What Causes Pill Bugs in Your Garden and Organic Traps to Get Rid of Them

A small black Pill Bug sitting on a rock.

Pill bugs or roly-poly bugs may seem like fun and fascinating creatures as they can roll up into little balls. But, too many pill bugs in your garden may present a significant problem. They feed on the fruits and seedlings and can potentially ruin your garden if left unchecked. 

Thankfully, there are many ways, both organic and inorganic, to get rid of them. If you’re looking for a natural way to get rid of pill bugs in garden, you are at the right place. 

However, before you try to get rid of them, it is essential to know why there are many pill bugs in your garden in the first place, as this will help you prevent another pill bug infestation in the future. 

Why Are There Pill Bugs in Your Garden?

Pill bugs usually occupy gardens when the conditions are favorable for them to live and thrive.

Cold Temperatures

There are several varieties of pill bugs that are found all over the country. Since they prefer colder climates, you may find them inhabiting your garden when winter arrives. You can mostly spot them under plant matter, logs, and leaf litter.  

Damp Areas

If your garden has plenty of dark, sheltered, and damp spots, it may attract pill bugs. These spots are perfect for their habitation and shelters them from predators, such as lizards and frogs.

So, you can often find them under rocks and rotting logs. Other suitable damp spots include moist crevices and cracks that have plant debris. 

High Amount of Debris

Did you forget to clear the debris from your garden? If debris keeps piling up, it becomes an inviting spot for pill bugs. They start by consuming the decaying plant matter and help in composition. However, they soon begin to consume live plants as well and destroy your garden plants. 

Organic Traps to Getting Rid of Pill Bugs

While dealing with numerous pill bugs may seem overwhelming, organic traps make the task much easier. Instead of using harmful chemicals, using a natural way to get rid of pill bugs in the garden ensures efficient results while extending better protection to your plants. 

Beer Trap

Beer traps are among the most effective traps for pill bugs. Fill a cup or small can with beer and sink it in the ground. Ensure that the cup or can’s brim is at the same level as the soil. 

You can set up many cups at different damp spots that do not have plant debris around.  Fill the beer until it reaches the tip of the cup or can. Pill bugs usually come out in large numbers at night time. 

The beer smell automatically lures them to the trap. The bugs will fall right into the cup and drown. This way, you can get rid of plenty of them at once by setting beer cups in several spots. 

Diatomaceous Earth

Another organic and safe way to keep away pill bugs from your garden is by using diatomaceous earth. IT is a special powder that you can spread along the edges of the plant beds. It acts as an organic insecticide. 

However, it can also prevent beneficial bugs, such as ladybugs, from entering the garden. Make sure to use food-grade diatomaceous earth if you are using it in your vegetable garden. Additionally, wear a mask while spreading it in your garden to avoid inhaling the powder and the risks to your lungs. 

Potato Trap

Potatoes contain high moisture levels and attract pill bugs. Slice potatoes into halves and spoon away a bit to create depressions in every piece. You can also spray the slices with some beer to make them more attractive for the bugs. Place the slices in the infested areas and damp soil. 

You can leave them for 1 – 2 days. Then, overturn the potatoes carefully, and you will find several pill bugs underneath. Dispose of the potatoes along with the bugs.  

Bamboo or Toilet Roll

Take a bamboo or toilet roll of a few inches and cut it into half lengthwise. Stick the duct tape to the open bottom. Ensure to keep its sticky side facing inwards. You can place your trap in the soil where pill bugs gather the most. Make multiple similar traps and place them across your garden.

Pill bugs enter the tube as it is dark and moist. However, they get stuck in the sticky duct tape at the end of the tube. You have to check the trap often to ensure that the moisture levels in the soil do not lower the tape’s stickiness. 

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