Rollie-pollies/pill bugs

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Tara, May 30, 2009.

  1. Tara

    Tara Junior Member

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    There must be some solution to these little @#$%. We've had them for a year in every area of our yard and they are getting worse. I realize they are good for the soil but they are eating our plants too. If we don't catch the beans as they come up, they will eat it down to nothing. They've munched thru strawberries and entire calendula plants. They are eating the stems of cukes as well. Basically anything we hope to eat, they are getting first - and in many cases, only - dibs.

    My husband is so irritated it's taken all my convincing not to get him to use DE on the entire area. Our city laws don't allow chickens. We've laid down compost in hopes of detering them rom the plants. Instead we just enabled their addiction and help them multiply - they flocked to the compost, then went right back to our plants.

    There MUST be a more holistic way of taking care of them without resorting to organic pesticides that could hurt our ladybugs and praying mantis.
     
  2. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Rollie-pollies/pill bugs

    g'day tara,

    yep we have them to and in all gardens we ever had they have never done any damage to date mainly i think because we keep the organic material up in the garden lots of compost and mulch happening if they have lots to eat the seem to leave plants alone. chooks would only help when the garden is fallow you coudn't have them in among the vege's they'd do their own damage.

    saw a segment (can't remember much of it) on a garden tv show about them i think the consensus was there is no erradication technique just need to learn to live with them.

    funny your local rule on chooks hey? yet i bet people can keep pet rabbits and large cockatoo's etc.,. yet you can't have a chook or 2??? dumb laws hey. our yard is 50sq/mt's short of the 800sq/mt's needed before we could by law keep 2 chooks if we wanted to. but then that wouldn't stop me i'd do it anyway.

    yep get in lots of hay type mulches that will keep the bugs happy.

    len
     
  3. milifestyle

    milifestyle New Member

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    Re: Rollie-pollies/pill bugs

    They breath through gills i think... so they need to live in damp locations.

    I agree with Len on the Organic matter. Keep them busy and away from your crops.

    If chooks aren't an option perhaps quail might be an alternative. Might be less damaging to your crop as well. I've never kept more than a half dozen myself and never had any trouble with them.
     
  4. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Re: Rollie-pollies/pill bugs

    I have a ton of these things, too. The birds eat them, but not enough. Keep the cats and dogs out of the garden so the birds feel safe and will go hunting for them.

    I use a lot of mulch, so they do have places to hang out and eat. If you put out veggie transplants instead of starting them in the ground, they won't bother them. If you want to start seeds in the ground, make cuffs out of plastic lawn edging, or cardboard, there used to be cheap metal silver garden edging, not sure if it's around, fasten them with large paper clips. Shove the cuffs into the soil around the seed, and when the plant gets up to about 3 inches, you can remove the cuff and reuse it. I do peas and beans this way just fine. I start almost all my plants from seed, and use transplants. It's convenient for lots of reasons, but crucial for pill bugs.
     
  5. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    Re: Rollie-pollies/pill bugs

    they are a crustacean going by what ga said eric,

    len
     
  6. Ojo

    Ojo Junior Member

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  7. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Re: Rollie-pollies/pill bugs

    Are you sure? Usually, in suburbia, the only ban is for Roosters who apparently "noise pollute". (Although I doubt if they could be any noisier than my neighbour working on his speedboat engine!). How is your 'city' going to know if you just have hens?
    That's what they normally eat, decaying vegetable matter. Maybe you need to add a lot more? Usually they are not aproblem. Are you sure it is them eating your seedlings and not snails? If you put something "drying" around the seedlings like sawdust or wood ash this would help for a day or two (for snails too).
    https://www.backyardnature.net/1000legs.htm
    https://animals.jrank.org/pages/1830/Pil ... OUNTS.html
    Read more: https://animals.jrank.org/pages/1830/Pil ... HzN9SUJg&C


    A contact spray that breaks down quickly like quassia, tobacco or Rhubarb leaves might help. Apply late in the day when bees have gone 'by bys'.
    You might like to experiment with essential Oil of Cedarwood.
    (USA cedar oil available from :- https://www.fragrantgarden.com.au/ordering.htm)
    Although only the Japanese cedar, Cryptomeria japonica, is said (or has been tested) to repel them
    SEE
    https://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=14409126
    The pill bugs would be preferable to these deadly pesticides which will kill all soil life
    https://animals.jrank.org/pages/1830/Pil ... OUNTS.html


    Many kids collect and play with them

    https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 709AApWQRB



    You could train them and start your own circus :?: :!:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    (You can buy cards of these images for Father's Day :!: :lol: )

    If you have a Yahoo! account you can also join the Millipede and Centipede Mailing List.
    Happy gardening! :bear:
     
  8. dianne

    dianne Junior Member

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    Re: Rollie-pollies/pill bugs

    I had a big problem with bugs eating the new seedling as well. I got myself some of the core jiffy pots. Fill not quite to the top, plant seeds, wiat until big enough to plant out and then plant the hole pot. The plant roots have no trouble finding a way out, no stress on the seedlings, and the sides make it so bugs cant get to the seedling.
     
  9. margaretinBC

    margaretinBC New Member

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    I love the posters! I have tried the jiffy pots; I have broken the bottoms out of bigger plastic pots and set them around the plants; I have tried clear soil and deep compost and mulch; I have tried the damp newspaper; chickens soon learned that they aren't very tasty and left them alone. I tried sand and egg shells. I think I've tried everything that is being suggested here. These bugs really are an epidemic, a plague, here. I know it's not snails or slugs as I can see these little devils and they are everywhere! Sometimes I lift a board or stone and can see almost no soil because the sow bugs/pill bugs are so thick (we have both here)....thousands in some areas. Not only have they eaten many of the seedlings, I have found them in little tunnels down beside the plants that did survive, down about six inches, nibbling on the roots. I have pulled up a healthy looking turnip and found it hollow, eaten out by pill bugs. It's January, winter in Canada, and I'm already stressing about what I'm going to do about these bugs. Has anyone come up with a solution?
    https://pestcontrolcanada.com/sow-bugs-pill-bugs/
     
  10. Bryant RedHawk

    Bryant RedHawk Junior Member

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    Other than removing all moisture holding mulches, or resorting to DE, the best bet is to use a black plastic mulch. This creates an environment that is too hot for them to survive in. The other method that works is to create a compost heap just for sowbugs (Porcellio scaber) and pillbugs (Armadillidium vulgare) so they will divert to that area for feeding and breeding. I have also heard of people trying fine copper wires as plant surrounds but as far as I can tell, this only works for slugs and snails in reality, unless the mass of wires somehow traps the sow/pill bugs, they will just cruise over or through it.
     
  11. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    love the pictures! we have plenty of them around here
    with all the things i keep burying. as of yet i have not
    found them to be a pest. what little damage they do is
    offset by the important role they play in the gardens in
    helping break things down. i'm sure the frogs, toads,
    snakes, etc. find them edible, but i have not studied
    what eats them.

    i would guess that ducks, quails, pheasants and perhaps
    turkeys would help keep them under control.

    we have a few that wander around in the house at times
    and they are usually captured by our resident spiders.

    because i use live soil from the gardens they are in the
    worm bins too. they look pretty healthy when i see them. :)
     
  12. Brian D Smith

    Brian D Smith New Member

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    Margaret,
    Wow!
    If you have that many, it sounds like population boom. Feeding them with mulch or a compost pile will just extend the peak. You might try a biological control like Bt to crash the population.
     

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