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How to Kill Roly Poly Grounded: Effective Methods for Control


Are you tired of dealing with roly polys in your garden? These small, pill-shaped creatures, also known as sow bugs or woodlice, can quickly become a nuisance. But fear not! In this article, we will discuss effective methods to eliminate roly polys and regain control over your outdoor space. Whether you prefer natural remedies or chemical solutions, we have you covered. Let’s dive in!

A roly poly (sow bug) exploring its habitat.
A roly poly (sow bug) exploring its habitat.

Understanding Roly Polys

Roly polys, scientifically known as Armadillidiidae, are land-dwelling crustaceans that thrive in damp environments. These fascinating creatures have armor-like exoskeletons and are capable of rolling into a tight ball when threatened, hence their common name. Roly polys feed on decaying organic matter and are typically found in dark, moist areas such as gardens, flower beds, or under rocks.

Roly polys prefer cool and humid conditions, making gardens an ideal habitat for them. Their presence may indicate excessive moisture levels or decaying plant material. Understanding their behavior and habitat preferences is crucial for effective control.

Natural remedies like diatomaceous earth and crushed eggshells help control roly polys in gardens.
Natural remedies like diatomaceous earth and crushed eggshells help control roly polys in gardens.

Effective Methods to Eliminate Roly Polys

Natural Remedies for Roly Poly Control

If you prefer eco-friendly solutions, there are several natural remedies that can help deter roly polys from infesting your garden.

  1. Creating unfavorable conditions in the garden: Roly polys thrive in moist environments, so reducing excessive moisture levels can discourage their presence. Ensure proper drainage in your garden, avoid overwatering, and fix any leaks or waterlogged areas.

  2. Using organic repellents and barriers: Certain substances can act as repellents or barriers against roly polys. Diatomaceous earth, made from fossilized remains of algae, is a popular choice. Sprinkle it around vulnerable areas to create a barrier that roly polys will avoid. Other options include coffee grounds, crushed eggshells, or cedar chips.

Chemical Solutions for Roly Poly Eradication

If the infestation is severe or natural remedies haven’t yielded satisfactory results, chemical solutions can be effective in eliminating roly polys.

  1. Choosing appropriate insecticides: Look for insecticides specifically formulated for crustaceans or sow bugs. These products often contain active ingredients like pyrethroids or carbaryl. Follow the instructions carefully and apply the insecticide to areas where roly polys are concentrated.

  2. Safe application techniques: When using chemical solutions, it is crucial to prioritize safety. Wear protective gear, such as gloves and goggles, and keep children and pets away from treated areas. Apply the insecticide in accordance with the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some common questions regarding roly polys and their control:

Can roly polys cause any harm?

Roly polys are generally harmless to humans, pets, and plants. They primarily feed on decaying organic matter, aiding in the decomposition process. However, in large numbers, they can damage young seedlings or delicate plant tissues.

Are roly polys beneficial in any way?

Yes, despite their nuisance value, roly polys play a vital role in the ecosystem. They contribute to nutrient recycling and help break down organic matter, enriching the soil. Additionally, they serve as a food source for certain predators, such as birds and amphibians.

How to prevent roly poly infestations?

To prevent roly poly infestations, ensure proper garden maintenance. Regularly remove decaying plant material and debris, as they provide a favorable environment for roly polys. Additionally, address any moisture issues in your garden and create a dry, less hospitable environment for these creatures.

Can I use household products to kill roly polys?

While some household products, like salt or soapy water, may kill roly polys on contact, their effectiveness is limited. These methods often do not address the underlying cause of the infestation and may harm beneficial organisms in your garden. It is best to opt for more reliable and targeted control methods.

What are the signs of a severe roly poly infestation?

Signs of a severe roly poly infestation include a large number of roly polys congregating in garden beds, damage to young plants, or the presence of roly polys inside your home. If you notice these signs, it is essential to take prompt action to prevent further damage.


Controlling roly polys in your garden may seem like a daunting task, but armed with the right knowledge and methods, you can successfully eliminate these pests. Whether you prefer natural remedies or chemical solutions, remember to prioritize the safety of yourself, your family, and the environment. By creating unfavorable conditions, using organic repellents, or resorting to targeted insecticides, you can reclaim your garden and enjoy a pest-free outdoor space. Bid farewell to roly polys and welcome a thriving garden once more!

Remember, persistence is key when dealing with any pest infestation. Implement the techniques discussed in this article, and soon you’ll be able to enjoy your garden without the unwanted presence of roly polys. Take charge of your outdoor space and say goodbye to these pill bugs once and for all!

Learn more about effective pest control methods


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