Roly Polys are also known as pill bugs, wood lice, armadillo bugs or potato bugs. Even though most people think of Roly Polies as bugs, they are actually part of the Crustacean family and are more closely related to shrimp and crayfish than the other real garden bugs.
Children love to play with Roly Polys because they are easy to find and collect, are not slimy, and do not bite or sting. Chickens and other birds find these little guys very tasty and these non-bugs are also wonderful soil conditioners because they process decomposing matter and speed up composting progression.
Pest control experts and master gardeners say there is a down side and sometimes the population must be controlled before the beloved Roly Polys become a pest.
Roly Polys like very moist habitats and are found under rocks and frequently where lawns meet sidewalks and foundations. These critters will not survive without moisture so they are always found in moist habitats with dead plant material for their food.
If there is a lack of dead plant material, Roly Polys are known to eat young and tender plants and some gardeners have declared them the culprits that destroy the marigolds, but other gardeners dispute this and insist that the wrongdoers are more likely the slugs.
Most gardeners consider Roly Polys an asset to a garden as opposed to a pest problem because they work such wonders with the moist decaying material that will be compost one day soon.
Since Roly Polys can live for several years and produce 3 broods per year of between 25 to 200 offspring per event, they multiply fast and that is the downside. Thousands of creepy crawly little critters are unpleasant no matter how cute and fun they are to play with. Because moisture and dead plant material is what sustains them, they reproduce very close to, and sometimes inside a home because they love the area where the garden meets the foundation.
In moist regions where the growing season and the rainy season are one and the same, finding clumps of hundreds of little bug like creatures every time vegetables or flowers are harvested can get tiresome. A trusted pest control expert will know how to achieve the perfect balance of maintaining the right populations of beneficial creatures in any garden habitat without making the human inhabitants cringe.
For pest control services, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.
Image via: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Armadillidium_vulgare_001.jpg