Pillbug against a white background - Keep pillbugs out of your home with Kona Coast Pest Control in Kailua Kona

Pillbug

Actual Size: ¼ to ½”

Characteristics: Tiny arthropods that have several dark gray or slate-colored scales.

Legs: 14

Antennae: 2 pairs

Wings: No

Habitat: Requires plenty of moisture to survive, so they’re usually found in dark and protected areas like mulch piles or the undersides of rocks.

Habits:

  • Known for rolling into a tight ball when frightened. 
  • Drawn to areas with damp, decomposing organic matter. 
  • Indoor infestations could be a sign of moisture problems.
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Pillbugs in Kailua Kona

Pillbugs, also known as woodlice or roly-polies, are small, segmented crustaceans that are often mistaken for insects. They have oval-shaped bodies, ranging in size from about 1/4 to 1/2 inch, and are typically dark brown or gray. Pillbugs are easily recognizable by their ability to roll into a tight ball when disturbed, which serves as a defensive mechanism. Unlike insects, pillbugs have seven pairs of legs and belong to the class Isopoda, making them more closely related to crustaceans like crabs and lobsters.

Pillbug Habitat

Pillbugs are commonly found in damp and decaying organic matter, such as under logs, rocks, and leaf litter. They are nocturnal creatures, feeding on decaying plant material, fungi, and organic debris. Pillbugs play an important role in the decomposition process by breaking down dead plant matter and contributing to nutrient cycling in the soil. They prefer humid environments and are often found in gardens, compost piles, and other areas with high moisture levels.

Pillbug Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Despite their strange appearance, pillbugs are harmless to humans and do not pose any direct threats. They are not known to bite, sting, or transmit diseases. Their ability to roll into a ball is a defense mechanism against predators, providing them with protection from potential threats. Pillbugs play a beneficial role in the ecosystem by contributing to the decomposition of organic matter. In some cases, they may enter homes, especially if there is moisture or decaying organic material present. 

If you have a pillbug problem in your Kailua Kona property, contact your local exterminators.