Intro on what do rolly pollies eat.
Before you know what do rolly pollies eat, you should know what they are? Firstly, rolly pollies are isopods, which belongs to the woodlice family. Generally speaking, they can roll into a ball when threatened, protecting them inside their hard shell. As the bugs are isopods, they always seek moist and dark places like wood bark, dead tree, under the pipe, etc., to stay. There they eat the remaining parts of the tree that were left to rot in nature.
Rolly pollies are not fussy eaters, so they eat whatever they find rotting around. In fact, they can eat anything they can find lying around. If you don’t know, isopods are also crustaceans, even land isopods. Thus, they can live on leaves and grass as well as other matters. In this article, you will indeed see how isopods live in the wild, how they thrive, etc. Read more below.
Rolly Pollies damage in reality
A rolly polly lives in places where the soil is a little moist. Like their ancestors, the great sea crustaceans, these land bugs feed on anything they can find. However, as they are just a few centimeters long, they cause very little damage to your equipment or the garden. In fact, they stay in places where you normally won’t go, like under the brick, tree, etc.
In fact, you can damage them more often than you think. Firstly, they are soft and squishy, making them a grand meal for your chickens. You are most likely to kill them if you see them on your cardboard. The bugs are really tiny, and they pose very little threat to a human in general. So, before you hurt a simple bug, know that he is more innocent in the eyes of the Almighty than you.
What do rolly pollies eat? Explained.
Rolly Pollies or land isopods are simple creatures that love moist lands. However, what they eat depends solely on the environment. As they are not so picky when eating, they will eat anything soft. No, they are not carnivorous, and they only eat plants. Whenever these bugs find dead plants, they chow down, filling their tummies in the process.
If you have old cardboard lying around, they can munch down in it too. Fish food, yum. In the wild, they thrive on some specific foods. Like,
Rolly pollies love grass when it is rotten. The grass is forty percent protein, giving our bug friends their protein needs. If you don’t know, rotten grass contains a high level of Potassium, Phosphorus, Nitrogen, and so on. In fact, the nutrition value of grass is so great for the isopods that they live a couple of years more if they eat grass. In short, the bugs need nothing more if they have these for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Similar to rotten grass, plant roots also give the bugs their daily needs. Rotten plant roots contain protein, carbs, and other minerals that they require. In fact, some roots even have a good amount of sulfur and magnesium. When you are camping outside, eating wild rolly pollies will give you a good energy boost. All thanks to the foods they eat.
Tree bark (What do rolly pollies eat)
As I said earlier, these bugs can thrive on anything rotten. Tree barks are often moist and soggy. So, they can easily live there and eat from it. Most bark dinners have a high amount of starches, sugars, vitamins, etc. In reality, the bugs feel as if they are eating in an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Rotten fruits peals
The bugs feel quite at home when they find rotten fruits. Fruits are full of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fibers, and more. Suppose you happen to always the fruit peels, then though them in cold places where bugs can eat them. However, fruits like lemon, lime, etc., have tons of acid in them. So, rolly pollies generally stay away from them even after they get rotten.
When you see any vegetable getting rotten in your garden, then you will surely find these bugs. The reason is, the bugs love rotten vegetables like potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, etc., to give them a perfect diet. Evolution made these land isopods search for the maximum nutrients in the least effort. However, seeing them in your garden means your vegetables are tasty and chemical-free.
Water for these bugs
When I say rolly pollies, I mean isopods living on lands. So, being an isopod or crustacean, these bugs tend to live in a moist environment. However, too much water poses a great threat to them as they can’t live underwater. Their gills act as semi lungs allowing them to take the air. This is the only reason we can’t find these insects in ponds or lakes.
Anyways, whenever they need water, they can just take it from the place where they live. You can find them curled inside rotten trees, wood, etc., and not in the rough desert.
Things you should know
The bugs are, after all, the land relatives of ocean isopods. And that is why they have the habit of cleaning whatever they find. These bugs can eat their own feces and even the poop of other animals. Additionally, they can eat the rotting flesh of animals.
