Common Pillbug and Sowbug
Pillbugs and sowbugs are actually not insects at all, but rather crustaceans that have become completely adapted to spending their whole life on land. The pillbug, known commonly as Roly-Polies, and the sowbug are never more than 3/4” in length and their bodies are oval with a hollow underside. Their head and abdomen are small, but the thorax is comparatively large, composed of seven hard overlapping plates, giving them an armored appearance. The sowbug can be separated from the pillbug by the fact they cannot roll up into a tight ball like the pillbug. Furthermore, the sowbug has two prominent tail-like appendages which the pillbug does not possess.
Pillbugs and sowbugs like moist conditions and are typically found under objects on the damp ground, as well as under vegetative debris of all kinds. They normally feed on decaying vegetative matter and are worldwide in distribution. Pillbugs and sowbugs will occasionally invade damp basement areas as well as the first floors of homes during times of drought or excessive moisture. When this occurs, they are almost always present in considerable numbers in the soil and under landscaping areas (gardens, potted plants, mulch, etc.) immediately outside of the home.
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