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What are ubiquitous insects actually crustaceans?



  A pill bug on a piece of bark
Missouri Department of Conservation

Answer: Pill Bugs

Among the variety of things that crawl and crawl across the earth, there is a very small and special overlap between the two Oceans and the land. Armadillidiidae Most commonly known in the United States as pills bugs and less commonly as polys, chiggy wigs or potato bugs, looks like a small insect, but is actually a distant relative of clearly aquatic life such as shrimp and crab. The lush little beetle is actually not a beetle, but one of the rare crustaceans found outside the water.

Known as "land isopods", pills bugs, like their close relatives, the sow bug, can survive well on land, but you must keep your breathing apparatus (a primitive type of gill) moist. Because of this, you can hardly see how numerous they are in most environments, pills bugs that just run around, but when you lift a patio paver, a stone or a log you will often find dozens of them. They prefer to stay close to the ground where moisture accumulates, and damp soil beneath rocks and rotting wood is an ideal place for them on several levels. The moisture not only keeps them healthy and happy, but also rotting plant material such as pulp and mushrooms are their staple foods.

Pill bugs are not a problem for most people at all. They do not damage the structures and a pill error found in your home is simply lost and can be placed outside again to pave the way. For farmers, however, pills bugs are a major nuisance as they feed on many common crops such as corn, beans, squash, peas, cucumbers, potatoes, turnips, leafy plants such as spinach, lettuce and chard, as well as fruit like melons and strawberries.

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