Sow Bug Prevention And Control

Sow bugs, also known as woodlice, are land living crustaceans, which, despite their name, aren’t really bugs, though still need a little “pest control” from time to time. They are more closely related to crabs, lobsters, and shrimp than they are to, say, springtail bugs, silverfish, bed bugs, or pill bugs. Although these little crustaceans do not pose any real threat to humans or their pets like a bed bug infestation can, they can be a real nuisance once they infest any damp, decaying organic matter in the plants, crawlspace, crack or crevice in your home where moisture is retained.

What Do Sow Bugs Look Like?

What Do Sow Bugs Look Like

There are two common species of these arthropods in the U.S. (P. scaber and Porcellio laevis). They are tiny creatures that grow up to half an inch in length and sort of look like miniature armadillos. They are gray in color, have seven pairs of legs and two antennae-like cockroaches. This tweet gives you a good description of what they look like:

Sort of like springtails, these crustaceans have two prominent appendages on their behinds that look like a tail. These appendages can roll up into a ‘c’ when they are threatened or scared.

Why Should You Care About A Sow Bug Infestation?

Like we mentioned earlier, sow bugs are not exactly harmful to humans or their pets. They are, however, a real nuisance. Because they cannot retain water in their bodies, these little creatures seek out moist and damp areas where they can congregate in their tens, hundreds, and, in the worst cases, thousands. Now, even though they will not be stinging you or anything like that, having hundreds of little lice-like insects in your house, is not something that any homeowner wants to see. Typically active at night, these crawlers will not only pester you, but they will annoy your pets too.

They tend to hide under mulch in flowerbeds, logs, rocks, and trash cans during the day. Although to a great extent, sow bugs are outdoor creatures, they still often manage to get indoors. They do this through windows and ground level doors. They will look for somewhere moist and damp within the house and congregate in large numbers. This could be your bathroom, basement, kitchen, and even garage. But because most parts of the home are dry, these creatures tend to die once they get inside. Which presents another problem as a heap of dead insects is unsightly by any standard.

How Can You Tell If You Have A Sow Bug Infestation?

How Can You Tell If You Have A Sow Bug Infestation

The only distinctive way to tell if you have a sow bug infestation is through sight. At night, you will see many of these little creatures come out to forage for food. You will also find them congregated near damp areas or water sources and under logs, mulch, and trash cans.

They are not active during the day because they need to conserve whatever water they have in their bodies. If you see one of two of these creatures, then rest assured that more are coming. They are all attracted to the same things which means that somewhere in your house or in your yard, there is a source of water, shelter, and food for these arthropods.

How Can You Prevent Sow Bugs From Invading Your Home?

As we have already mentioned, sow bugs cannot live without water because their bodies cannot naturally store the liquid. It, goes to reason, therefore, that the best way to get rid of them is to eliminate any possible water source. Once they cannot find water, they will either leave the premises or die off. So, here are a few things that homeowners can do to eliminate sow bugs from their homes:


  • Waterproof your home: This is an excellent way to ensure that there are no damp areas in your home. You should mainly focus on dark areas such as basements and under the kitchen sink. You should, however, consult with a professional waterproofing specialist on which materials and which methods are most effective when it comes to waterproofing your home.
  • Create a buffer zone between flowerbed mulch and your home’s foundation: To prevent these creatures from finding their way into your home, you should strive to create a buffer zone between your flowerbed and your foundation. Think 15 to about 30 cm wide of mulch and leaves free areas around your home. This is a brilliant way to discourage sow bugs and most other pests that would look to nest in these regions. You may have to trim any trees or shrubs that may be causing a damp and shady environment close to your house.
  • Keep your firewood off the ground and away from the house: Sow bugs create habitats under logs, stones and trash cans. You need to ensure that you do not create these habitats by stacking firewood on the ground and near the house. You should also move grass clippings and piles of dead leaves away from your foundation. Also, make sure that there aren’t any downspouts that are draining onto the foundation.

Additionally, you should make sure that your exterior doors are tightly closed and that you have replaced any worn-out weather stripping that could act as an entryway for these crustaceans.

Why You Should Hire A Pest Management Professional To Eliminate Sow Bugs

Why You Should Hire A Pest Management Professional To Eliminate Sow Bugs

While the prevention and elimination methods given above are highly effective when it comes to keeping sow bugs from invading your home, getting rid of them once they are inside is a whole different story. It is true that you can easily waterproof your home and just wait for the arthropods to die of thirst, but that might take a while and, in the meantime, these creatures will keep pestering and inconveniencing you.

This tweet gives you an idea of how frustrating it can be trying to deal with these creatures on your own:



The simplest, fastest, and most effective way to not only prevent these crustaceans from entering your home but to also eliminate them once they have already invaded is to hire a pest management professional.

Here are several good reasons why you should hire a pest management professional:

  • We will run a full diagnostic inspection of your property: One of the best things about hiring a professional to get rid of sow bugs is that you are hiring people who are familiar with a wide array of pests as well. The very first thing our experts will do is run a full infestation inspection on your property. Of course, we will mainly be focused on finding the specific locations that could act as habitats for sow bugs and eradicate those, but as we make the rounds, we will also be on the lookout for any other forms of pest infestations of which you might not be aware.
  • We will give you practical recommendations: Our years of experience, coupled with our pest control expertise put us in the best possible position to advise you on what you need to do in order to, not only keep your home pest-free after we are done with it, but also how to ensure that you can spot infestation threats early enough to nip them in the bud before they become fully-fledged invasions.
  • We use the best eradication methods: There are some cases that will require us to use poisonous agents to get rid of pest infestations, but for the most part, we try to use non-poisonous options. That way we keep your family within the home even as we work to eradicate the infestation. But even when the situation dictates that we use highly poisonous agents, we do so in a professional and safety-oriented manner to ensure that we do not interfere with your quality of life.
  • We are affordable and efficient: One of the biggest objections that most people have to hire a pest management professional to handle any kind of infestation that might be plaguing them is that they assume the services rendered will not only be expensive but also inconveniencing. Although some situations might call for the family to evacuate the home while the pesticides work, in many cases, the family almost never realizes we are there or that the eradication is on-going. Sow bug infestations, although annoying, are not harmful enough to warrant a fully-fledged carpet bombing excursion on your home. We will be fast, efficient and very affordable.

Apart from these aspects, there is one other element that we bring to the table; one we believe makes us the best option for those who want to rid themselves of any pests. We have excellent customer service. We are in the business of making people happy and comfortable in their own homes. As such, we take great care when we interact with all of our customers.

Every single one of our experts is not only well trained in the art of pest eradication, but has excellent customer service skills to make you feel as though you were a part of the family: because to us, you are a part of the family. Give us a call today and let us help you eliminate and prevent sow bug infestations around and in your home. We are more than willing to run a quick inspection and send you a quote as soon as you call.