do birds eat pill bugs

Roly poly, doodle bugs, or pill bugs… whatever you call them, these are popular little garden dwellers.

Children play with pill bugs, fascinated by their ability to roll their seven pairs of legs up into a little ball. Frogs and lizards find them to be tasty treats. And we find them in every part of the United States as well as widespread abroad.

But are pill bugs in garden settings a problem? More and more often, people ask if pill bugs in the garden are friend or foe.

Let’s examine that in depth! I’ll also help you learn how to prevent them from becoming a real problem dweller. And we’ll discuss how the only crustacean living on land can be a beneficial addition to certain portions of your yard through their processing of decaying plant material.

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What Eats Pill Bugs?

Many other creatures, including birds, toads, spiders, certain species of wasps, centipedes, and millipedes, feed on pill bugs in order to meet their nutritional needs. The decomposers that improve the general quality of their habitat and the amazing physical feats they accomplish, such as rolling themselves into tiny, grey balls, make pill bugs vital to the ecosystem.

All About Pill Bugs

do birds eat pill bugs

Let’s first discuss what pill bugs are and aren’t.

Armadillidium vulgare, commonly known as the pill bug, is a kind of woodlice. Pill bugs are a type of woodlice that roll into a ball and are a member of the Armadillidiidae family. This protects their tender underbelly from harm.

It’s common to confuse pill bugs with Oniscus asellus, the sow bug. Both have a similar look and seven pairs of legs. Oniscidae, or members of the wood louse family, are the sow bugs. They can’t roll into a ball like pill bugs can, so they instead form a C.

Pill bugs and sow bugs belong to the same family, Crustacea, which includes crustaceans. In fact, they’re not an insect at all. They’re related to lobsters, crabs, or shrimp!.

Remarkably, they are the only crustacean that can survive without water. Pill bugs do require large amounts of moisture to survive. For this reason, they prefer to live in protected, moist areas.

There’s a good reason why people confuse sow bugs with pill bugs so frequently. Both are found in the same places throughout the world and share the same basic habitat and food source. Both are also controlled with the same methods.

do birds eat pill bugs

Dig Deeper on Sowbugs

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