Eliminate and Prevent Pillbugs in NJ and PA with Cooper

pill bugWhat is a pillbug?

 Pillbugs are small, dark grey crustaceans with oval-shaped bodies that are  covered in segmented plating. They are nocturnal and prefer to live in moist environments, so they are often found under rocks or hiding below objects that are damp underneath. Pillbugs roll up into a ball when they are frightened (giving them their nickname—“roly polys”), eat only organic matter, and are totally harmless. Finding pillbugs in your basement or around your home doesn't necessarily indicate a large scale infestation. Pillbugs aren't harmful to pets or humans, so preventative treatments are suggested for individuals with a low level of tolerance to occasional pillbug sightings indoors.

What is the difference between pillbugs and sow bugs?

Have you ever heard of sow bugs? They are closely related to the pillbug because they are both types of woodlice. The main difference between pillbugs and sow bugs is that pillbugs can roll their bodies up into a tight ball and sow bugs cannot. Pillbugs lack the two tail-like structures on the rear end of sow bugs which allows them to "roly poly." 

sow bug vs pill bug University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Photo Credit: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Both pillbugs and sow bugs are actually crustaceans, making them more closely related to crayfish, lobsters, and shrimp. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture even states that "they are the only crustaceans that have adapted to living their entire life on land." Although they are considered to be "woodlice," pillbugs and sow bugs are not lice. This is simply the plural version of "woodlouse."

Why do I have them?

Pillbugs are most commonly found inside at or below ground level in basements and crawl spaces. They seek out damp areas, but the moisture found in a house is often not enough to support them and they die within days. They usually find their way indoors through small cracks and crevices and simply by going over thresholds. Pillbugs are very common household pests, so it's not out of the ordinary to see one or two every once in awhile.

Why should I be concerned with pillbugs?

Pillbugs are harmless insects and are no cause for concern, unless their presence in your home bothers you. They cannot survive more than a few days inside unless they have found an unusually moist area to hide, so their presence could be indicative of a moisture problem. However, if you are seeing large numbers of them it could mean that there are exceedingly large numbers living around your home. Structural damage and biting are not characteristic of pillbug activity, so it's less likely that you will have a serious problem on your hands that will cost you thousands of dollars to remediate.

How do I get rid of pillbugs?

Use the following tips for household pillbug prevention:

  • Remove hiding places such as piles of leaves, grass clippings, mulch in flower beds, fallen fruit, pet droppings, boxes, boards, and stones.
  • Clear debris away from the foundation walls, doors, basement windows and other points of entry.
  • Properly ventilate basements and subfloor crawl spaces to eliminate excess moisture. Repair and seal cracks and openings in the foundation wall, around doors, and around basement windows with caulking compound and weather stripping.
  • Drain standing water and moist areas near potential points of entry.

Indoors, the use of fans and dehumidifiers will help dry out the basement and other damp rooms. These creatures can be collected with a broom and dustpan, vacuum cleaner or other mechanical means and discarded.


What Do It Yourself (DIY) options are available?

If you are seeing dead pillbugs in your home you can simply remove them by vacuuming them up. Also, you can try to improve any moisture problems in your home or around your foundation and remove any organic matter or objects (like stones or flower pots) near your foundation. Lastly, you can keep out pillbugs by sealing any cracks and crevices. By taking all of these precautions, you are also protecting your home against possible spider, centipede, and cricket infestations.

How can I prevent pillbugs in the future?

Making the area around your foundation less hospitable to them is the best way to prevent pillbugs. This means that you should make sure that water drains away from your foundation by using gutters and drain spouts, or by making sure that the ground slopes away from the home so that the water does not collect around the foundation. In addition to keeping moisture away from the area, you should also remove as many potential hiding places for pillbugs as you can. For instance, you don′t want to have stones or grass clippings, etc. right next to your foundation. Also, you can make it harder for the bugs to get in by sealing cracks and crevices, especially around doors and low windows.

How does Cooper get rid of pillbugs?

Home Intensive Plan

Our Home Intensive Plan is designed to provide preventive pest and rodent control for your home, year round. Pillbug control and elimination is included with this program and if you happen to have a pillbug invasion, all you need to do is to call us and we’ll come out and treat the area at no additional expense.

This is our most popular service for homeowners. The service plan includes four preventive services per year. Each service is unique and will be accompanied by a detailed 30-point inspection report with detailed findings as well as providing you with important recommendations for your home. Each year you will receive three exterior maintenance services (March – November) and one interior service (December – February). The winter service will focus on the interior of the structure and is geared towards rodents and other pests that may live within the structure. Unlimited service calls are available in between the quarterly visits for all covered pests if any problems arise.

Home Traditional Plan

Cooper’s Home Traditional Plan is a quarterly maintenance service meant to protect your home against over 20 common household pests including pillbugs. One of our highly skilled, state-certified pest control professionals will visit your home 4 times per year to examine for undetected pest activity. If the pest management professional finds pillbugs, regardless if you were aware of their presence or not, they will perform treatment to eliminate their breeding source. Unlimited service calls are available in between the quarterly visits if any problems arise.

How soon can you get here?

At Cooper Pest Solutions, our goal is to provide fast, convenient service with the peace of mind that you are in good hands. We understand that pest problems can be stressful and overwhelming, so we strive to provide same day or next day service. Call us at 1-800-949-2667 to learn more about our pillbug control options or to schedule service at your home.