How Do I Get Rid Of Sowbugs?
Pillbugs and sowbugs are pests, but they’re not harmful. They’re more closely related to shrimp and crayfish than insects, and they’re not known to transmit diseases. These crustaceans thrive in moist, dark areas where decaying organic material is abundant. They’re especially common around mulches, compost, flower-bed mulches, rocks, rotting wood and other sources of damp, decaying organic matter.
In nature, decaying material is an important part of the ecosystem and is a process that takes place in the presence of air (oxygen). It is one of the most effective ways to decompose and recycle plant material. Decaying material is also a source of food for insects, fungi, bacteria and slime molds. This organic material provides an environment for the development of new species. These organisms are often inconspicuous and work slowly, but they are essential to the life of the forest. Sowbugs and pillbugs are both decomposers that feed on decaying matter, mainly leaf litter and vegetable matter. They are a very important part of the natural decomposition process and can help to speed up the return of nutrients to the soil. Sowbugs and pillbugs do not sting, bite or transmit diseases. They are an unpleasant pest that can be a nuisance in buildings when large numbers are present. Sanitation near the foundation of your home, including removing piles of leaves, wood and compost, will prevent sowbugs and pillbugs from breeding.
If pillbugs or sowbugs are present indoors, the first step is to dehumidify the space. These insects prefer dark, damp areas where decaying material and moisture are present. They can be found anywhere wood, paper or houseplant debris is allowed to lie and absorb moisture. The first steps are to dehumidify the area and minimize the amount of decaying matter inside the building. The next step is to reduce the moisture level inside your home. This can be done by using fans, bathroom and kitchen fans, and a properly ventilated crawl space and attic. It’s also important to keep your gutters and downspouts clean, and check for leaks in the roof or plumbing. If some extra help is required, a dehumidifier can prove to be a very effective tool in reducing moisture levels inside your home.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a safe, effective way to get rid of pillbugs and sowbugs. These gnat-like pests are commonly found in vegetable gardens and lawns and can be a serious problem when they breed in large numbers. The microscopic sharp edges of diatomaceous earth penetrate insects’ shells, destroying their bodies and causing them to desiccate or dry out and die. Using DE to kill pillbugs and sowbugs is an easy and natural approach that won’t harm beneficial insects. To use DE, sprinkle it directly onto infested plants and soil surfaces. It’s best to apply DE early in the morning or after a light rainfall. To make a wet DE spray, mix 4 to 6 tablespoons of DE per gallon of water. Shake vigorously to thoroughly combine. Apply a broad, even coating of the DE-water mixture to shrubs, trees, pathways and structures. Then let it sit and dry before re-applying again.
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