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Re: More on Hosta Chewing Insects and science projects.

  • Subject: Re: More on Hosta Chewing Insects and science projects.
  • From: NardaA@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 12:15:40 EDT

In a message dated 6/19/02 9:19:26 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
hostahill@Bellsouth.net writes:

<< Sow bugs (Porcellio laevis) look almost exactly like pill bugs 
(Armadillidium vulgare). Here in Georgia we have pill bugs by the gintillions 
but no sow bugs - so no damage. The pill bugs usually roll up when disturbed. 
Pill bugs do no damage, sow bugs are a well known, nasty household pest (yes 
they get into houses) and they will eat young plants and shoots. Pill bugs 
are ok. My children kept the rollie-pollies as a science project in school a 
long time ago. Their bodies are rounded and they roll up. Sow bugs have a 
flatter body and seven pairs of legs. They get somewhat larger than pill bugs 
- to 7/8 inch. The main differentiating feature are the two small tails sow 
bugs have at their rear ends. Pill bugs do not have these tails. So, no tails 
ok, two tails watch out, you have sow bugs and they'll eat your plants. 
Control is very difficult. The best is to dry up the area. Sow bugs must have 
moisture, just like slugs. I just thought this will help the poor pill bugs 
which are important in your compost piles.

Wow, that was very educational.  I remember seeing an article on all those 
little creatures in one of the scientific magazines.  Seems that in some 
parts of the world that they get very large, and they are interesting.

Curious, how long does a child keep these little critters as a science 
project........?  We have our fourth graders create bio-columns at school 
with crickets and pill bugs in the top and a snail, plant and mosquito fish 
in the bottom.  These columns remain wonderfully active until by lottery some 
of them get to be the subject of toxic pollution.  Great lesson on scientific 
controls and study.  Sorry, I am rambling again, have to get back to cleaning 
out the pond anyway.  N.

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