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Sow Bug Appearance and Size Facts

Sow bugs primarily live outside but can find their way into your Florida home. They prefer moist environments and can be found near drain pipes, in flower beds, or in mulch. While they don’t cause much harm or damage, they can still be an unwelcome presence when they find their way inside. Some general traits of sow bugs include:

  • Usually dark gray in color, flat and ovular
  • On rare occasions, can appear white
  • 0.25 inches to 0.5 inches long 
  • Seven pairs of legs and one visible pair of antennae

Identifying Sow Bugs From Pill Bugs

The sow bug is commonly mistaken for the pill bug (roly-polies). The biggest difference is that pill bugs roll up in a ball, and sow bugs do not. So, if you see an ovular bug that rolls up in a ball, it’s not a sow bug. Typically, a sow bug also has a flatter appearance than a pill bug.

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Behavior and Habitat of Sowbugs

Typically, sow bugs are most active at night, in the garden, or hidden on your lawn. They don’t pose any threat to humans or animals, as they don’t bite and aren’t an invasive pest like roaches. However, they can become a nuisance if they find their way into your home. Sow bugs typically enter the home only if they find excess moisture or decaying wood or paper. 

Signs of Infestation of Sowbugs

Unlike rats, termites, and other more harmful pests, pill bugs don’t typically cause damage to your home. The most common sign that you’re dealing with a sow bug infestation is simply seeing a lot of them around the house, especially near areas with extra moisture or decaying materials. For example, they may gravitate toward a damp basement or wet floors and walls, or a pile of wet cardboard boxes left out. 

Tips for Prevention of Sowbugs

Sow bugs don’t become an annoyance until they find their way into your home from outside, so most strategies for prevention revolve around sealing entry points and disposing of materials that could attract them. Follow these tips for preventing sow bugs in your home:


  • Frequently clean all areas of your home, including your garage and basement.
  • Dispose of wet or damp materials right away.
  • Seal potential entry points on the ground level, such as cracks in foundation.
  • Clear plants and shrubbery off your home’s siding and walls.
  • Store firewood and other excess wood away from your home’s walls.

Getting Rid of Sow Bugs

Typically, getting rid of decaying material and excess moisture in your home should ward off sow bugs, as they won’t be able to survive in a dry environment. However, if you keep finding sow bugs indoors, even after disposing of wet and decaying materials, it may be time for expert pest control services from Hulett.

Effective Sow Bug Control Solutions

Though sow bugs pose little threat to you and your home, they can become quite pesky if you keep finding them in your house. If you’ve removed any visible sources of moisture and still continually stumble upon these ovular bugs, it’s time to schedule a free inspection with Hulett. 

Our pest control technicians can apply professional sow bug control treatments and help you prevent them from returning. 

Sowbug Gallery