Pill Bugs eating Strawberries

Asked July 8, 2018, 9:29 PM EDT

Hello, I have recently moved to the Astoria area. I am stunned by the amount of pill bugs that inhabit my worm bins here! Wow! Anyway, I don't mind seeing them in my worm bin. My real issue is that they keep eating our strawberries. We garden in pots lined with paper - do you think this is what is drawing them? The pots are situated on the ground. How do you suggest controlling this problem? Many thanks, Jen

Clatsop County Oregon insect issues

1 Response

Pillbugs and sowbugs are garden residents that look somewhat like mini-armadillos. Feeding on decaying materials, they can be beneficial recyclers in gardens, but sometimes they become pests when they feed on young shoots and roots, or on fruits and vegetables that lie on damp ground.

· Limit soil moisture

· Protect young plants

· Reduce populations: You can try collecting pillbugs when they are clustered under deliberately placed objects that serve as hiding places. During the day, overturn the object and whisk up the sowbugs and dump them into a container of soapy water. Try putting boards or large stones on damp ground around the garden. Some gardeners also suggest using attractive food as traps. Place halved melons or grapefruits (eaten first) on the ground with the cut side down. Raw potato halves, hollowed out a little, will also work. Pillbugs that hide in rolled up newspapers left around the garden can be easily shaken out into the soapy water.

Great reference for further information: http://www.pesticide.org/pillbugs_sowbugs