Pill bugs in the home can be a big problem; although these insects do not carry diseases or bite, they can be damaging to your home and many people find them frightening.
If you have pill bugs in the house, you need to take action to get rid of them, because they may eat books, decaying plants, and other organic matter.
You can stop pill bugs from getting into your home by making sure that you keep the house in a good state of repair and mending any holes or damage to the external walls.
It is relatively rare to get a pill bug infestation inside your home, so looking for the cause will be important in rectifying the issue.
We are going to look at:
- How pill bugs get into your home
- What pill bugs eat and where they might find this in the home
- How to reduce the risk of pill bugs getting into your home
- How to deal with pill bugs that have got in
- How to reduce the number of pill bugs near your home
How Do Pill Bugs Get Into A House?
You might be baffled as to how pill bugs are getting into your house, but these critters are good at penetrating spaces, and they can creep through very tiny gaps.
However, they are not good climbers and it is rare to see pill bugs upstairs in your house unless they have been carried there on clothing.
Of course, once up there, they can begin to breed as long as the environment is suitable, so it is perfectly possible to end up with a full pill bug colony in the upstairs part of your home, even if they cannot deal with your staircase.
To be clear, pill bugs can and will climb short distances, which often assists them in getting into your house in the first place.
They are capable of going up walls and short flights of steps and may enter through any compromised part of the house.
The commonest entry point is a rotten door or window frame. Because pill bugs live on decaying matter, they will be attracted to the frame initially and may venture in from there.
They may even accidentally fall off the windowsill and land inside the house, and then carry on indoors.
Pill bugs can also easily climb over door thresholds and get into the house this way. In some cases, they will be carried in on clothing and shoes and deposited in your porch or mudroom.
From there, they will crawl into other parts of the house and find an inhabitable spot to breed in.
You will rarely see pill bugs in your home unless the insects are abundant in the outdoor space, which is something to bear in mind.
If you have a lot of pill bugs in the garden, there is a greatly increased chance that they will also enter the house.
What Are Pill Bugs Eating In Your House?
Pill bugs eat decaying organic vegetable matter, and they will eat anything that they can find that fits the bill.
They do not eat meat products, and rarely eat any fresh products, so you don’t need to worry about the food in your kitchen.
However, they will pick any scraps of spilled food such as vegetables, particularly if they have started to go off.
You may find pill bugs in or near your compost bin, especially if you keep it under the sink, which is also likely to be a damp and undisturbed space.
They will also eat things like newspaper, especially if it is damp. If you have a magazine rack stuffed with old newspapers, it’s a good idea to throw them away before pill bugs can start feeding on them.
Mildew and rotting plants are also highly attractive, so any dead plants should be disposed of quickly to keep your home free from these insects.
Remove old leaves that fall on the floor, and clean up any mildew issues.
Unfortunately, some pill bugs develop a taste for wallpaper, which can be harder to deal with. In these cases, you may need to use active deterrents such as sprays, or work on cutting off the supply of moisture, rather than removing the food source.
If there is nothing for the pill bugs to eat, they will leave your home much more quickly, so being houseproud can help to reduce issues with these bugs.
However, they can live on surprisingly small amounts of food, so be aware of any potentially damp paper or plant matter, and dispose of this as soon as possible.
How Can You Reduce The Risk Of Pill Bugs Getting Into Your Home?
The best way to reduce the risk of pill bugs in the home is to keep your home as dry as possible.
Pill bugs often try to come inside during the heat of the summer because they are looking for damp, cool places to shelter.
These insects cannot survive without water, so if you find them in your home, it will likely be in or near a bathroom or a kitchen, close to the taps.
Leaking pipes and dripping systems may also create a good environment for them.
Being vigilant about fixing such issues will reduce the risk of a pill bug invasion. Clean up any water spills, and ensure that your bathroom is well ventilated so that humidity does not cling to the walls.
Pill bugs don’t need a lot of water to survive, so even any small amount is likely to sustain them.
You should also take the time to fix any rotten windows that could be giving them access to the home.
This should reduce the chances of them approaching the building in the first place, although some may still seek shelter inside during the summer.
Regularly sweep and clean your floors and fix any crevices in your walls that the insects may be hiding in, and you should find that you rarely get pill bugs inside, and never for long.
If you do find any, remove the sources of food and water, and regularly disturb them until they leave.
Without water, pill bugs will not survive for more than a couple of days, so a dry home tends to be unappealing to them.
How To Get Rid Of Pill Bugs In the Home
If you have got a pill bug infestation, you will need to address it quickly, as these insects breed fast.
Firstly, identify what they are eating and drinking, and cut off their access to these things. Secondly, consider trapping them.
Rolling up a damp newspaper is a good way to entice the bugs in, and is an all-natural method of pest removal.
The pill bugs will crawl into the newspaper because it is damp and supplies them with both food and water. You can then simply pick it up and remove it from the house.
You will probably need to do this multiple times in order to free your home from these insects, but it is usually effective.
You may also find that spraying strong scents around the house reduces the risk of pill bugs lingering.
Garlic, pepper, chili, tea tree, peppermint, and lavender are all effective. You can also place sprigs of lavender around the home.
When the smell wears off, you will need to reapply the scent, but this is one effective way of reducing the presence of these insects.
Regularly disturbing them can also help to encourage them to move elsewhere.
You can buy insecticides that will work against pill bugs, but in general, these creatures are fairly easy to tackle without.
How To Reduce The Number Of Pill Bugs Near Your Home
Sometimes, getting rid of pill bugs outside the house can reduce the amount that get inside.
You can reduce the number of these insects in your garden by tidying up and removing debris, particularly near the home.
Pill bugs need leaf litter to hide in, and dead wood, and decaying plants to eat if they are to thrive.
A tidy garden will likely still have some pill bugs, but they should be greatly reduced and less likely to enter your home.
If you have a woodpile near your home, try moving it further from the house, as there are very likely to be pill bugs inside.
Take off any shoes that you have worn in the garden before going back indoors, as pill bugs may be clinging to them.
Old bricks and stones can also shelter these creatures, and so can plant pots.
Doing a general tidy-up outdoors and getting rid of these items should help to reduce the quantities of pill bugs near your home, and consequently those that get inside.
Pill bugs in the home are not fun and can be pretty destructive. Although these creatures are fairly harmless, they may ruin your books and wallpaper, and they should be dealt with.
Remove food sources, fix any dripping pipework, and keep disturbing them with a broom if necessary, and they should soon move elsewhere.
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