What Is A Pill Bug?
Most people think of a pill bug as an insect. In fact, pill bugs are crustaceans. Unlike their closest relatives, crayfish, crabs, and shrimp, pill bugs have adapted to live entirely on land. Their name comes from their size and shape. They range from ¼ to ½ inches and are oval. A pill bug’s color ranges from dark brown to dark gray or black. The pill bug’s body consists of an exoskeleton with a head with antennae, seven segments of the thorax, and a set of appendages, or uropods, attached to the last thorax segment.
Interesting Pill Bug Facts
- The pill bug can drink through both ends of its body
- Pill bugs do not urinate
- They excrete ammonia through small holes in their shells
- A pill bug does not bite or sting
- Pill bugs can live an average of 2 years, but up to 5 years
Pill Bug Habitat
Knowing a pill bug’s habitat is essential for Castle Rock pill bug control. Because a pill bug receives oxygen through gills, it must live in moist conditions. They are also nocturnal. Coming out at night to feed helps a pill bug maintain moisture during warm summer months. The most common places the pill bug calls home are in mulch, under rocks and fallen trees, and piles of debris. In general, a pill bug is not looking to move indoors. Therefore, basic Castle Rock pill bug control often eliminates pill bug habitats in the home and immediately surrounding areas.
Pill Bug Diet
Castle Rock pill bug control should consider the benefits of the pill bug. The pill bug is essentially a living composter. They scavenge and feed on decaying plants and organic matter. The result of this process is bountiful nutrients returned to the soil. In general, the pill bug does not threaten plants and gardens. On occasion, pill bugs will damage tender root systems and seedlings. However, as a UC Davis entomology professor discovered, the pill bug will also feed on stink bugs’ eggs. Because stink bugs significantly damage plants and crops, a healthy population of pill bugs is more beneficial than harmful.
Castle Rock Pill Bug Control Measures
Like most pest control, Castle Rock pill bug control begins with prevention. Firstly, preventative steps minimize the potential for pill bugs to enter your yard and home. Once pill bug prevention measures are in place, additional DIY efforts can help reduce the population of current pill bugs. Experienced pest control professionals are the most effective form of Castle Rock pill bug control for large infestations.
Pill Bug Prevention
The most important factor in Castle Rock pill bug control and prevention is removing moisture. Because the pill bug requires water in its environment to breathe, a dry environment will discourage them from moving in. Often, the dampest areas found in the home are the crawlspace or basement. First, seal any cracks or holes in the foundation. This step will reduce entry points for both pill bugs and water. Next, check for leaky pipes and faucets in need of repair. Also, ensure proper ventilation to keep the area as dry as possible.
Secondly, Castle Rock pill bug control moves outside. First, locate and eliminate hospitable conditions in and around the home’s perimeter and yard. Then, remove leaf and plant debris from around the house.
Next, keep lawns mowed and remove grass clippings. Also, raise woodpiles off the ground. If you have a compost pile, the pill bug is your friend. However, to avoid a large population from spilling into your home, locate the compost pile away from the house and other structures.
Natural Castle Rock Pill Bug Deterrents
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is an effective way of controlling pill bugs and other insects. It is a powder consisting of finely ground oceanic fossils. Always use food-grade DE; it is safe for people, pets, and plants. DE particles are razor sharp. They cut into the exoskeletons of pill bugs and cause them to dry out and die. To use DE, dust the ground where pill bugs inhabit. However, DE does not work once wet. Consequently, reapplication is necessary after rain and heavy dew.
Crushed garlic spray
Another natural Castle Rock pill bug control method is applying a crushed garlic spray. In addition to warding off vampires, garlic is effective against many bugs, including pill bugs. In addition, garlic spray is a green alternative to harsh chemical pesticides. Here is a garlic spray recipe from Knox community gardens.
Essential oils have a wide variety of uses to replace chemicals. One such application is pest control. There are many essential oil options when battling bugs. These include peppermint, eucalyptus, cinnamon, citrus, citronella, rosemary, oregano, and tea tree essential oils. The essential oils of cinnamon and oregano are the most effective against pill bugs. Create a Castle Rock pill bug control essential oil spray by adding four drops of essential oil to one gallon of soapy water. Increase the amount of oil in small increments until you obtain the desired result. Again, pay attention to the grade of essential oil you are using and use natural biodegradable soap. Organic therapeutic grade oils are best.