Sunday, April 02, 2017

Gardener's companions

While I'm waiting for it to stop raining long enough to transplant seedlings, a tray of alyssum sits on my kitchen windowsill. I keep it well watered, and the word has gone out: there's a constant stream of sowbugs coming and going, loving the moisture.

There's also a bowl of lichen that gets sprayed twice daily. The sow bugs like that, too.

Sow bug on one of those bamboo "paper towels".

You can tell he's a sow bug by the two tails. Pill bugs don't have the tails, and roll into a ball when they're disturbed. Sow bugs can't do that; they just run and run.

Both pill bugs and sow bugs have seven pairs of legs, like their cousins, the amphipods in my tank. In this bottom photo, the seventh pair is partly hidden by a bit of trash. Usually, if the legs are visible, the beastie is running too fast to count them, but here, he'd paused to rest after I chased him all over the counter with the camera. 60 photos; two turned out.

Sowbugs and pillbugs live in moist environments outdoors but occasionally end up in buildings. Although they sometimes enter in large numbers, they do not bite, sting, or transmit diseases, nor do they infest food, clothing or wood. (Entomology, U of K.)

But they do get lost and end up in my kitchen sink. I catch them and replace them in a damp flowerpot. When the weather warms up, I'll be tossing them out the window into the flower bed.



1 comment:

  1. Pill bugs love my floating garden, especially along the wood siding. - Margy

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