Sow Bugs


Old 10-31-10, 10:42 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1
Sow Bugs

I was under the impression that sow bugs only liked to feed on decaying plants, but it seems as though they took a liking to my shasta daisies this year. I am hoping to find a solution for next yr.

After getting more info online, i have done the proper things to try and get rid of them, like getting rid of the firewood stacked up near my house, and not over watering and such....

Does anyone else have this same problem?

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Old 11-03-10, 08:17 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 448
I stole a trick from our local parks department. In the Provincial Parks in Manitoba, they apply fir, spruce or pine needles to the walkways through the park. As those needles rot, they release chemicals into the ground that discourage the growth of faster growing plants like weeds. Apparantly, this is a coniferous tree's way of claiming it's territory and preventing other faster growing plants from shading it from the Sun.

And, I figured that if other plants didn't do well in ground that had coniferous tree needles, then there was a good chance that bugs wouldn't want to live in that ground either.

So, about 10 years ago, I waited until after Christmas and collected about a dozen discarded real Christmas trees. I cut off the branches and laid them down in a bed along the side of my building where the sow bugs were. By spring, the branches had dried up and the needles had fallen off of them. I removed the branches and left the bed of dried up needles on the ground. And, since then I haven't had any sowbugs.

I talked to a woman at my local landscaping/garden center to see if she thought this would work, and she said it might. You might want to talk to the entomologists at your local university to see if they concur. Since then I have noticed that whenever I look under a large coniferous tree, I've noticed that the grass doesn't grow well directly under those trees. I thought it might just be because of the shading from the shadow of the tree, but now I think it's because of the decaying needles. About the only thing that does grow directly under coniferous trees are weeds that will grow darn near anywhere, and if there's enough sunlight for those weeds, you'd think there'd be enough sunlight for grass to grow.

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