Are Sowbugs Pests?
Generally, sowbugs are not pests, though every yard seems to have them. They sometimes make their way into a home, but not often. Sowbugs like a moist environment that is not too wet and not too dry. This is because sowbugs are not “bugs” at all they are crustaceans.
These small unassuming creatures are very low on the pest list. They primarily eat decaying vegetation but will and do go after young seedlings in gardens. Spring is an active time for sowbugs and if you are planning a garden, reach out to our team about how to control sowbugs around your garden using green methods.
Once plants toughen up a bit, sowbugs are not usually an issue. They will, however, damage plants with fruit on the ground. Cucumbers, young pumpkins, and squash that grow trailing vines are usually the targets.
Can You Control Sowbugs Without Pesticides?
Yes and no. Yes, you can make a large dent in their population simply by making sure that your yard is clean and free of clutter. Sowbugs are nocturnal and during the day the hide under objects – boards, rocks, in mulch, etc. If you have leaf litter, make sure it is rakes up and composted or put into your green waste. The fewer places for sowbugs to spend the daytime, the few sowbugs you have. They have no defenses to speak of and they make easy pray for daytime predators, such as some wasps, ground spiders, etc.
Will you remove them all from your yard? Not likely. There will always be a few but in smaller numbers, they do very little damage.
On a positive note: Sowbugs are a good creature for your compost pile. They help to breakdown plant material by eating it and their poop breaks down into usable and nutrient rich soil.
Do Sowbugs, Bite
Sowbugs do not bite. They have a mouth that is designed to bite and chew so technically they could bite, but mostly what they do is to rasp – rub plant parts with their mouths. They don’t bite humans as their mouths are too small to really do any damage. Their only real defense is to curl up in a ball so that their outer exoskeleton back plates protect their softer underside.
Generally, the only time of year that sowbugs are a real concern is during the spring when new plants are growing, and gardeners are putting in seeds and seedlings. Sowbugs are not a medical concern as they have no venom or toxins. If you are concerned about sowbugs in your yard or garden give us a call. We provide a range of pest control solutions throughout Bryan and College Station. We work with homeowners for both their primary residence and rental properties too. Our monthly pest control services are affordable, comprehensive, and efficient. Additionally, we work with realtors for new listings and commercial customers including multi-family dwellings and restaurants. We are also happy to answer your questions or help you schedule a pest inspection for your Bryan or College Station location.