How to Get Rid of Pillbugs

pillbugs crawling on floor
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 30
What You'll Need
Diatomaceous earth
Slug bait

Pill bugs, also called “roly-poly bugs,” can form themselves into a tight ball shape and roll from place to place. These insects need moisture, so they enjoy hiding out under damp objects during the day, and they move around in the evening. Pill bugs feed on organic matter, young plants, and roots. These gray bugs have seven pairs of legs, and are about 1/4 inch long when they’re adults. If this sounds like one of the bugs you've spotted in your home, get rid of the pill bugs with this guide and a few materials.

Step 1 – Remove Objects that Hold Moisture

Any objects that hold moisture inside or outside your home should be disposed off. Clean out grass clippings, rocks, wood debris, or piled-up leaves. Take out the trash immediately, and get rid of any animal droppings in your yard. Store any firewood that you need away from your house and in a dry place, preferably above the ground.

Step 2 – Use Insecticides

There are various insecticides available to get rid of house bugs, including pill bugs. When using one of these chemicals, you should take the proper safety precautions and only use them in ventilated areas. Do not use near children or pets, and keep the chemicals away from your skin and airways. Try an organic insecticide before trying any harsher synthetic ones.

Step 3 – Seal All Entrances

Once you’ve used insecticides to eradicate the pests, seal the entry points of the pill bugs to your home so they can’t repopulate. Check the windows, doors, and any cracks or crevices. For most sealing needs, you can use caulking.

Step 4 – Apply Diatomaceous Earth or Slug Bait

Warning: When using diatomaceous earth, wear a mask and do not inhale the substance. In addition, do not use slug bait if you have any pets, as it can be fatal if they eat it.

Diatomaceous earth is great not only for getting rid of fleas, but also for getting rid of pill bugs. This substance harms the bug’s cuticles and dehydrates them, killing them over time. Make sure that you use food-grade diatomaceous earth, and not the stuff that you use in pools. The latter could be extremely harmful to pets and humans.

In addition, you can try using snail bait to kill pill bugs. Put some bait in their habitats. Dispose of both the bugs and the bait once they’ve worked.

Step 5 – Dry Your Basement and Crawl Areas

Roly polys are attracted to the basement of any house because the area has the most moisture. Air your basement well and remove all extra items that are not needed that might provide hiding places for the pill bugs. Clean and vacuum your carpets and rugs because they tend to attract dirt and moisture.

If you follow the above steps and keep these areas clean, pill bugs should not return to your home.