Sowbugs – Eating Seedlings

Q: These woodlouses, pill bugs, sow bugs, are eating every new seedling I have planted. I have already lost a jalapeno, squash, three cucumbers, and an okra plant. I would like to stay organic, but diatomaceous soil doesn’t work.

A: These shrimp-kin are not usually a problem except when very young seedlings or transplants are present. They will chew on the stems and consume enough leaves to kill the plants.

I’ve taken to spraying my seedling beds with a water-based garden insecticide a few times before the plants grow tall enough to withstand sowbug feeding.

Rainy weather and very organic soil will exacerbate the problem.

I’m not sure organic controls will manage them but try <a target=”_blank” href=””>spinosad (click for sources)</a><img src=”″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”” style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />. Otherwise, Bayer Insect Control or Ortho Bug B Gon will work.

sowbug 1

sowbug 2

sowbug 3

  • Advertisement