Call us for a free quote at 877-690-2115  or contact us

Sowbug prevention

Although sowbugs are not specifically known to endanger human health like other pests, their mere presence can cause concern. They are classified as crustaceans, but ironically, they cannot live in water and are also incapable of keeping too much water in their system. Instead, they share the same living conditions as other arthropods and insects. They prefer moist and dark environments, but they can occasionally come out of their habitat and disturb humans.

Sowbugs are mostly active at night and remain inactive during the winter season. They can be a nuisance for homes and businesses in the warmer months of the year, making it important to know when to enlist help from a sowbug removal expert.

Call the pest control professionals at Rentokil today at 877-690-2115 or contact us online if you want to get rid of nuisance sowbugs from your commercial business or residential property.

How to identify sowbugs

Proper identification leads to successful sow bug control and removal. These creatures are often confused with another crustacean called a “pillbug,” but there are noticeable differences. While both species are classified as isopods (meaning, having identical legs), pillbugs can curl into a ball, and sow bugs cannot. While both creatures have segmented bodies, sow bugs have a flatter appearance and resemble a trilobite or a louse. In addition, sow bugs are elliptical and can grow to about 1 centimeter in length.

Both sowbugs and pillbugs have seven pairs of legs and two pairs of antennae and are collectively called “woodlice.” It often takes the trained eye of a professional sow bug control expert to help identify which is which.

Sowbug behavior and habitat

A sowbug’s diet consists of decaying plants, leaf litter, and natural debris. That’s why they are most likely to be found in the garden, particularly under leaves, tree stumps, decaying wood, and damp soil. Because of this, gardeners can treat sowbugs either as pests or friends. When they feed on leaf seedlings, they can affect the harvest and are thus a threat to gardeners. But when they produce compost, they are welcome to stay in the garden.

Sowbugs are often found in garden beds, usually undercover and in large numbers. However, they can occasionally enter the house through sliding doors, cracks, and unfinished crawlspaces. At home, they are usually found in the basement, inside bottom cabinets, in sunrooms, and in damp areas (e.g., drain pipes and bathrooms). During the winter, they can be found in artificially heated structures. Also during the winter, these creatures can enter the house on firewood carried inside.

How to prevent sowbugs

Sowbugs thrive in moist or damp places, which is why when they enter a dry structure, they are not expected to survive for more than a few days. There are a few places to check and things to do to keep an eye out for these pests:

  1. If sowbugs get indoors, they will crawl and find a damp place if they can. The best thing to do to keep them away is to ensure that the inside of your property is as dry as possible.
  2. It’s also important to check the surroundings for possible hiding places of sowbugs such as flowerpots, logs, rocks and trash cans.
  3. When there is a disturbance in their habitat, they can crawl into homes or businesses through ground-level doors and windows for a temporary residence. That said, any damp or moist places outside should be dried out immediately.
  4. Move logs, leaves, wood piles, boards and stones away from the foundation of your home or business.
  5. Any structural cracks or holes should be sealed with a strong sealer, and basements should have proper ventilation.

Rentokil sowbug removal

Sowbugs may not be the most dangerous pest, but they can still be a big nuisance for home and business owners.

If you are overwhelmed with these bugs inside or outside your property, the sowbug control team at Rentokil can help. Our sowbug treatment will consist of a light residual spray to all active areas and perimeters of the affected unit. Contact our sowbug removal team today for more information about how we can keep sowbugs out of your property all year long.

Next steps

Find your local branch


Find your local agency

British Columbia

Prince Edward Island



New Brunswick

Nova Scotia




Call your local branch

Residential: 877-690-2115
Commercial: 877-690-2115

or fill out your details and we will call you back