How to get rid of pill bugs in potted plants is a question that frequently crosses the minds of many plant lovers. These common garden pests can be annoying; hence, you could remove them with a few simple options.

How To Get Rid of Pill Bugs

We have compiled an all-encompassing guide provides detailed instructions, organized into easy-to-follow steps, on how to get rid of pill bugs in houseplants. Keep reading as we provide information that will help you with treatments you can perform at home to rid your plant of pests.

How To Remove Pill Bugs From Potted Plants?

You can easily remove pill bugs from plants by letting them go on their own, changing the soil, using diatomaceous earth, increasing the temperature around the plant, or through the potato trapping method. Try to cultivate a Japanese tree, maintain hygiene, get rid of the mulch, or eliminate the compost. 

These pests can be annoying to sight and thrive on decayed matter and are thus commonly found under fallen leaves. This means that by simple ways, you should be able to get rid of them from your plant so that they wouldn’t develop their growth. 

– Let Them Go On Their Own

Are pill bugs bad for potted plants? In most cases, they cause little damage or even no damage at all to the plants.

When they are high in numbers, they may feed on plants at ground level or on little roots; however, the only way that they would spoil the plant is when they would feed or when they stay in areas where it would increase the risk of inviting in some bacteria or even fungi. 

Let Them Go On Their Own

As a result, if your infestation is mild, then one method for getting rid of pill bugs in your potted plants involves doing nothing more than leaving them alone because eventually, they will get away.

This strategy, which calls for minimal effort, can be beneficial if only a few insects are present in your plant because it requires so little time and attention.

– Dry Out Soil

It is common for pill bugs to enter plants in search of water or other sources of moisture, you may find that the bugs leave on their own if you let your plants dry out a little. Keep in mind that a humid medium is where they would grow and thrive and establish their development, as they are receiving proper moisture around them.

What you should do is to make sure that the soil has been completely dried out by removing any traces of moisture, including any water that may be on or close to the surface of the container. By doing so, it can be accomplished by exposing your plant to sunlight and air for a significant time and possibly adding gentle heating if required.

– Change the Soil

If the bug infestation is excessive, consider replacing your soil with a new potting mix. While doing so, loosen up the soil around your plant’s roots and rinse them clearly, so the bugs fall out.

Change the Soil

What you should do is replant in fresh potting soil to effectively starve any pill bug populations that may already exist and prevent pill bugs from settling in the future.

– Use Diatomaceous Earth

This method is both natural and effective for warding off pill bugs. Apply this earth around your plants. This substance has sharp edges that can cut through soft-bodied insects and is an ingredient commonly used in pill bug pesticide control repellents.

Use Diatomaceous Earth

It consists of the fossilized remains of tiny organisms that once existed and are thus effective in pest control. Additionally, pill bugs and coffee grounds repel each other, which means that in simple and organic ways, you will get rid of these pests.

– Potato Trapping Pill Bug Method

When you want to accomplish the method of potato trapping, you will need a small piece of raw potato and some sort of shelter material, such as old newspapers or cardboard scraps, which will act as a cover for your trap.

The next thing that you should do is ensure that the potato slice and the material are completely soaked. 

Potato Trapping Pill Bug Method

After that, put these into the part of your plant where there are already several living pill bugs, and you will notice that the pill bugs bite into the potato and thus get trapped in the process.

When they bite them, they will be stuck there and this would help you naturally get rid of them, and don’t worry; the slices of the spuds will not be harmful to your plant’s soil.  

– Increase the Temperature

Place heat lamps or other devices that produce heat close to your pill, increasing the temperature around and thus preventing pill bugs from increasing in size. It is a very easy and effective solution for pill bug control.

– Cultivate a Japanese Tree

You can also help to naturally repel pill bugs from your plants by planting Japanese tree ferns, which are known as Cryptomeria Japonica, in botany, or other suitable deterrents around the perimeter of your garden.

