Actual Size: ¼ to ½”

Characteristics: Dark gray, oval-shaped body.

Legs: Yes – 14

Antennae: Yes

Wings: No

Habitat: Prefers moist areas and are often found beneath rocks, flowerpots, and pieces of wood.


  • While they look similar to pill bugs, sowbugs cannot roll up.
  • Primarily consumes decaying plants and other plant material.
  • Needs moisture to survive and do not live long when indoors.

Sowbugs in North Jersey

Sowbugs and pillbugs can be found all over the United States, and due to their similar appearance, people often use their names interchangeably. Commonly referred to as roly-polies, pillbugs possess the ability to curl into a compact ball whereas sowbugs cannot. Conversely, the sowbug features tail-like appendages that protrude from its rear, preventing it from rolling up for self-protection. Their distinctive characteristic lies in the composition of their back, which consists of several rigid individual plates. Sowbugs have a preference for moist environments, which is why they cannot survive indoors for more than a few days unless the conditions are consistently humid or damp.

Sowbug Habitat

Sowbugs flourish in damp surroundings and can be discovered outdoors beneath layers of mulch, decaying leaves, and rocks. These nocturnal creatures have a penchant for humidity, relying on moist conditions throughout the day. Acting as scavengers, sowbugs primarily subsist on organic substances. During the night, they may venture beyond their natural habitats and crawl across sidewalks, patios, and foundations. Sowbugs can transform into bothersome pests when they infiltrate crawl spaces, damp basements, and ground-level structures on the first floor.

Sowbug Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Sowbugs pose no threat of biting or stinging, and they are incapable of causing harm to household items. Primarily categorized as nuisance pests, sowbugs become particularly bothersome when they venture indoors. While harmless to humans, they can pose a risk to plant roots as they feed on them. Sowbugs often find their way into buildings through door thresholds, with ground-level homes featuring sliding glass doors being particularly vulnerable. Spotting a sowbug inside your home typically indicates a sizable population thriving outdoors. But worry not! When faced with a sowbug infestation, it’s time to turn to the experts at Eastern Pest Services.

With our unparalleled knowledge and experience, we have mastered the art of eliminating sowbugs for good. Our team of skilled professionals understands the behavior and habits of these pesky intruders, employing effective strategies and cutting-edge solutions to rid your home of sowbugs and restore peace of mind. Give us a call today to get started!