Have you ever had 14 legs crawl across your foot at 3AM? It happened to me right after I woke up. I looked down and found a tiny Roly-Polie/Roly-Poly/Pillbug scuttling away. If you don't know much about this tiny critter, I'm here to fill you in.

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You may know them as roly-polie, pillbug, woodlice, wood shrimp, or doodlebugs, but their scientific name is Armadillidiidae. According to Wikipedia.com, 'Pillbugs' get their name from their ability to curl themselves up into a tight armored ball as a defensive measure, thereby resembling a pill. Roly polies are completely harmless to humans, and they aren't bugs, they're crustaceans. Unlike shrimp, crawdads, or crabs, Pill Bugs have adapted to live completely on land, despite the fact that they have gills that must remain moist.

Each Roly-Polie has 7 sets of legs, and they can grow to a quarter to a half-inch long. According to floridamuseum.com, the largest pillbug ever was discovered in the Gulf of Mexico in 1987 and lies in their Museum's Invertebrate Collection.

Pillbugs are scavengers and decomposers, eating decaying plants, and they're the first line of defense in the animal world against the threat we all became paranoid about after watcing 'The Last of Us' - Cordyceps. Pillbugs love fungus. Also interesting to note:

  • Roly-Polys do not urinate, instead, they release gas through their shells
  • Pillbugs eat their own feces
  • Rolie-Polies can drink from either end of their body

How can you keep them out of your home? Keep your basement dry and free of leaves, and if one crawls across your foot at 3AM, spread Diatomaceous Earth along the baseboards, it will kill them by drying them out.

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