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Pill bugs!

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Pill bugs!

Post  gardenertaylor on 5/5/2013, 2:56 pm

First of all, are those pill bugs (aka Isopoda, Riley poley) bugs bad for my garden? I pulled out about 20 of them in one square this morning! Any chance they are good for my garden? I have been keeping a close eye for bugs, and in the past couple weeks pulled out less than 5 of these critters. Today I discovered them hiding under the wood laths that mark my squares. 20 of them!

I have also lost two red sail lettuce plants this week, could this be why? Or just coincidence?

Unplanted some marigold this weekend and
Just planted some nasturtium seeds in nearby pots too. Will these help?

And, can anyone recommend a good resource for me to learn about bugs? I need to learn which are good, which are bad, and most importantly what they look like so I know what I am dealing with.

Thanks y'all!
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Re: Pill bugs!

Post  gardenertaylor on 5/5/2013, 2:59 pm

I planted, not unplanted marigolds. Whoops! And I found the bugs in one 4x4 bed, not an individual square. Should I take the lath out of the garden? It's so pretty and clearly marked out, but I can use something else if need be.
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Re: Pill bugs!

Post  camprn on 5/5/2013, 3:18 pm

These bugs mostly eat dead and decaying material. They may not be a problem at this time.

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Re: Pill bugs!

Post  gardenertaylor on 5/5/2013, 3:23 pm

Oh good. They probably love the compost?

How about ants? What can I expect them to do? I've pulled out a few from my parsnips and leeks.

On another buggy note, my son and I made up an anti-bug solution (listerine, dawn, cayenne) and a garlic spray before we even founds these critters. Any advice on using these sprays proactively? Yes, no?

I took the wood lath out of my beds to remove the pill bugs. While it's out, I thought about spraying them with the garlic spray to be proactive, but that's probably overkill, huh?
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Re: Pill bugs!

Post  camprn on 5/5/2013, 3:27 pm

Ants can be destructive... have you tried looking for information in the 'Pests' sub forum? There are many threads and some good stickies.

Hold the spray, until you do more research. The listerine may actually create problems with the beneficial bacteria in the garden.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Pill bugs!

Post  joshpeckney on 10/21/2014, 2:43 am

Here is a guide that I usually use to identify garden bugs and other threats. It really helped me a lot with some problems in my garden. Hope you like it.

garden.org/pestlibrary/
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Re: Pill bugs!

Post  floyd1440 on 10/21/2014, 7:04 am

I panicked the first time I saw them too but they came with my fresh made compost and tend to thrive on decaying plant material.

Are they bothering your plants?
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Re: Pill bugs!

Post  Judy McConnell on 10/21/2014, 8:16 am

I find pillbugs in the garden but they are decomposers and are probably feeding on the compost.

More important in my area are slugs and earwigs (http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74102.html) - both feed on live plant materials - seedlings and fruit.
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Re: Pill bugs!

Post  jimmy cee on 10/21/2014, 2:55 pm

My pillbugs (sowbugs) must not know they should only eat old stuff.

I come out at night and they are everywhere..
I started using diatomaceous earth and it seems to be helping some what.
Also some boards left down that they hide in underneath..
It all helps.
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