However, they like to eat vegetables more often as they contain more amount of minerals. That is the only reason why they stay in decomposing plant parts, where the environment is wet. The insects help get rid of the excess amount of copper, lead, and zinc from the garden. This is why they are one of the best natural farming helpers. In the winter they eat of plant roots and damaging some important parts of the plant. Then again, this is just temporary, and they will stop doing it after the winter has been long gone.
Taste of Rolly Pollies
Rolly Pollies are merely insects from the isopod family. In fact, they are so closely related that these insects are the only insects that have fake gills. Similar to a shrimp or lobster, a rolly polly has gills that help them breadth on land. However, their gills can’t take oxygen from water but do need a moist environment to function. Furthermore, they taste quite similar to any isopods.
If you find yourself lost in the woods, just look below the bark of a tree or the under rotting plants. Take the insects and roast them on the flame. Their meat takes exactly the like of a shrimp. Additionally, they are high in saturated fats, minerals, and especially protein. And don’t worry, they are totally edible.
Many insects have huge fangs to grab their prey and have a feast. They can even hurt humans if given a chance. However, rolly pollies don’t have any fangs or stingers to use on you. They do have small teeth, which they use for scratching and eating their food. This is why their only line of defense is a roll into a ball hence the name.
This method of self defect is great for fighting against termites and other insects. Additionally, the secret an odor to help them hide from ants. They can fight against themselves for food and territory but can’t harm any human.
Do Rolly Pollies need water?
Generally speaking, these insects live under the tree bark, in the roots of plants, and in other moist places. They have enough water to live for days to come. Furthermore, they lose their lives if there is less moisture in the air. Their environment gives them everything and water as well. A rolly polly doesn’t need a tank full of water to survive. But they have enough water in the surroundings in the end.
Do Rolly Pollies bite?
Insects which has fangs and big teeth can bite and even take off chunks of the meat from animals. Luckily, rolly pollies are vegetarians, and they prefer absolute, mostly rotten plants. They have small teeth that are totally useless when they bite humans. Their only line of defense is rolling into a ball.
How do you take care of Rolly Pollies?
The process of taking care of rolly pollies is highly simple. You just need a moist container, some rotten fruits or vegetables, and you are good to go. Place the insect into a container, make two holes in the container, and leave the rotten food behind. The insects love indirect sunlight, and so don’t put them directly in the sunlight.
What will kill Rollie Pollies?
Like most other insects, you can get rid of rolly pollies by adding some pesticides on the ground. Spinosad poison is the most common pesticide that you can use. This medicine method effective in removing 90% of the bugs. However, you can try getting a chicken or two to eat the bugs for you.
Are Rolly Pollies Bad?
Generally speaking, Rolly Pollies are just simple insects that neither harms you nor the environment. All it does is lie around in a dark, moist place, eating and living their lives. They pose no threat to your favorite plants in your garden. They only eat what is rotten, lying below.
How long do rolly pollies live?
Rolly Pollies generally live for about five years. Along this time, they can grow to huge sizes compared to their babies. The life span depends solely on the environment it lives in and the food it gets. When scientists grow them in labs, they tend to have a life span of over six years.
Are Rolly Pollies edible?
Yes, they are edible and tastes quite similar to a shrimp or a lobster.
Wrapping up with what do rolly pollies eat
In this article, you got to know how they lived and what do rolly pollies eat in general. These bugs contribute to keeping your favorite garden clean and disease-free. Similar to their sea-dwelling relatives, rolly pollies like to eat dead plants and animals. After this process, their poop spreads nutrients into the soil, making it good for planting trees. The insects also take away copper, zinc, etc., from the soil and keep a perfect balance.
In reality, these animals provide more benefit to face than disadvantages. Though in the winter, they eat little plant roots, that is just for a few days. When the winter leaves, you will be left with a fertile land where you can grow tons of fruits and vegetables.
If their number grows, and you need to control it, just spray some pesticide. Pesticides will keep their numbers in check, but don’t use too much as it can kill other insects as well. So, no more today. Buy and have a good day.