Study Finds ‘Rollie Pollies’ Remove Heavy Metals From Soil, Stabilizing Growing Conditions, Protecting Groundwater

“Rollie pollies” or pill bugs are tiny bugs that hide in your garden and curl up into a ball when they sense danger. Not a lot is known about these tiny creatures, but one thing is sure: they are no threat to you and can even have a great impact on the environment.

In fact, “rollie pollies” are not even bugs but crustaceans which makes them more like crabs than bugs. After years of evolution, they have accustomed themselves to living on land, and mostly in moist areas as they get their nutrients directly from the ground. They use their gills for breathing and their habit of rolling was developed to protect the moisture on these.

If you are thinking of getting rid of pill bugs from your garden, think twice as they are doing you a huge favor by being there. First, they feed on plant debris and second, they also consume metal which means that they extract it from the soil and leave it clean. Pill bugs consume a lot of lead, cadmium, arsenic, copper, and zinc and this makes them highly resistant to severe environments and conditions.
Their most important contribution to your garden is leaving the soil clean and healthy.
So, to keep them close to you and your outdoor space, you must create a welcoming space for them.
You can do this by adding organic matter to your soil, as this will keep them occupied and focused on protecting your garden from harmful elements.

8 Responses to “Study Finds ‘Rollie Pollies’ Remove Heavy Metals From Soil, Stabilizing Growing Conditions, Protecting Groundwater”

  1. Robert says:

    And where does this said metsls go after they die ?

  2. Jinx says:

    We always called these potato bugs. Wonder why?

  3. Johnny Edwards says:

    I never knew anything about them I always thought of them as a pest.

  4. David FELD says:

    How do you spell ‘roly-polies’?

  5. Mia Karel says:

    This was so very interesting. I enjoyed this article very much.

  6. Ciaobaby says:

    This article fails to address the obvious question, which is: what becomes of the various metals after the pill bugs eat them? Do they return to the soil when a pill bug dies? Or are they concentrated in the bodies of predators higher up the food chain? How do you reason that either of these possibilities is a net benefit to the environment?

  7. Julie says:

    As anyone will tell you from the Guildford area these are called Cheesybobs

  8. Amy says:

    We called them pill bugs.

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