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Actual Size: ¼ – ½”

Characteristics: Oval; dark to slate gray in color.

Legs: Yes – 14.

Antennae: Yes

Wings: No

Habitat: Thrive in high moisture areas and are common under mulch, compost, boards, stones, flower pots, and other items resting on damp ground.


  • Sowbugs can not roll up, while pill bugs can.
  • Feed on decaying plants and other organic matter.
  • Attracted to moisture, and will only survive for a few days indoors.

Sowbugs in Salina

Sowbugs are a common land dwelling crustacean in Salina, and in fact, everywhere else in the United States too. Sowbugs and pillbugs are sometimes used interchangeably, but there’s one key difference. Only pillbugs can be called a “roly poly.” Sowbugs’ anatomy has a pair of tail-like appendages that prevent it from rolling into a ball to defend itself. Sowbugs are highly dependent on access to moisture for survival, so they cannot live indoors for more than a few days unless there are very moist or damp conditions.

Sowbug Habitat

Sowbugs thrive in moist environments and can be found outdoors under mulch, fallen leaves, and rocks. Sowbugs are nocturnal and require humid conditions during the day. Sowbugs are scavengers and feed mainly on organic matter. They may leave their natural habitats at night and crawl about over sidewalks, patios, and foundations. Sowbugs can become a nuisance as they often invade crawl spaces, damp basements, and first floors of structures at ground level.

Sowbug Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Sowbugs do not bite or sting and cannot damage household furnishings and the roots of plants when they eat. Sowbugs typically enter buildings through door thresholds, especially homes with sliding glass doors on the ground level. Seeing a sowbug in the home usually means that there is a large population outdoors. If you suspect a sowbug issue, call your local pest control company.

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