Wacky Pest Wednesday: Pillbugs

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Happy Wednesday to all you Tri-County Pest Control fans out there, and welcome back to our favorite weekly tradition: Wacky Pest Wednesday!  Join us today, as we give you some things that you may not know about the pillbug.

Pillbugs, sowbugs, roly-polies, doodlebugs, or potato bugs, all represent one specific kind of bug.  While the only official name for this funny little critter is its scientific name (Armadillidium vulgare), we are sure you’ve seen one before.  No matter what you call it, these little guys have a propensity to roll into a ball when threatened, and can even use this newfound shape to get around—think of it as their very own unicycle.  However, there is many more fascinating facts to this bug than just its ability to roll into a ball!

Indeed, one of the coolest thing about this critter is that it is not an insect—it is a crustacean.  Believe it or not, this pest has more in common with the shrimp than the cockroach, and they breathe through their gills.  This being said, the pillbug needs a very moist environment in order to survive, which makes your basement or cabinet under the sink a great place for them to hide in the dry season of winter.  

Overall, this pest will generally keep to itself, and chow down on any rotting vegetation that they can find.  Thus, the best way to make sure that pillbugs don’t invade your home is to keep a tidy kitchen, and reduce the moisture content in some typically moist locations like your basement.  However, should you see a pillbug that is a bright blue color, it is a sign that it has been infected with an iridovirus.  This is not a danger to humans, but it still serves as a sure-fire sign to call in the professionals to handle it.

Well, that wraps it up for this edition of Wacky Pest Wednesday.  To learn more about some of the wacky pests of the world, be sure to check back each Wednesday for a new edition!

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