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Harmless or evil: Are pill bugs destroying your garden?

The question

I do a twice-daily slug hunt and my garden plants are much better for it, but the lower leaves on some plants have holes. I see a lot of pill bugs (the ones that roll up into a ball). Is this bug benign or evil? Should I be trying to eradicate it or is it beneficial?

The answer

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Good idea to be on the slug hunt, but there are so many bugs around this year. Pill bugs, munch away in the compost, are pretty useful. But it's been a big year for earwigs, which are probably doing the chewing on your plants. So kill earwigs (you can buy earwigs traps) but not pill or sow bugs, which mainly go in for decaying stuff.

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