The Fan-Favorite Food That Keeps Roly Polys From Destroying Your Garden

Pill bugs, more casually known as "roly polys," are woodlice that are commonly seen rummaging through the dirt and soil of home gardens. They eat anything on a plant from leaves and roots to vegetables and shoots, making pill bugs a potential roadblock for any plant looking to reach its greatest potential. Fortunately, if your garden happens to run into this barrier, you likely have the perfect solution sitting right in your kitchen pantry: potatoes.

That's right, the potato (and its many varieties) has even more versatility than creating delicacies like french fries, mashed potatoes, and tater tots. With uncooked, hollow potato halves, you can create an ideal trap and release rig for unwanted roly polys. Simply place them in your soil. After a day or more, pick up your trap and dispose of the munching roly polys far away from your garden. Unlike chemicals, this all-natural hack is humane and safe for you, your plants, and the critters you are relocating.

How the trap works

If you're reading this, you've likely identified areas in your garden where these garden pests have become a prominent problem. But, if you are still looking for the main spots to target, do so at night. Pill bugs are more active at night because they are less limited by their poor vision when it's dark.

Now that you know exactly where to place your traps, it's time to make them. This hack is easily accessible and, chances are you already have all of the supplies in your kitchen. You will need a handful of raw potatoes, a knife, and a container. Start by taking your potatoes and cutting them in half. Once the inside is exposed, use a knife to carve a cave-like area in the middle of each piece. Then, place the hollow potato halves in your soil face down with the skin toward the sky. Leave your traps overnight (or even a few nights) to allow the pill bugs to make their way toward it. To empty it, gently scrape the roly polys off of the potato and into your container, and relocate them elsewhere.

Why it works

This simple hack works for a very simple reason. Unlike people, who are drawn to potatoes because of their addictive, savory flavor, roly polys are more interested in the goodness they find after the vegetable has started to decompose. They become disengaged with the healthy, thriving vegetation of a garden and instead opt for the dark, moist environment that forms in the hollow potato. This hack is extremely effective in attracting roly polys for you to collect and relocate. However, this also means that too many traps could attract even more pill bugs than you already had. That being said, don't use too many traps, and don't let them sit for too long without relocating the collected pill bugs.

These pests also enjoy cantaloupe, making the fruit a great alternative if you don't have any potatoes on hand. Cut the fruit in half, hollow out the seed cavity in the center, and place it in the soil with the rind facing upwards. Set up your traps strategically and keep an eye on them, and they will help you take back your garden in no time!