Sow bug against a white background - Keep sow bugs out of your home with Kona Coast Pest Control in Kailua Kona

Sowbug

Actual Size: ¼ to ½”

Characteristics: Oval bodies that are dark brown or gray. Has small scales like other arthropods.

Legs: Yes – 14

Antennae: Yes

Wings: No

Habitat: Prefers to live outdoors in dark, damp environments. They’re often found in places like compost piles, mulch, or the underside of stones.

Habits:

  • Though they look similar to pillbugs, they cannot roll up into a tight ball. 
  • Rarely survives more than a few days in indoor environments. 
  • Most active during the spring and summer, during prime breeding months.
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Sowbugs in Kailua Kona

Also known as woodlice or roly-polies, sowbugs are small, land-dwelling crustaceans that belong to the order Isopoda. They are not insects but are closely related to aquatic crustaceans like crabs and lobsters. Sowbugs have oval, segmented bodies, typically measuring around 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length. They are gray or brown in color and have a pair of antennae on their head. Unlike pillbugs, sowbugs do not have the ability to roll into a ball when disturbed due to a small appendage on their abdomen.

Sowbug Habitat

Sowbugs 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. Sowbugs play a beneficial role in the ecosystem by aiding in the decomposition process 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. Should they wander indoors, they may stay near basements, crawl spaces, or bathrooms.

Sowbug Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Sowbugs are harmless to humans and do not pose any direct threats. They do not bite, sting, or transmit diseases. Sowbugs play a beneficial role in the ecosystem by contributing to the decomposition of organic matter. While they may enter homes, especially if there is moisture or decaying organic material present, their presence indoors is generally harmless. That said, it’s never pleasant to find insects in your home. If you suspect a sowbug issue, contact your local pest control company.