The Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory

Pillbug Control

The following questions were sent to the P&PDL diagnosticians here at Purdue University:

Question 1: Help help, I have millions of those darn doodle bugs or roley poleys, whatever you want to call them, I want to call em dead and gone, do you know what is effective of eliminating those darn pesky bugs?

Question 2: I have a three-year-old condo with a dry basement, although the lawn and soil outside it is chronically "overwet" due to poor drainage and excess sprinkling of the lawn. I often see pill bugs in the corners, although I have carefully sealed all floor/wall seams in the concrete. How could these pests be entering and what can be done to prevent it?

Answer: The fact that you have wet soil conditions outside means that no matter what you do, you will always have some pillbugs that enter the basements or other areas. It is almost impossible to seal up every small crack in the foundation, let alone the window sills, utility ports etc. Somehow they will always find a way in. The only long term solution is to improve the drainage outside. In the meantime application of pesticides in the areas where the pill bugs are may help. Please read and follow all directions on the pesticide labels.

For more info on pillbugs and their control, you may want to review the publication E-55 Millipedes, Sowbugs and Pillbugs (PDF 56K).

--Tim Gibb

Information listed is valid only for the state of Indiana.

The information given herein is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service is implied. Any person using products listed assumes full responsibility for their use in accordance with current direction of the manufacturer. Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access institution.

Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service