Friday, 18 September 2015

Pesky Pill Bugs

It's only 8 am in the morning & I'm bored. I've been awake since 5.30 am. Dog's been walked, his teeth had been brushed, his morning drink been given (not alcohol but coconut water). All that's left is to give him a shave & shower him. But what I'll like to do 1st is to go to the library to return my books & head to the shops for dinner ingredients. Library doesn't open till 9 am. I've even gone outside to try & drown some pill bugs.

So, it's spring & I've tried planting some herbs so I'll always have a supply when I need them. The very next day, I saw that my sage is covered in pill bugs. They seem to prefer sage to all the other herbs I have. I brushed them off & searched for a way to rid of them naturally. If we're going to consume the herbs, the last thing I want is to spray them with pesticides. In many websites, they recommend filling tuna cans with beer & burying the cans up to the neck near the plants. The smell of beer is apparently irresistible to the pill bugs. They will climb in but they can't scale the vertical wall & eventually drown.

How it looks like 2 weeks ago.
I tried & it works. I used yogurt tubs coz I have 1 everyday for breakfast. Once I'm done, I'll just chuck the whole thing away. But I think they're just not enough to severely decimate their population. There're millions more where they came from. After that, I read that if you dissolve yeast in water, it works just as well. You don't have to waste a bottle of beer just for that. I have a bottle of expired yeast just good for the job.

So I've placed a tub to the left, right & front of my sage simply becoz I think the sage needs it. Then I placed a few more tubs evenly spaced out between the other herbs. While they're trapping the pill bugs, there are also many who doesn't fall for it. Now, I just have a sorry looking, half eaten sage plant that I'm not sure will survive. 

I was bored so I went out & scooped them up with my garden shovel as they emerged from the ground & dumped them into the yeast solution. They're not really bugs but rather, they actually belong to the crustacean family. Unlike their prawns & lobster cousins, they're land creatures & will drown in water. Sorry, it was you or my plants. 

Here's my sorry looking sage. It's not very clear but many leaves were eaten to the stem & the remaining leaves are brown.


  1. I didn't know what pill bugs were and googled them and saw the pictures. When I first came to oz, my ozzie neighbours called them "slaters". Thank you for your comments on my blog. BTW, my sister's dog was killed last Sunday!
    I've just blogged about it:

  2. I found this article from the ABC when searching for "slater control":