Friday, June 23, 2006

Don't drink the Kool-Aid!

Can anyone tell me why these things

have apparently set up a migration route across our patio and (somehow) through the sliding glass door, only to die by the dozens on our living room carpet?

It's not that I find it creepy...who could be creeped out by a roly-poly?

See, roly-poly:

It's more that I'm completely and utterly mystified.

I've known for awhile now that the roly-polies of my childhood were actually called something else, either pillbugs or sowbugs. Turns out they're probably pillbugs, though the two are very similar. Pillbugs are not bugs at all, but isopods, which are actually terrestrial crustaceans. (Who knew?) They are sometimes also called woodlice, and the common pillbug enjoys the official nomenclature Armadillidium vulgare.

Because, clearly:

Thanks to Google, I now know a lot about roly-polies. I know that they breathe through gills known as pseudotrachea, and therefore prefer moist environments. I know that if you want to get rid of them, you need to remove the mulch from flowerbeds. (Of course, I also know that as soon as I remove the mulch from my flowerbeds, the yard-care men will wage holy war on my no thanks. Maybe if I didn't live in a place where trimming the verge is modeled after slash-and-burn agriculture, I'd think about it.) I know that roly-polies are quite beneficial to the soil, as they feed on and break down decaying organic matter.

But I still don't know why they've decided to go lemming in my apartment. Is it a misguided mass migration? Is it a crustacean version of the mythical elephant graveyard? Is it a mass suicide, an isopod Jonestown (I did find one tiny rolled-up corpse on top of the ant trap)? Do they simply like the d├ęcor?

If I set up tiny little detour signs, do you think they'll stop?


  1. two things:
    1) pillbugs may be cute and all, but anything invading in large numbers is creepy.
    2) when you say ant trap do you mean the sticky kind where they get trapped and die, or the one that's poisonous and they take it home and spread the death? because, if it's the later, that could explain the dead part of your dead pillbug invasion.

  2. Laughed myself silly reading this one.

  3. Evilducky774:15 PM

    Lots of buggies featured on here lately!