Monday, August 3, 2009

Pill Bugs - An Update on the War

In an earlier post I talked about our pill bug/ sow bug / rollie-pollie / Charlie bug problem and how to get rid of them without using chemicals. Nearly two months later we are (obviously) through the seedling phase and still at battle with these little buggers. We have managed to find an equitable balance. Or at least I think so. They get to have a squash or two every few weeks and I toss them some tomatoes the birds have left behind.

Here's what helped us significantly reduce their population:
  • Reducing the moisture in the garden.
  • Setting the traps with wet rolled up newspaper and fruit (specifically using half a cantaloupe turned upside down in the garden).
  • Protecting the seedlings by cutting the bottom off some plastic pots or old yogurt containers. We put the plastic containers around the seedlings, twisting them into the soil to dig them in. This helped to keep the bugs out.
Also, it seems they've found their way to my compost pile. I don't mind them being over there, happily working turning our old food and yard waste into soil. And I know I have to be prepared because they're over there, amassing, like an army, just waiting for the next planting season. My hope is I can keep them happily working over there, in the compost heap. But if they should get curious and wander over to the garden...I now have some handy tricks to employ!

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