How to Prevent Pillbugs from Invading Your Home

Pillbugs are land crustaceans that are tiny bugs, easily identified by their hard shell and their predictable habit of rolling up into a ball when they are threatened. Pillbugs do not spread disease or bite; they mainly feed on decaying matter, but they have been known to eat healthy plants as well. Follow these tips to keep pillbugs from invading your home.

Remove Dead Plants around Your Home

One way to keep pillbugs from your home is to remove their food source. Pillbugs are scavengers and mainly eat dead material. Food compost, dead leaf piles and any other dead or dying plant should be moved to the outskirts of your property. If your gardening skills are lacking, and your potted plants tend to die often, push them to the outside of your deck instead of against your house. Regularly clean out your gutters and rain spouts to keep them away from your roof as well.

 Reduce Moisture and Humidity

Since pillbugs breathe from gill instead of lungs, they require a high level of moisture to survive. They are naturally drawn to basements where foundations have moisture with humid, moist environments. Remove moisture from the air by running dehumidifiers and bathroom fans. Check that your dryer vent is not leaking and that it is vented out of doors. Ventilate crawl spaces and other cramped areas.

If you are building a home and using a concrete foundation, a moisture barrier under your foundation will help to keep your home from collecting and retaining too much moisture.

Repair Cracks

You can spray with pesticide to kill pillbugs, but this will only temporarily relieve your problem if there are cracks and crevices in your home, pillbugs can get through. Fill in these cracks with a caulking gun.

Spray the perimeter of your home and yard. Instead of killing pillbugs, you could just scoop them up and remove them to a more remote area. Remember that pillbugs won't bit or spread disease, so unless the numbers are overwhelming, spraying with pesticide may be overkill.

Protecting Entrances

Pillbugs may enter your home through the front door. It is best to weather strip all entrances, including garage doors. Since pillbugs thrive in damp soil, built-in planters next to a window, or on your deck snug against your home, may serve as an invitation for pillbugs to enter your home.