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What Do Rollie Pollies Eat

What do Rollie Pollies (Rolly Pollies) Eat?

Turns out rollie pollies (sometimes spelled rolly pollies) aren't overly picky eaters. Rollie pollies, also called pillbugs, could survive mostly on soft, decaying matter, like grass and leaves, and still live between two and five years. They can also safely eat fish food, fresh vegetables, and even crumpled-up cardboard. See what I mean about not being picky?

feed your follie pollies fish food

But that's not all. Rollies pollies munch on scat, including their own, and decaying matter, like flesh. Rollie pollies need copper to live, and each time the bugs defecate, they lose a little of it—hence the recycling process. This practice is called coprophagy. They have also been known to eat mulch. They tend to make their homes in wooded areas, particularly where there are plenty of damp leaves and other decaying vegetation, where food can easily be found. They can also be found living in piles of compost and areas containing mulch.

Rollie Pollies Eating Habits Aid in Decomposition

Rollie pollies are (like some beetles) also decomposers: They consume material from dead plants and animals and return essential nutrients back into the earth. They are considered beneficial decomposers because of this ability. However, they don't always prefer to eat dead materials. Sometimes they'll eat ripe fruit or vegetables that are in contact with soil. When plant growth is slow-moving during times of cooler temperatures, rollie pollies' hunger may take over, and they may harm the lush roots or stems of certain plants found in the garden. This damage-causing behavior, however, seldom occurs. To some home dwellers' dismay, some rollie polllies may make their way into buildings. This is especially true when vegetation runs alongside the house. Wet soil, due to poor drainage or other conditions, is also an invitation for rollie pollies to enter a house.

Lester Ehler, an entomology professor at the University of California, found that rollie pollies also eat the eggs of stink bugs. Stink bugs are known to cause crop damage; therefore, the rollie pollie may be considered an asset in insect control. According to Wayne Mathis, a retired entomologist from the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., some stink bugs are predatory and are also used in biocontrol of other insects. So between stink bugs and then rollie pollies, much insect control is occurring.

What Do Rollie Pollies Eat if Kept as a Pet?

If taken in as a pet, the rollie pollie might enjoy a wider array of foods. A petowner could fatten up the bug with fresh fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, lettuce or even apples skins. The bugs can also eat the skin of zucchinis and potatoes. Oatmeal is also an edible option for them. Crumpled egg cartons, in addition to cardboard, are also safe for them to eat, as long as there is no print on the material. Water is their beverage of choice. The bugs' food can be spread out within their habitat once a week. If the rollie pollie is a pet, it's important to remember that any of their uneaten food should be removed from their habitat before the food gets moldy.

With a menu like that, it's no wonder rollie pollies survive as long as they do!

26 Responses to “What Do Rollie Pollies Eat”

  1. Wow I never knew Rollie pollies eat fish food.

  2. matt says:

    thank you so much now i can feed mine! c(^.^c)

  3. caleb says:

    i finally know what to feed them now my other one won`t die like my other one did

  4. eduardo says:

    Thnxz very helpful now i could feed my!!:-)

  5. makenzie says:

    I didnt know that they ate apple skins thanks!

  6. Helen says:

    Since I have 2 rollie pollies living with me I now what they shold eat I have casidy and Stevie

  7. saketa says:

    who in the heck is going to keep a rollie pollie as a pet..lol..lol

  8. AJ says:

    My daughter is ecstatic! Now she can feed her 4 rollies cortectly! Thanks so much for the info!

  9. niza says:

    Thx I just found a rolly pollie in my room!Now i can take care of it.Now tat I know wat they eat!

  10. niza says:

    more peoples should keep rolly pollies as pets

  11. Craig says:

    I can’t wait to fatten these little buggers up! I’m going to enjoy them fried and dipped in chocolate. Nothing like a sweet crispy ROLLY POLLIE!!!

  12. Jenn says:

    Thanks for the info. I started a rollie pollie farm and they are doing well. One even had babies. =^_^=

  13. Jenna says:

    I have 2 Rollie pollies.

  14. DANIEL says:

    THX SO MUCH NOW I CAND FEED 5 ROLLIE POLIES

  15. Anna says:

    cool, thanks! There’s a TON of rolly pollies in our compost bin-thing in our backyard. Do you think we could put in cardboard and egg cartons?

  16. tess says:

    I found this rollie pollie just now! I think I could find some other ones…bye!

  17. leigh motes says:

    Hi I am leigh I have 30 rollie pollies and I real hope I have them 4 a long time:)

  18. leigh motes says:

    Hi I am leigh I have 30 rollie pollies thx to u thry should live fof a long time

  19. Mom of 7 says:

    Thank you so much. My son had to collect some pillbugs for a science project, and was worried what to feed them.

  20. makayla says:

    thanks so much now i can feed my little cousins pillbugs.

  21. makayla says:

    i hate bugs but i love pillbugs.it is so intresting learing what pillbugs can eat like crumbled up egg cartons

  22. Christina says:

    Cool beans I never thought about what they ate or even as a pet being a mother is awesome all the wonderful things I keep learning cause of my children I daughter love any bug or animal hope it pays off I see a vet in her future. Thanks

  23. me says:

    i have 98 rollie pollies and they LOVE orange peels and make sure to keep the habitat moist or else they will die

  24. PAVLA says:

    Cool I have two roly polys in my pencil box he he

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