Do Pill Bugs Eat Young Plants? The Great Debate!

Do Pill Bugs Eat Young Plants? The Great Debate!
The evidence is all around me. Pill Bugs eat more than just decaying matter.

You know we plant our seeds, we tend to the young seedlings then we take that huge leap of faith by planting the young plants in the garden. Now, I admit… I make mistakes. Many times the failure of my plants is clearly my fault. This time I may still be at fault, but it will be because I’m providing beautiful habitat for legions of Pill Bugs!

Do Pill Bugs Eat Young Plants? The Great Debate!

My garden is young. In time, I’m sure, there will be a better balance of organic matter, green nitrogen fixers and an assortment of flowers. With this balance will come fewer Pill Bugs. They really are supposed to be harmless, but I think that’s only true when they aren’t numbered in the millions LOL.

Right now my garden has cardboard and plastic in the pathways. This provides excellent living quarters for these critters that like dark moist places to hang out in. At night they come out to munch on all that beautiful compost that comes out of the chicken run… and hey, while they are there they may as well much on some soft young green seedlings.

I know, I know … many of you will say that they just don’t do that. They only eat dead decaying matter. Maybe you are right. I’m really only placing the blame on these cute little buggers because I see so many of them all over my plants. I could be wrong… I’m always open to that. However there are other resources that site that they do eat tender young greens. Just do a search for it and you’ll find numerous sites that fuel the debate.

Look at these pictures as example of some of the damage that I’m seeing to my young plants.

Do Pill Bugs Eat Young Plants? The Great Debate!
The little buggers chew through the stem then demolish the whole plant once it is laying on the ground.
Do Pill Bugs Eat Young Plants? The Great Debate!
No young green plant is safe.
Do Pill Bugs Eat Young Plants? The Great Debate!
Pill Bug damage on the stem.
Do Pill Bugs Eat Young Plants? The Great Debate!
I’m surprised how thing the stem can get and the plant still be alive.
Do Pill Bugs Eat Young Plants? The Great Debate!
My Beets were enjoyed as a fresh salad by the Pill Bugs.

Check out these videos and read through the comments to see how many different view points there are on the subject. The first shows some of the damage in the daylight. The second is my night time adventure in the garden! 🙂

Do Pill Bugs Eat Young Plants? The Great Debate!

I also posted questions on Reddit to see if I could get more advice and perspective about the subject. You can follow that by clicking here.

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One thought on “Do Pill Bugs Eat Young Plants? The Great Debate!”

  1. Do Pill Bugs Eat Young Plants? YES!
    They devoured my pumpkin seedlings this year. I couldn’t figure out what was eating them until I went out at night. The were all over the place but during the day there were none to be found. (well a lot fewer anyway) I try to be organic so I have no idea what to do about them.

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