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Sow Bugs 101: What Every Souderton Homeowner Ought To Know

You are probably familiar with the term crustacean. But if you aren't, we're sure you can at least name a few common crustaceans by looking at photos, such as lobster, crabs, or shrimp. But there are many crustaceans in the world that you would not be able to name by looking at a photo. There are more than 50,000 documented species of crustaceans. Who has time to learn what all of those critters look like—especially since most of them live in the ocean? But there is one crustacean that has learned how to live on land and it can sometimes get into homes and become a pest. It is called a sow bug. Here are a few things you should know about it.

Basic Sow Bug Facts

These terrestrial crustaceans go by many names. You may know them by one of their other names such as pill bugs, woodlice, potato bugs, or rolly pollys.

In the United States, the most common sow bug species is Armadillidium vulgare. It has the following characteristics:

  • It is ¼ to 5/8 of an inch in length.

  • It is dark brown to black in color.

  • It has two antennae (only one of which is readily visible).

  • It has seven pairs of legs.

  • It has two appendages that might look like legs or tails.

pill bug on dirt

A sow bug has a shell that looks like armor and, when it gets frightened, it can bend at the seams of its armor-like sections and curl up. Unlike a millipede, which acts in a similar defense manor, sow bugs don't curl up into a spiral. They just close up into a shape that looks like a donut with no hole. When they aren't curled up, they are shaped like a pill. That is probably why they are called sow bugs.

Sow Bug Threats

If you're seeing these bugs in your Souderton home, you can find some solace in the fact that they aren't going to present a threat to your health. They don't bite and they aren't known to spread diseases. They're also not going to present a threat to your belongings or your home. Sow bugs don't damage clothing, wood, or other materials that are a common target for many other pests. They're just frustrating.

Why You're Seeing Sow Bugs Inside

If you're seeing these bugs in your Souderton home, there are a few things you should understand. They don't really prefer to be in your home. They want to be in areas that are damp, and most homes don't have the damp environment that sow bugs desire. Your home also doesn't have an abundant food source. These bugs eat decaying plants, particularly turf grass and leaves. It is important to understand this because it is likely why you have high populations near your home, and one of the reasons they're getting inside.

Sow Bug Prevention

There are primary reasons sow bugs get inside. If you alter these, you can prevent more from getting into your home.

Attractants — Remove any leaves, dead grass, or decaying plant matter near your home and reduce moisture as much as possible. A dry exterior is a pest-resistant exterior.

Entry Points — These bugs often target exterior doors in foundation walls. Examine your doors and make sure you don't have missing door sweeps, damaged weatherstripping, or holes in your frames. Also check around pipes that enter your home through foundation walls.

How To Get Rid Of Sow Bugs

If you need assistance with eliminating these bugs from your home, reach out to Moyer Pest Control. We offer comprehensive pest management for property owners in Souderton. We can help you get rid of those bugs and keep them out of your home.

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