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pillbug or sowbug on white background

Commonly confused with the pillbug (aka “roly-poly”), sowbugs are land crustaceans that feed on organic material around your home. They tend to enjoy living outside in damp environments and will only make their way inside if their current home becomes too dry. Most sowbugs that wander indoors end up dying because so many areas of your home are too dry for them to live. However, if sowbugs find themselves in your home, it could indicate large outdoor population on your property and that your home should be inspected for moisture damage.

How to Identify Sowbugs

Contrary to its name, the sowbug isn’t a bug at all. It’s actually a land crustacean closely related to the pillbug or roly-poly. Unlike roly-polys, the sowbug does not have the ability to curl itself into a ball. The sowbug is:

  • Flat and oval-shaped
  • Made up of segments
  • About 1 centimeter long
  • Grayish-brown to grayish-black in color
  • Has two appendages that resemble tails

Sowbugs are generally found outside in bushes and gardens munching on organic materials such as mulch, leaves, and other plants. Because they like damp environments, sowbugs will often make their homes in the dirt around your flower beds but may also come inside if the ground gets too dry by using cracks in your foundation or small gaps between windowsills. If you spot a sowbug in your house, there’s no need for alarm. They pose no threat to humans, but large populations of sowbugs in your home may mean your property needs to be inspected for moisture damage. 

Prevent Sowbugs from Entering Your Arizona Home

While most sowbugs will either leave or die once they’ve infiltrated houses, there are a few things you can do to keep them out. Creating at least a 1-foot barrier around your building that is free of mulch and leaves will keep sowbugs from nesting there and eventually finding entry points indoors. Any organic material near the structure is going to attract sowbugs and will serve as a bridge into your home. Sealing any cracks or holes in the foundation will eliminate access points. Lastly, addressing the moisture in your home will keep sowbugs from finding it an attractive option in the first place.

Sowbug Solutions in Arizona and Las Vegas

Although sowbugs pose no threat to you or your home, it can be annoying to constantly find them around the house. Don’t let sowbugs bug you; instead, call the professionals at Burns Pest Elimination. No matter if you live in Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson, or Las Vegas, our pest control experts can help you identify points of entry, possible attractants, and the best treatment plan for your home or business. If you’ve tried everything to keep sowbugs out and are tired of seeing them, request your free pest control quote today! 

We provide services for sowbugs in the following cities:


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