Snow bug/ Pill bug

Basically, snow bugs are not insects; they belong to the category of crustaceans, just like shrimps and lobsters. They are gray in color and measure between 13 and 15mm in length. They have two pairs of antennae as well as seven pairs of legs. Another distinguishing characteristic of the pill bugs is that they have a soft shell on their backs and their body is oval in shape. The two common species of this pest in the county are the Armadillidium vulgare (pill bug) and the Trachelipus rathkei, which is commonly known as the snow bug.


The adult bugs measure not more than ¾ of an inch in length and are oval in shape, with a gray color. The entire body length of an adult bug comprises of seven shell plates that overlap with each other to form the outer soft shell, on the back of the bug. When disturbed, the bugs coil to form a ball, with the shell on the outer side. This is how they protect themselves from danger and predators. Both the pill bugs and the snow bugs are terrestrial members of the Isopoda group of crustaceans. They are more similar to shrimps and crabs, with regards to behavior than they are related to insects. As opposed to other members of the isopod, snow and pill bugs are terrestrial and occasionally invest houses. They also have a telson that appears like a tail at the back of their bodies.

Diet and Habitat

Both the snow and the pill bugs are nocturnal in nature and like inhabiting moist environments. As such, they are commonly found under objects, on damp ground surfaces. They are also more prevalent in the ground level and basements of buildings and other structures. Pill bugs and snow bugs are more problematic during the rainy season, when they become more active. They are normally pests in glasshouses situated next to the coastline, nurseries and gardens. They are also common in areas that receive fog drip and high rainfall. Both the snow and the pill bugs feed on young and tender plants, such as vegetables, strawberries, mushrooms and forage crops. In other cases, they may also feed on decaying plant matter.

Life Cycle

These crustaceans mate all year round. The female will then carry the eggs around in a brood pouch, situated under the body. The eggs hatch in about two weeks into white colored young pill and snow bugs. After they are hatched, the young ones remain in the pouch for between six and eight weeks, when they are able to feed for themselves. The bugs can have up to two generations in a year, with each generation lasting for up to three years.


Before applying the control method, it is advisable to first clean any leaves close the foundation of the house. Placing grids on the foundations and allowing the ground to dry before watering again may also control the bugs. You may also use a fan or dehumidifier to lower the humidity level in the house. However, snow bug and pill bug infestation is best controlled by the professionals.

If you are looking for the qualified professionals to control snow bug or pill bug infestation in your home and prevent future recurrence, you should contact AMG Extermination. We also have some of the best snow and pill bug control products.


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