Home / Pest Library / Other Pests / Sowbugs


  • Colour Dark grey, slate
  • Size About 1.5 cm long
  • Also known as Isopods, Woodlice
  • Description Have flat, oval bodies, made up of a rigid, segmented, long exoskeleton and 14 jointed limbs. Sowbugs have two appendages that look like tails.

How to identify Sowbugs

The overall appearance of sowbugs is often compared to that of armadillos because they are both dark grey or slate in colour and have an armoured look about them. However, adult sowbugs are only about 1.5 centimetres long.

Signs of an infestation

Sowbugs sightings are the only clear indication of an infestation.

Sowbugs Removal

In order to avoid misapplication and any exposure associated with DIY pesticide applications, individuals should contact the experts at Orkin Canada when faced with infestations of sowbugs. Our trained and certified pest control specialists can safely and effectively remove the pests using the latest tactics and technologies.

How to prevent Sowbugs from invading

In order to reduce the possibility of sowbug infestations, homeowners should clear rock piles and other unnecessary debris that may attract the pests to the yard. Additionally, sealing cracks and crevices in building exteriors and replacing broken window and door screens limits their ability to get inside. Finally, making sure homes are properly humidified and insulated discourages large populations of sowbugs from congregating.

Habitat, Diet, and Life Cycle


Sowbugs prefer to live under piles of rocks, leaves, and other organic debris. The pests require moist, humid conditions in order to survive. Without moisture, the lifespan of sowbugs significantly decreases.


The diet of sowbugs consists mainly of decaying matter. This includes leaves, grass, animal and insect remains, and dirt.

Life Cycle

Female sowbugs carry their eggs in underside pouches for roughly 21 days. Once they’ve hatched, the pests go through 15 stages of development before reaching full adulthood. In ideal conditions, adult sowbugs live for approximately a year.

Commonly Asked Questions

Why do I have sowbugs?

Sowbugs, also called isopods or woodlice, are closely related to lobsters and shrimp and are the only crustaceans able to live on land.

They need moist, humid conditions to survive and prefer to live under piles of rocks, leaves, and other organic debris, or in basements, under leaky sinks, and in laundry rooms.

They eat mainly decaying matter, including leaves, grass, animal and insect remains, and dirt.

How worried should I be about sowbugs?

Sowbugs pose no physical threats to people or pets, but are considered nuisances. They often gather in large numbers, which can be alarming. A professional pest control service will be able to administer the correct pesticides and eradicate your sowbug infestation.

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