Sow bugs, also known as pill bugs or roly-polies, are small, terrestrial crustaceans that are commonly found in damp, dark places such as gardens, flowerbeds, and around the foundation of buildings including homes, in Edmonton, Alberta and many parts of the world. They have a distinctive rounded shape and typically range in size from about 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch in length.
Sow bugs are harmless to humans and do not cause any damage to structures or plants. They are detritivores, meaning they feed on dead plant material, such as fallen leaves and wood, and play an important role in breaking down organic matter in the soil.
To control sow bug populations around your home, it is important to reduce the amount of moisture around the foundation, which can include fixing leaks, diverting water away from the foundation, and ventilating damp areas such as crawl spaces. Removing excess organic matter such as fallen leaves, grass clippings and other debris, also can be effective.