Pill bugs, or rollie polies, can eat crop plants in a vegetable or fruit garden. Learn how to make a trap out of a potato to stop them from eating your tender plants.
Pill bugs, which are also called rollie polies or doodlebugs, are a type of woodlice. Their scientific name is Armadillidiidae and they are decomposers. They eat decomposing plant matter and help break it down.
Unfortunately, pill bugs will also eat living plant matter especially young, tender plants or plants in wet conditions, such as a vegetable garden. We’ve seen them eat our tomato plants, squash plants, strawberry plants, and lettuce in our garden box.
We researched how to get rid of pill bugs, and we found the best way is to make a trap and dispose of them. Here’s how we made a simple pill bug trap out of a potato:
The pill bugs are attracted to the dark, moist, and decomposing inside of the potato. They will leave the still-living vegetable plants and move to the potato.
The potato trap won’t get rid of pill bugs permanently, but it will reduce the population and allow vegetable plants to grow. We usually keep placing potato traps in our garden box until there are not many pill bugs in the potato so we know there are not many left in the garden.