What Are Sow Bugs, Anyway?

What just moved out of the corner of your eye…? A small, flat, grey/black bug that maybe looks like a tiny armadillo? This is likely a sow bug!

Sow bugs are actually crustaceans, which have segmented body plates, 7 pairs of legs and they can roll up into a ball when disturbed or touched. Sow bugs are a nuisance only and do not transmit any diseases, bite or get into food or stored products.

The conditions that are conducive for their propagation include moisture and generally dark, hidden areas in basements and crawl spaces. To control sow bugs, it’s important to note that moisture and humidity levels are reduced as drier conditions make it far more difficult for them to survive.

Use of a dehumidifier in combination with good, tight doors and seals and removal of harbourage areas around the home, such as rocks, debris, wood ties, long grasses to reduce the amount of potential habitat and moisture conditions. Sow bugs feed on moss, and other decaying organic matter.

Are there are any cracks in the foundation, foundation joints or gaps or windows in your home where sow bugs can gain entry? Sealing them off by using caulking or other exclusion option will reduce the chance of sow bugs entering the home.

If sow bugs cannot be excluded or moisture levels in the home or crawl space can’t be reduced, then there are registered chemical products available in Canada. Make sure that the product you choose has sow bugs on the label or you may be posing more harm to you or others by using a non-registered chemical product. Please note that treating sow bugs with chemical products will only temporarily reduce adult numbers, the moist issues must be addressed to completely eradicate a sow bug issue.

For more information and advice regarding sow bugs, feel free to give us a call on our toll-free number 1-888-768-5467.

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