After discovering a pill bug at the Arboretum earlier this week, Riley really wanted to find some at our house. I decided that since we have been enjoying more rain recently, that perhaps they may start showing up again. We searched in the usual hiding places - the cracks between the sidewalk and the yard were the dead grass makes a tasty snack for pill bugs. No luck. We searched in the butterfly garden and underneath a few logs. No luck. Much to Riley's delight, we were finally able to locate a few small pill bugs hiding under a rock in a shady corner of the backyard. Hurray!
We set them up in a recycled plastic container with a layer of dirt, dead grass/leaves, a tiny sprinkling of fish flakes, and a small bit of greenery and fruit from the fridge. I'm not sure how long I will be able to keep them alive in captivity so we will most likely send them back to their home outdoors after a week or so. In the meantime, we will have fun enjoying their company in our home as our guests.
Among woodlice, you are more likely to be familiar with sow bugs and pill bugs. The main difference between the two is that a pill bug rolls up and sow bugs do not. Although they live exclusively on land, they still require a habitat high in moisture. They have gills, like all other crustaceans, and require a moist environment to breathe. This is why we weren't able to find any around our home this summer - no rain, no pill bugs.
Pill bugs are not normally considered pests as they primarily eat decaying matter, but occasionally they will eat young plants. They are primarily nocturnal, can live from 1-2 years, and the mothers keep their eggs in a special pouch on their abdomen.
Learn more about pill bugs: