Pillbugs (Rollie Pollies)

Armadillilium vulgare
Sow Bug.jpg

Pill Bugs Identification

Pest Stats


Dark brown to black


Seven pair


Oval; round when rolled up






Found throughout U.S.

What Do Pill Bugs Look Like?

Pill bugs are between ¼-5/8 inches long and have seven pairs of legs and 2 pairs of antennae. Rollie pollies are usually slate gray in color. Their bodies are oval shaped and become round when they roll up. They are easily recognized by their back, which is made up of seven hard individual plates.

Signs of an Infestation

Pillbugs typically enter buildings through door thresholds, especially homes with sliding-glass doors on the ground level. Seeing a pillbug in the home usually means that there is a large population outdoors. Pillbugs do not survive more than a few days indoors without moist conditions and a food supply.

Pill bugs Prevention

The key to controlling pillbugs is to eliminate the moist sites that make their survival possible. Remove piles of grass clippings and leaves around the properly. Store firewood off the ground and away from the home. Properly ventilate basements, attics and crawlspaces.

If you need to get rid of pillbugs that have already entered a home or building, a vacuum cleaner can aid in their removal. If pillbugs continue to be a problem, contact a licensed pest control professional.

How to Get Rid of Pill Bugs

Looking to get rid of pillbugs and prevent future infestations? Pillbugs can be avoided by eliminating food sources such as vegetable or plant debris. If pillbugs enter a structure, they will often dry out and die.

Several pill bugs on a wood surface

Pill Bugs Education

Habits & Behavior

Pillbugs remain inactive under objects during the day in order to minimize water loss. They often stay under trash, boards, rocks, flower pots, piles of grass clippings, flower-bed mulches and other decaying vegetation. They stay in these areas of high moisture because their bodily structures leave them vulnerable to water loss. Rollie pollies are most active at ngiht. They occasionally enter buildings and homes via door thresholds.

Pillbug eggs hatch from a brood pouch on the underside of the female’s body. The eggs develop and hatch in about 45 days. After this period, the young pillbugs emerge from the pouch. On average, there are about 28 pill bugs in each brood. Young pillbugs molt twice within the first 2-3 weeks of their life. After that, they molt irregularly depending on the availability of food and other resources. The lifespan of a pillbug is about 2 years.

What Do Pill Bugs Eat?

Pillbugs are scavengers and feed on decaying plant material. Outdoors, they occasionally injure young plants.


Pillbugs live in moist locations. They are found under damp objects or under vegetable debris.


Pillbugs do not bite or spread disease. However, the pillbug is considered a nuisance pest indoors. They may cause damage to young plants outdoors.