Sowbug’s

DESCRIPTION:

Adults are about 5/8 inches long, convex above and flat or hollow underneath. They are a dark to slate gray. They are from the crustacea family, there for have 7 pairs of legs and have 2 pair of antennae. They also have 2 prominent taillike appendages which project out from the body on posterior end. They are capable of rolling up into a very loose ball when disturbed.

HABITS:

They can be found around buildings in such places as under trash, boards, rocks, flower pots, or any other place that a pillbug or high moisture content is found.

They occasionally enter buildings via door thresholds. Indoor invasion typically means that there is a large population immediately outside the building. They usually do not survive indoors for more than a couple of days unless of course there is a high moisture problem in the home along with a good supply of food.

Pillbugs are scavengers and feed on decaying organic matter, usually plant material but occasionally animal matter. They cause no damage and are considered a nuisance pest indoors. Outdoors, they occasionally injure young plants.

BIOLOGY:

The eggs are deposited and hatched within the brood pouch on the underneath side of the body. It takes about 45 days for the eggs to develop, hatch and then the young emerge. The number of young per brood ranges from 5-88 and there are 1-3 broods per year. Young sowbugs molt every 1-2 weeks and reach adulthood in about 20 weeks. Adults may live about 2 years.

Sowbugs are confined to areas of high moisture because they lack both a closing device for their respiratory system and an outer waxy layer on their exoskeleton to prevent excessive water loss. Their nocturnal habit helps to reduce water loss.

SCIENTIFIC NAME:

Porcellio laevis Koch or Porcelio scaber Latreille