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Pill Bugs eatin my greens

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Pill Bugs eatin my greens

Post  sarah in the garden on 4/14/2011, 9:19 am

I've been under the weather, and haven't spent as much time outside staring at my box and willing things to grow. I noticed the other day that some of the leaves on my bush beans had holes in them. Yesterday morning I noticed pill bugs (roly poly, woodlouse) on one of the leaves and at the base of my lettuce. I've read they normally eat dead vegetable and wood matter, but will eat tender young plants too. My garden is probably the only moist place in the yard right now. I have thousands of pill bugs in my front and back yard. Is there anything natural I can spray to kill them or at least keep them away?

Also, I noticed a toad living in the corner of my box! I scooped him out with my trowel, but he was back two days later (again, only moist spot in the yard). My mom said as long as he isn't disturbing any of the roots to let him stay, he will eat some of the undesirable insects. Any thoughts?
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Re: Pill Bugs eatin my greens

Post  dizzygardener on 4/14/2011, 9:45 am

OMG! You are so lucky to have a Toad! They are master bug eaters. Build him a home (upside down terracotta pot with a big enough chip taken out of the lip to allow him to get in and out) and give him a little dish of water.

I wonder if maybe the pill bugs are not the ones eating on your plants. They are only going to go for very young plants (think seedlings or a little older) if they go for living plants at all. Have you seen any other pests in the garden?
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Re: Pill Bugs eatin my greens

Post  sarah in the garden on 4/14/2011, 10:44 am

I hadn't noticed any other pests, but I went outside and practically stuck my face in the dirt. Smile
I saw a few tiny black ants crawling up the stalk of my beans. I didn't see any on the leaves, but that doesn't mean they haven't been there. I know absolutely NOTHING about garden bugs/pests! Will the little black ants eat my veggies? If so, how do I get rid of them?
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Re: Pill Bugs eatin my greens

Post  camprn on 4/14/2011, 6:13 pm

@dizzygardener wrote:OMG! You are so lucky to have a Toad! They are master bug eaters. Build him a home (upside down terracotta pot with a big enough chip taken out of the lip to allow him to get in and out) and give him a little dish of water.

I wonder if maybe the pill bugs are not the ones eating on your plants. They are only going to go for very young plants (think seedlings or a little older) if they go for living plants at all. Have you seen any other pests in the garden?
+1 My wee resident toad just emerged from his hibernation and was right back to his old spot from last year, I was SOOOOOOOOOOO happy !!
As to what is eating your vegetation, I would suspect another critter than the pill bugs.
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Re: Pill Bugs eatin my greens

Post  shannon1 on 4/15/2011, 1:18 am

Woodlice are edible never tried them myself but I did find this quote on the web,"After boiling a bunch for 2 minutes, I gingerly raised a single, drained morsel to my lips, I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy the shrimp-like flavor I had been expecting…only slightly sweeter with a tad more crunch." We in the west have an adversion to eating bugs but we eat sea bugs all the time. Shrimp and crabs are realy not all that different. Laughing
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Re: pill bugs

Post  westie42 on 4/15/2011, 1:35 am

Wow I am going to run right out to find me some woodlice for my next seafood boil. Toads are this gardeners good friend. They eat lots of bugs, fertilize and till the soil too. I pay the neighbor kids a quarter apiece for all of them they can find for my garden. Some of them run off but some stay and even winter over. A little shade and water will keep them around as long as you can feed them bugs.

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Re: Pill Bugs eatin my greens

Post  sarah in the garden on 4/15/2011, 9:25 am

@shannon1 wrote:Woodlice are edible never tried them myself but I did find this quote on the web,"After boiling a bunch for 2 minutes, I gingerly raised a single, drained morsel to my lips, I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy the shrimp-like flavor I had been expecting…only slightly sweeter with a tad more crunch." We in the west have an adversion to eating bugs but we eat sea bugs all the time. Shrimp and crabs are realy not all that different. Laughing

hungry I didn't know whether to laugh or barf when I read this! If the pill bugs aren't eating my garden, I won't eat them. Hubby and I don't eat shrimp and crab (even though we live on the coast!), it's the whole "cockroaches of the sea" thing. I won't knock anyone else's good time, Shannon if you are ever up this way you are welcome to all the pill bugs in my garden you can eat!

The toad was gone again yesterday, but I have a feeling he will be back. He obviously lives close by. I think I will put a little permanent home for him right beside the garden to encourage him to stay.

And it is most definitely the sugar ants eating my leaves, I saw a few on the undersides munching away. Is there anything without harmful chemicals that I can spray on them to keep the ants away? thinking
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Re: Pill Bugs eatin my greens

Post  shannon1 on 4/15/2011, 11:57 pm

Thanks I live in St.Augustine Fl. so if I ever do decide to start chomping rolly pollies I have plenty, but thanks anyway.
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Re: Pill Bugs eatin my greens

Post  dizzygardener on 4/16/2011, 8:56 am

@sarah in the garden wrote: And it is most definitely the sugar ants eating my leaves, I saw a few on the undersides munching away. Is there anything without harmful chemicals that I can spray on them to keep the ants away? thinking

DE and orange oil should take care of it. I just put some DE out the other day.
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Re: Pill Bugs eatin my greens

Post  sceleste54 on 4/16/2011, 7:44 pm

My mother still entertains people with the news that I ate a Roly Poly when I was two....I don't remember it.....

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Re: pill bugs

Post  westie42 on 4/16/2011, 10:44 pm

Pray tell what is DE.

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Re: Pill Bugs eatin my greens

Post  shannon1 on 4/16/2011, 11:53 pm

This is from rich soil.com

"Diatomacious Earth (often referred to as "DE") is an off white talc-like powder that is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton"
"Die bugs! Die! Die! Die!


I have heard two explanations of how diatomaceous earth works.


    One is that on a microscopic level, the diatomaceous earth particles are very sharp looking. These particles stick to an insect and get stuck between its exoskeleton joints. As the insect moves, it gets physically cut up.
    The other explanation is that diatomaceous earth sticks to the insect and somehow causes them to dry out. I think this approach involves scratching the insects waxy layer which then allows precious moisture within the insect to get out. So their teeny tiny bug-innards turn into teeny tiny bug-innards-jerky."

    The only thing is it also kills benifical insects like honey bees and ladybugs.
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Re: Pill Bugs eatin my greens

Post  dizzygardener on 4/17/2011, 1:05 am

Indeed DE can but hazardous to bees, but since we are dealing with ants here the DE would be applied to the ground where it is less likely to come in contact with bees. ...
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