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Old August 7, 2009   #1
WildLife
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Default Rolly Polly Bugs

A first for me, finally discovered what has been making holes
in my sprawling tomatoes.
Rolly Polly bugs?
I am losing 50% of nice Toms.
How do I lesson the problem?
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Old August 7, 2009   #2
dice
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I have seen them chew on foliage when they were inadvertently
brought inside where seedlings were sprouting, but they usually
prefer dead, decaying organic matter (dead leaves, dead grass,
etc). I have not seen them eating ripening fruit. Maybe you have
something else (like earwigs) chewing on the fruit first and the
Rolly-Pollys are just following up on already damaged fruit.

A small bowl of wilting lettuce at the base of each plant might
attract the Rolly-Pollys (also called pill bugs). There are a few
designs on the WWW for earwig traps. You could try a salad
bowl by a plant with a half-inch or so of vegetable oil in the
bottom, check it in a few days, and see if it is full of earwigs
(they drown in the oil).
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Old August 7, 2009   #3
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I was stumped about what was eating the fruit.
I just happen to pull a turning Tom up for a look and there were 5
Pill bugs 1/2 inch inside the fruit chomping away.
I was shocked, I use to play with them as a kid and never heard they
were a pest. I will try to get a pic next time.
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Old August 8, 2009   #4
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Do you use any type of mulch around your toms? Maybe try a layer of straw as a 'buffer' area between the ground and your toms.
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Old August 8, 2009   #5
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It is my understanding that while rolly pollies usually only eat decaying plant tissue, if there is a dense population, they will eat live soft plant tissue. Some years ago I heavily mulched around some impatiens with soiled aspen bedding from pocket pet cages. The rolly pollies loved it! I started losing impatiens, though, and noticed the base of the stalk looked chewed. I took one to my extension agent, and he told me it was the rolly pollies.

The birds thought it was a rolly polly smorgasbord! Great bird watching, but my impatiens took a beating.
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Old August 8, 2009   #6
dice
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I had some (Rolly Polly bugs) chewing off the growing tips of
seedlings this spring.

Pretty good description, with suggested controls:
http://www.aos.org/AM/Template.cfm?S...entDisplay.cfm
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Old August 9, 2009   #7
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Ortho makes a snail bait, Bug-Getta, and an imporved verson, Bug-Getta Plus, the latter has Carbaryl (Sevin) in the bait, which kills Pill Bugs and other athropods attracted to the bait such as earwigs and millipedes. If you hide the baits under boardes etc birds/pets cannot get at them or the dead bugs.
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Old August 9, 2009   #8
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I used grass clippings as mulch.
I read that diatomaceous earth will help.
Spread some yesterday and will cross my fingers.
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Old August 9, 2009   #9
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Monterey Sluggo works and is safe to use. It's OMRI approved. Pill Bugs are one of the many reasons I cage rather than sprawl.
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