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Actual Size: ¼ to ½”

Characteristics: Oval; dark to slate gray.

Legs: Yes – 14

Antennae: Yes

Wings: No

Habitat: Sowbugs thrive in damp areas and are commonly found under mulch, compost, boards, stones, flower pots, and other items resting on damp ground.


  • Sowbugs are often confused with pillbugs, due to their similar appearance.
  • Unlike pillbugs, sowbugs cannot roll up into a ball.
  • They breed mainly during the spring.
  • Sowbugs are attracted to moisture.
  • They will only survive for a few days indoors.

Sowbugs in Atlanta, GA

Sowbugs are found across the United States. Due to their similar appearance, they are often confused with pillbugs. Piillbugs have the ability to roll up into a compact ball when disturbed or threatened. In contrast, sowbugs have tail-like appendages projecting from the rear of their bodies, preventing them from rolling up for protection. They are easily recognized by their back, which is made up of a number of hard individual plates. Since sowbugs thrive in moist environments, they typically do not survive indoors for extended periods unless the conditions are notably damp or humid.

Sowbug Habitat

Thriving in damp surroundings, sowbugs are commonly located outdoors beneath mulch, fallen leaves, and rocks. Operating nocturnally, they seek humid conditions during the day. Sowbugs play a vital role in breaking down organic matter. As scavengers, sowbugs primarily feed on organic matter, occasionally venturing out of their natural habitats at night to crawl across sidewalks, patios, and foundations. The tendency of sowbugs to invade crawl spaces, damp basements, and the first floors of structures at ground level can pose a significant nuisance. Managing moisture levels indoors is of the utmost importance to deter sowbug infestations.

Sowbug Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Sowbugs pose no threat of biting or stinging and they will not inflict damage to your home. Their primary impact is as a nuisance pest when they find their way indoors. While sowbugs are harmless to people, their feeding habits can potentially harm the roots of plants. In this context, sowbugs can be considered a potential threat to gardens and crops, impacting the overall health of vegetation. The entry points for sowbugs into buildings are typically door thresholds, especially in homes featuring ground-level sliding glass doors. Spotting a sowbug indoors often indicates a sizable population outdoors. If you suspect a sowbug issue, it is advisable to reach out to the professionals at Inspect-All Pest Services for assistance.