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Pill Bug (Rolly Polly) Problem in Greenhouse

Andre LaS

Joined: Jan 24, 2014
Posts: 50
Location: 3600ft Elevation, San Diego County, CA
Any time a pest gets out of hand it means we have struck an improper balance, which I am aware of.
I have a greenhouse and over the past 6 months have had a growing Pill bug population, enough now that they are starting to eat seedlings.

I noticed that the problem started very soon after I mulched my beds. The mulch is probably a more than ideal habitat for them.

Ideas? I know my chickens will eat them, but leaving chickens in the greenhouse will cause crop destruction.
Introduce toads?

Adam Klaus

Joined: Apr 16, 2013
Posts: 945
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
I feel your pain, been there for sure. Good news! I have a solution!

Chickens dont really like rolly pollys, IME.

Take an orange, cut in half, squeeze out the juice.

Set the cut in half orange open side down on your garden bed, so it looks like a nice half orange dome. The rolly polly, cant resist, they will be attracted to the inside of the orange. Come back in the morning, pickup the orange half, it will be full of rolly pollys! Discard and repeat! Oranges are the perfect rolly polly traps.

On a deeper level, I would work to introduce more fungi into your greenhouse soil. Shifting the soils in my greenhouse to more fungi content has been a real help in the long term. I now have no serious rolly polly problems in the greenhouse, after they gave me hell for years.

hope that works as well for you as it did for me, good luck!

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Andre LaS

Joined: Jan 24, 2014
Posts: 50
Location: 3600ft Elevation, San Diego County, CA

Thanks for your quick reply.
I will try that tonight.

On an unrelated note, my wife and I really enjoyed your talks at Permaculture Voices.
They were both inspiring and energetic.
Makes us think more seriously about actually breaking societal-norm and farming for a living instead of working bland jobs.


Andre LaS

Joined: Jan 24, 2014
Posts: 50
Location: 3600ft Elevation, San Diego County, CA
Adam's Advice was very beneficial.

I did not have oranges, but did have an abundance of apples. I cut the apples in half and laid them in my raised beds in my greenhouse last night.
This morning I went out to check and found probably 150 pill bugs curled up on my 6 apple halves.

I scraped them in to a bucket of water to ensure no chance of reinfestation.
I then laid the apple halves back in the beds.
Will try and use the apples as many times as they seem productive, then will feed to the pigs to close them out and lay new apples. Repeat process.

At 150 pill bugs in 12 hours, I should have the population eliminated in no less than 1056 days and 12 hours.


subject: Pill Bug (Rolly Polly) Problem in Greenhouse