Sowbugs, also known as Pillbugs and "Rolly Pollies," are tiny crustaceans closer related to shrimp than insects.  They roll into a tight ball when threatened, they avoid the heat and are most active at night. Sowbugs are dark-grey to brown, and have hard, segmented bodies about ½ inch long.



Sowbugs mainly feed on decaying organic matter and are not serious pests, but they can also feed on the roots of young plants and strawberries. Significant damage usually only occurs in very large infestations. During the day they hide in dark damp places like under rocks, boards, pots, etc. Sowbugs will sometimes invade homes, becoming a nuisance.


Sowbugs are found throughout the United States.


Similar or Related Pests

Pillbugs, Rolly Pollies

Cultural Solutions

  • Eliminate preferred breeding sites, such as boards, rocks and leaf litter, which serves as a harbor and food source.