Pill Bug, Woodlouse (Armadillidium nasatum)

Order: Isopoda
Family: Armadillidiidae
Genus: Armadillidium
Species: nasatum


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Mobile, Alabama
Cottonwood, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Burbank, California
Los Angeles, California
Temecula, California
Ukiah, California
Vacaville, California
Wildomar, California
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Crestone, Colorado
Grand Junction, Colorado
Monroe, Connecticut
Norwalk, Connecticut
Wilmington, Delaware
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Gainesville, Georgia
Holualoa, Hawaii
Carol Stream, Illinois
Valparaiso, Indiana
Galena, Kansas
Ft Mitchell, Kentucky
Algonac, Michigan
Harper Woods, Michigan
Southfield, Michigan
Princeton, New Jersey
Ballston Spa, New York
Southold, New York
Cary, North Carolina
West End, North Carolina
Fargo, North Dakota
Akron, Ohio
Dayton, Ohio
Coos Bay, Oregon
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Mountville, Pennsylvania
Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
Vandergrift, Pennsylvania
Anderson, South Carolina
Memphis, Tennessee
Burleson, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Gordonville, Texas
Houston, Texas
Kyle, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Lynchburg, Virginia
Huntington, West Virginia
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Mar 21, 2022, harleypilot14 from Temecula,
United States wrote:

Thanks for all the comments as I have learned about the Pill Bug. Temecula CA is where I live and they are plentiful in my yard. I am a novice gardener and now I understand that maybe the Pill Bug is why many of my plants are not flourishing. I will try the cornmeal trick described by another commenter.


On Mar 21, 2022, BobLucky from Houston, TX wrote:

Biggest problem I\'ve had is that they seem fond of bean sprouts (seedlings). I\'ve resorted to planting beans inside toilet paper tube collars. They also eat the spawn when I attempt mushroom patches in my garden. Interestingly, they are kin to ocean crustaceans, so they would probably taste like shrimp or crabs if you could gather enough of them. Must be why chickens are so fond of them.


On Jun 4, 2013, hawaiishannon from Holualoa, HI wrote:

We have them all over Hawaii, I have found that a mixture of dish detergent, 5 Tlbs. to one gallon of water in a pump sprayer works well, saturate the soil where you see them with a soaking of spray. That kills them, also kills earwigs that seem to like the same plant roots. My chickens also do a good job out in the vegetable garden and around the compost piles, but in the greenhouse and in pots the detergent spray is the best.


On May 11, 2013, corkelcol from SPRING BRANCH, TX wrote:

I have one word...Chickens. Chickens love these bugs! I've noticed they keep them under control as I don't use pesticides. I have six chickens and while I work in the yard I will flip over a rock at any given time and call my girls. They come running and pig-out! These bugs do eat rotten veggies and fruit that have fallen off my plants so, they're not so bad. We call them rollie-pollies, and poo-poo bugs because they eat that too. eww


On Oct 4, 2012, village1diot from Vacaville, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Very common in my yard. They live under anything and everything they can get under. They only problem I have had with them is that they will eat any damaged vegetable or fruit. They love melons and strawberries. It's not so bad because they don't get into the fruit unless it has been damaged already. They live in abundance under my cantaloupes, but are pretty much harmless to them, unless another bug makes a hole in the skin.

There is a positive, my pet alligator lizard loves them. With so many around the yard, I never have to worry about paying for lizard food(crickets). In 15 minutes I can gather a hundred of them.

Don't try to get rid of them. All you will end up doing is getting rid of the critters that feed on them, making the situation worse. You are bet... read more


On Apr 19, 2012, cedarwind from Anderson, SC wrote:

I always thought these were harmless to plants, but discovered that they had just taken over the root ball of a large cluster of sweet williams in my sister's flowerbed. We hosed them all out and replanted the plant and it looks better but I think they would have killed it. Trying to find out what they eat, there are definitely more of them this year than I have ever seen.


On May 23, 2011, ceceliamh from Mountville, PA wrote:

I had understood these were harmless to plants, but my experience is otherwise. They will chew at the stem bases of certain plants--seem to enjoy plants with fuzzy leaves, such as Forget-me-nots and Gloriosa Daisies--leaving wilted, dying stems as they work their way toward the center of the stem cluster.


On May 1, 2011, quiltygirl from No Central, AZ (Zone 7b) wrote:

I grew veggies in strawbales last year. This year when I was pulling them apart to add to the compost pile, I found big colonies of these guys living underneath. Very creepy, but don't see them anymore after they were exposed to the sun. Did not know if they were a detriment to plants as I am putting veggies in pots in the same location.


On Apr 12, 2011, HarleyL from Dayton, OH wrote:

I had bags of leaves in my garden area. When I started getting ready to till the garden, I found them all over the place. So, I brought my chickens into the equation. Now they are gone. Apparently, they are tasty. The chickens went nuts over them.


On Sep 13, 2010, Greenhouseannie from Alamosa, CO wrote:

I have a greenhouse at 8000' elevation in the Colorado Rockies and we have had a terrible problem with these pill bugs. We stay organic and have tried the diatomaceous earth ($60 worth) and other organic sprays, but nothing has phased them. Don't try drowning them (they are related to shrimp and require water to live) or squashing them (they carry the tiny babies on them and the babies just disperse, we've read). I'm going to try the mashed potatoes or cornmeal. Recently we are trying 3 toads to see if that works.


On Jul 12, 2010, ahaddock from Thousand Oaks, CA wrote:

I have read that diatomaceous earth will work on these guys as well. I will post again with my results.


On May 31, 2010, KatieTx from Kyle, TX wrote:

These bugs are all over this year! I've heard that other people are having problems with them coming in their houses too. I've been putting out bug killer at the front door, and in the morning there are about a thousand of them all over the front walkway. Is anyone else having a problem, and does anyone have any better ideas for getting rid of them?


On Apr 30, 2010, enyeholt from Village of Port Clements,
Canada wrote:

These bugs will eat your house if its wooden.
They are a nightmare in the greenhouse too.
If you put out dry instant potatoes on a shallow dish ( or cornmeal) they love it, it swells up and you have stuffed sow bugs. It kills them but they die with a full tummy. It works better than anything else for me in the greenhouse as they are very active at night when I am not. THey love to hide under leave or plant pots too.