Identification and prevention of harmful insects

Snowbugs or Pillbugs


Sowbugs and Pillbugs are the only terrestrial crustaceans. Their oval body has a convex back and a flat abdomen. It has seven pairs of walking legs. Its rigid exoskeleton goes from yellowish brown to slate gray to black. Pillbugs are distinguishable by their instant ball-transformation reflex when they feel threatened. Sowbugs, in turn, are distinguishable by their two small appendages.

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Woodlouse from Quebec.

Life Cycle

The female carries her fertilized eggs in an incubation pouch located under the body. She gives birth twice a year to a large quantity of young. The Pillbug can live for 2-3 years during which it molts monthly.

Habitat and Food

The Pillbug can sometimes invade damp basement or ground floor of a house. When this happens, it means that there are Pillbugs in significant quantities in the soil around the home, usually in damp and dark spots like under leaves, bark, in dead wood or in rock crevices. Pillbugs feed only on dead plant matter.

Undesirable Effects

Pillbugs generally do not damage the interior of the home, although some Pillbugs can be harmful to plants and outdoor gardens. Like any parasite, their presence gives the impression of lack of hygiene, which can bother the occupants.

Signs of Infestation

A large number of Pillbugs in a house could suggest that the home is very humid and there is a large colony near the building.

Preparation Steps for a Treatment

  • For the application of a liquid treatment, make all treatment surfaces accessible (move furniture away from the edge of the walls, as well as, in front of cracks and crevices in dark and wet areas).
  • Plan to leave your home for the duration of the treatment and return only after 4 hours. Wherever possible, open windows for 20 minutes upon your return. It is also important to not walk barefoot on treated areas for 48 hours after treatment.

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