Cultivate a Japanese Tree

This will help protect your plants from them, making a home in your soil. Pill bugs eat fallen leaves and multiply around your plant; thus, using ferns like these as an alternative to harsh chemicals and pesticides is an effective way to deal with the issue of these pests. 

– Maintain Plant Hygiene

Eliminating any and all possible hiding places for pill bugs is yet another essential step in removing these pests from an area. This could involve removing any accumulated dead plant leaves and debris or pruning any heavily overgrown branches to eliminate nooks and crannies that could provide a hiding place for insects. 

Maintain Plant Hygiene

Alternatively, regularly spray the plant with an insecticidal solution of organic essential oils such as neem oil.

Note that when you do so and take care of the neatness of the plant and the soil, you would be clearing out the way for the plant to thrive, and no longer set any other ways for further infestations to take place; in short, you are limiting the risk when you maintain the hygiene of the plant. You can apply the neem oil exactly as you would do it on a tomato plant.

– Get A Fan To Cool Off

Since pill bugs are drawn to damp places, it is essential to ensure that the area is as dry as possible. Because of the fan, they will have a more difficult time accessing the surface of your pots, increasing the air circulating them. 

This could involve installing fans around the perimeter of your patio area, for example, or using mesh screens on top of your planters, allowing airflow while discouraging insects’ entry.

Alternatively, the matter could involve covering your patio area with a tarp. As a result, you can also place mesh screens on top of your planters to achieve the same result.

– Get Rid of Your Mulch

If you have mulch around your garden, you should replace it with stones or even mulch with a coarser texture, as it can otherwise attract these bugs. You may also rotate the mulch surrounding your plant soil in and out to check the presence of these bugs.

Get Rid of Your Mulch

Make sure you get rid of it when you see these insects growing because mulch is responsible to keep thee soil moist, and when you see that they are developing, it means that getting rid of this layer and placing a new one is a great option. 

– Move Your Compost Pile Away

Place your compost pile in a location that is not too close to your plants; keep in mind that these bugs may cluster together in compost bins.

Because it is damp, not extremely warm, and a lot of matter is decomposing and composting for them to eat, this environment is ideal for them to live in.

Move Your Compost Pile Away

If this is not possible, because it may be heavy, or you don’t have a better location to place it, the container used to store the compost should have a tight-fitting lid and be resistant to pill bugs.

– Bring Down the Humidity

You need to bring down the amount of humidity that is found in your house or garden. You can either use a dehumidifier or some of the hanging bags that are designed to soak up excess moisture. 

Because these bugs are most likely to congregate in areas like your basement that are dark, damp, and chilly, a good first step would be to take measures to reduce the amount of humidity that can be found in these particular areas.

– Get Others to Prey

When you think of getting a prey to eat these bugs, a thought that could cross your mind would be, do toads eat pill bugs?

Yes, they do, and several other animals, including birds, spiders, and certain species of wasps. Millipedes and centipedes as well, feed on the bugs yet do not cause harm to your plants.


You are now aware of how pill bugs could be removed from plants.

Read this quick summary of everything that was discussed in this article:

  • Changing the soil surrounding plants, adding diatomaceous earth, raising the temperature around the plant, or utilizing the potato trap method are easy ways to get rid of the bugs.
  • These pests might be annoying to sight since they feed on decomposing debris, and as a result, they are frequently discovered hiding beneath fallen leaves and plant matter.
  • In addition to getting a new potting mix and replacing the soil in your garden, you might position heat lamps or other devices that generate heat close to your potted plants.
  • The method of eradicating these pests from an area includes several steps, one of which is destroying any probable hiding places for pill bugs.
  • Cleaning any collected plant waste or cutting excessively overgrown branches to get rid of any nooks and crannies that could give a hiding spot for insects.

Because you are now familiar with the procedures, you can utilize these straightforward approaches to ensure that your plant is clear of annoying pests. Therefore, you should immediately take action before the worms can damage the plant’s roots and impede its growth.

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