What Do Pill Bugs Eat?

Pill Bug Diet

Pill bugs, sometimes also referred to as roly-pollies, primarily consume plant matter that is either decaying or is already dead and decomposed. Their preferred foods are soft decaying plants like grasses and leaves, but they may also eat mulch used in landscaping around the house.

Pill Bug Damage

Although pill bugs may infrequently eat garden or other plants around a home, they rarely do so to the extent they cause damage. Should a gardener see pill bugs in the garden and suspect them of damaging their plants, while that is possible, more likely it is a slug or some other garden pest doing the damage.

Strange Feeding Habits

Pill bugs do have some rather peculiar feeding habits since they are known to eat their own feces, as well as feces from other animals. Additionally, sometimes pill bugs will feed on decomposing animal flesh. Pill bugs are also known to consume heavy metal deposits during their feeding activities in the soil, and during this process they may help remove soil deposits of metals such as copper, lead and zinc.

What Eats Pill Bugs?

A number of other critters such as birds, toads, spiders, some wasp species, centipedes and millipedes prey upon pill bugs to help support their nutritional needs. Pill bugs are important to the ecosystem as they are as decomposers that add to the overall quality of their habitat, as well as the remarkable bodily gymnastics they perform by rolling themselves into small, grey balls.