Infested with Pillbugs

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Infested with Pillbugs

Post  jake4bonsai on Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:42 am

Hi there! This past time it rained which was the night before last I went outside to look at my bonsai which I do about every night and I noticed hundreds of pillbugs all over my benches, pots, and trees and I knew there's have always been some but I had no idea of the amount. It seems they really only come out on nights after a rain and everything is damn or wet. Anyway I have been reading about these things and there is no accurate or straight information out there I can find. Everything I find I find 10 people saying they do eat live plant material and 10 people saying they don't. And just so we are clear I am talking about pillbugs, tater bugs, rolley pollies, what ever you call them they are the little crustations that roll into a ball when touched. I don't want to take a chance whether they eat live or dead plant material. Some of my benches were untreated wood and are starting to rot and break down and I believe this is what may have attracted them to begin with. I have since replaced the old rotted benches with new treated lumber because I noticed there weren't any on the benches or trees that were new treated benches. This is the reason I believe this is the cause. But though I replaced the benches I still have hundreds of these things in my pots. I use a slug killer made by amdro that kills slugs and snails by starving them and I read an article where someone said to use a slug and snail killer to kill them but this is not the same slug killer. Anyway this slug killer solved my slug problem which was just as bad as this or worse so I figured I'd try it. They immediately started attacking and eating the slug killer. I just don't know if it will work on these or not. I do use bayer advanced tree and shrub on all my trees every year which works great but I know this product won't kill spider mites and I just wonder if it will kill these things if they do attempt to feed on my trees. I read some other articles where some people used some kind of soil drench to kill these bugs but they did not say what it was they were using. As it goes does anyone know for sure if these things will harm my bonsai or not and or any good information that have brought results for getting rid of them? Like I said I don't want to take any chances, I just want them to become fertilizer if you know what I'm sayin! I haven't noticed any plant damage so far but I just discovered I had hundreds if thousands of these in my pots a couple nights ago. I know they are living there because they're are hundreds of tiny baby ones as well as adults. Anyone?

jake4bonsai
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Pillbugs

Post  DuncanJH on Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:53 am

Hi we call them woodlice here!
Not very nice but the most environmentally friendly way is to get rid off as many as you can by hand, get them out of your pots by hand (I don't know if you noticed, but they love climbing up the drainage holes of pots and burrowing beneath the soil, don't miss these). Clear them out from under the benches (I assume its where the wood touches the surface of whatever is holding it up).

Most ant killers work on these things but check the label, it will normally say, so put some of this stuff in between the wood and anything it rests on. Also if you can raise the wood of the benches off what its resting on and place some small spacers between it to airate it, so there are no damp dark places to hide, the wood may last longer too!

Just what I'd do, here in wales (I swear the dampest darkest place on earth at times) I get a lot of these!

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Re: Infested with Pillbugs

Post  JimLewis on Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:22 pm

They primarily eat decayed and decaying plant material, but will eat a root or two here and there. They are NOT, however, a threat to your bonsai.

They also don't reproduce in such high numbers by spontaneous generation. If you have so many around your trees and on your tables, that means they are both pretty wet (maybe why your tables are rotting, too) and that you have an overabundance of organic material in your soil. It also probably means there is quite a bit of litter (old soil, dead leaves, etc.) on the table surface to attract them.

They are there all the time, but unless you pick up your pots, you won't see tham except at night.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Infested with Pillbugs

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:20 pm

If these are the same insects we call pillbugs, I have never seen them harm anything.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Pillbugs

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:02 am

Get your trees out in more sun, remove all dead leaves & other trash, don't water until dry.
Iris

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Infested with Pillbugs

Post  jake4bonsai on Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:40 am

The thing Is I do all of these things. I keep all my pots cleaned out of leaf litter and trash because it harbors insects and diseases. I only water when my trees need watering and everything that can handle and enjoy direct sun are in direct sun. The last couple days I been putting down insecticide that is a ant killer granule that also says it kills pillbugs and when I applied it they went right to it and started devouring within seconds. Good ridden's!! I found out my source though that attracted them in the first place. My compost pile! I got rid of that also. There were thousands in it. Maybe this thread will help others that have the same problem. They little devils ate my moss up horribly. Thanks all!

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