Sowbugs are small, about 1/2″ to 3/4″ in length, gray in color and oval. They live under rocks, logs, mulch, wood chips and all around the home where it is damp, dark and moist. Generally you may see hundreds or thousands of them emerge when you attempt to do some gardening and begin to disturb the soil. Though generally not a destructive pest, sowbugs will eat plants and can do significant damage to any garden. Like other garden pests, they’re feeding can lead to a decrease in the annual harvest of any crop. Additionally they love to nest alongside foundations and other moist, dark areas. Once on the house, sowbugs will no doubt forage inside. Here’s why.
Moisture is the common denominator and main reason sowbugs can thrive in any environment. Most any foundation will attract and hold moisture. This will in turn attract sowbugs. But for populations to thrive, they’ll need a lot of water. And with any excessive moisture comes mold, mildew and algae – the basic food stuff of sowbugs.
Once established on the home, sowbugs will occasionally move inside to avoid excessive cold or heat. They’ll also migrate away from too much water and it’s during these times that people experience sowbug invasions. Many times it’s one of these invasions that cues the homeowner to just how many are living on their house.
Sowbugs will bear young at least twice a year and carry them until the young are able to keep up with the rest of the colony. Though the young may leave mother from time to time, it is not uncommon for them to come back and allow her to bear their burden for as long as she can. As food supplies dwindle, colonies will relocate and forage to adjacent areas that meet dietary needs. Most feeding will be done during the night and due to their behavior traits, many people refer to them as “water bugs”.
Controlling these isopods should be done in a two phase format. First, try to identify moisture areas and attempt to minimize why it gets wet. If you have a leaky window, roof or bad caulking, get it fixed. This constant supply of water will allow mold and algae to grow as well as take away the best impact chemical treatments will have. In effect the moisture will allow the pest to be ever present – the ones you kill will quickly be replaced by ones seeking shelter and food. If the local conditions are OK but you have a lot of mulch, rock, pine straw, wood chips or other objects around the perimeter of the home, expect to have some activity by sowbugs. However, there are several treatments that can be done to help minimize those that find their way into your home.
SOWBUG CONTROL GRANULES
The first area you need to treat is the foundation and ground around the home. This is where they start. Diminish the sowbugs here and ultimately there won’t be any getting inside. To help accomplish this goal, apply TALSTAR GRANULES to all the mulch beds and turf around the home. Talstar is slow to act but will last 2-3 months per application. Use about 1 lb on each side of the home applying it over a 10 foot band. This “zone” will be pest free since Talstar will control just about any pest. Treat quarterly or more if needed. Use a SCATTERBOX to do the application. This will allow for consistent and complete coverage.
SOWBUG CONTROL LIQUID SPRAY
Now spray the foundation with TALSTAR. This Flowable Concentrate stays on the surface of these areas for longer periods of time than emulsifiable concentrates. Use a good PUMP SPRAYERS to apply the Talstar and be sure to treat a band on the foundation of the home coming up at least 3 feet high. This insures there will be plenty of treated surface area over which they will not be able to crawl.
SOWBUG CONTROL TREATMENTS
Spray 1 foot out from the home on top of the turf or mulch as well, ending where the Talstar Granules will be active. Since mulch, siding and plants are where these pests like to live, treatment needs to address these locations around the structure. Do this at least once a month. When local activity has ceased, you may be able to go a little longer between treatments.
If you have a lot of activity in the home, garage or basement, treat inside too. You can use the Talstar inside for baseboards where sowbugs like to hide. Be sure to keep children and pets away until the application dries.
SOWBUG CONTROL INSIDE SPRAY
If you feel they are nesting in wall voids or difficult to treat cracks and crevices, get some DFORCE AEROSOL. This product comes with a tube which allows treatments for hard to reach cracks and crevices. The aerosol will penetrate deep where they are nesting. Dforce will kill them quickly since it’s both a contact killer and a flushing agent. When combined with outside treatments you will be able to eliminate any activity in the home.
Sowbugs can become a problem in and around the home when local populations get established. Though they don’t cause major damage, they can be a pest. Use Talstar Granules and Talstar Flowable outside to kill off local infestations. Eliminate moisture for long term control. Treat cracks and crevices inside with Dforce Aerosol to quickly control any which are nesting in the home.