Sowbugs, also known as woodlice, are isopod crustaceans, a relative to shrimp, krill and even barnacles. Sowbugs are often slate grey (but can be other colours) and have an oval body with ridges across their backs. They have seven pairs of legs, a couple of antennae and a pair of tails at the abdomen. They’re pretty ugly critters, and you may want them eradicated from your home. Luckily, there are things you can do to get rid of sowbugs from your home.
Where do they live?
Since they breathe through gills like fish, sowbugs require ample moisture to thrive. They’re drawn to darker, moister spaces where they can find an ample supply of decomposing organic material. They may eat fruit and vegetable seeds or seedlings. Despite having the name woodlouse, sowbugs don’t eat wood. You’re most likely to see them in your gardens where food is in rich supply.
Are they harmful?
Sowbugs aren’t harmful to humans; they don’t bite or sting. Sowbugs compost organic matter in your garden and convert it into nutrient-rich soil. However, if you grow vegetables or fruits that sit on the damp earth, sowbugs may take a nibble out of your harvest.
Inside your house
If you see a sowbug inside your home from time to time, it’ll likely die on its own due to dryness. However, if sowbugs are plentiful, it could be a symptom of a potentially more significant problem. Numerous sowbugs may indicate excess moisture in your interior spaces. Get your house examined for high humidity, as high moisture levels may make the house vulnerable to mildew, rot and more harmful infestations.
Get rid of sowbugs
There are a few steps you can take to eliminate sowbugs from inside your home. It’s fine to use a vacuum cleaner to clean them up. You should also get rid of any wet organic materials. Remove any paper clutter like stacks of magazines or old cardboard boxes, especially in darker, damper spaces like your attic and basement.
Keep sowbugs out
Keeping moisture levels low is an effective way to prevent sowbugs from entering your home, so use a dehumidifier regularly. Also, replace caulking and weatherstripping on doors and windows. Check your plumbing and patch any pipe leaks. Inspect the grounds around your foundation and remove any decaying plants. Allow about 15 centimetres of clearance around your foundation with no growing plants, dead leaves, or mulch.
Pest control in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba
If you’re having a hard time getting the sowbugs under control in your home or garden, count on the experts at Poulin Pest Control to provide a safe, effective solution. We have seven locations across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Contact us today to make an appointment.