Sow Bugs are Eating My Strawberries!: Natural Pest Control for the Berry Patch

| 7/6/2016 6:29:00 PM

Tags: pest management, insects, fruit trees, Oregon, Susan Slape Hoysagk,

Sow Bugs On Apple 

As a child, I thought the common pill bug, Armadillidium vulgare, was cute, even fun. No teeth. No stinger. No creepy-crawly long legs. Perfect bug for a child, right? They do seem very docile. When disturbed, they either scatter like crazy or roll up in a tiny gray defensive ball. That is, if it is the actual pill bug and not the sow bug.

Pill Bugs vs Sow Bugs

Sow bugs are incapable of rolling into a ball. The child in me prefers the pill bug. The adult in me could care less which kind it is — I no longer find them cute or fun. Adult gardening has a way of changing one’s view of the world.

Sow bugs really are amazing and if the little buggers would leave my strawberries and tender new seedlings alone, I would not give them another thought. Did you know these little bugs are really not insects at all but crustaceans?

I kid you not, they are members of the subphylum Crustacea. (Subphylum is the rank below phylum in zoological taxonomy. Although I find it fascinating, not everyone shares my geekyness, so I will refrain from further elucidation lest I make this my first and last blog post).

Other members of this subphylum are crabs, shrimp, lobsters, krill, and even barnacles – all marine arthropods. Which explains why these guys are dependent upon a moist environment to breathe through their gill-like structures. However, if submerged in water they will drown (note to self).

8/11/2016 11:33:58 PM

Hi Jacques! Thank you so very, very much for your kind words of support and taking time to comment. I am so happy you enjoy my posts and I can make you smile! Blessings, Susan

8/11/2016 8:45:56 AM

Hi Susan! I love reading your posts and blogs because not only are they informative but they put a smile on my face because of your humorous writing! Keep it going :)

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