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Have a Sowbug Problem?


The Sowbug is a crustacean that has adapted to living on land. It has an oval shaped body with a segmented, hard shell, two pairs of antennae and seven pairs of legs that are nearly hidden by its armor-like shell. Sowbugs also have two short, tail-like appendages that project from the rear of their body. The Sowbug is a scavenger that feeds on decaying plant matter and animal waste and is often found in gardens, flowerbeds, flowerpots, mulch, and under decaying leaves. It will also eat live plants when necessary. Sowbugs may move indoors in search of moisture and decaying organic matter, especially when large populations are present outdoors. Repeated sightings indoors may indicate water leaks or high moisture levels. Sowbugs do not bite humans and do not carry diseases.


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Sowbugs are flat, oval creatures. They are about 1 cm long. Their body has several segments. They have seven pair of legs and two pair of antennae. Another crustacean, the pillbug, resembles the sowbug. Sowbugs cannot roll up when they are disturbed like pillbugs do. Sowbugs have two appendages that look like tails. Pillbugs do not have the appendages.

Control Advice

Relocate decaying leaf and wood away from the home. Keep mulch under 2 inches thick. Firewood should be stored off the ground and away from the home. Seal exterior openings to the home.

Active Seasons

The Sowbug is most active in spring.

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