
Beneficial nematodes are another effective means of combatting pill bugs, targeting and killing specific pests without impacting beneficial insects or soil quality. Available at most garden centers and purchased alongside other products at once – making this an accessible solution for home gardeners.
Introduce predators into your garden to help reduce pill bug numbers, and maintain an environment without weeds that keeps air flowing freely through. Aerate soil to improve plant health while decreasing pill bug numbers; elevate pots off the ground with plant stands; encourage viney plants to climb trellises for increased air circulation; remove any potential entry points like wood piles and rock outcroppings as these will all help.
Pill bugs can be beneficial, but their overpopulation can become a problem. They thrive in damp, dark places such as mulched garden beds and compost piles where they feed on decomposing organisms, as well as destroy roots of young plants that need the nutrients for survival. If you notice an abundance of pill bugs in your garden, there are ways you can reduce their numbers to restore balance.
As a first step, try making their environment less inviting by clearing away excess mulch, wet leaves, dead plant material and fallen fruit from their habitat. Additionally, prevent overwatering of your plants as moisture attracts pill bugs.
Diatomaceous earth (DE), an all-natural insecticide made of fossilized algae, can also help lessen the environment by killing pill bugs. When applying it in areas where they’re most prevalent, make sure you wear protective gear such as gloves and masks as it could irritate lungs if inhaled directly.
Other organic sprays may also help eliminate pill bugs in your garden, with garlic spray being an especially effective deterrent against these pesky bugs. Simply combine one tablespoon of crushed garlic with one gallon of water in a spray bottle and shake until your solution has set, before spraying onto any soil or plant leaves that you have seen pill bugs present.
Nematodes can also be an effective method of pill bug elimination from gardens, as these microorganisms target specific pests without harming other insects or soil quality. One such nematode, Steinernema carpocapsae nematodes are very effective against pill bugs; you can purchase them at most garden centers and apply to soil with a garden hose – make sure you read and follow any applicable application instructions on product label for best results!