Problem with pill bugs in greenhouse

I was repotting one of my apple grafts today (original pot was too small but all I had at the time), when I discovered a problem, pill bugs (aka sow bugs, rollie pollies) on the roots of this apple. Doing some checking I found more of the critters near inside the drain holes on other pots (apple grafts and some citrus). So the question becomes how to deal with this.

Pill bugs are a problem for me in both my greenhouses. I use the slug bait with spinosaid which seems to keep them in check in the open, but the only thing which really knocks them down for me has been leaving a GH vacant and dry for a few months. Eventually though they make their way back, no doubt in part to some living in the pots which are watered.

So I am wondering how to proceed. I was considering a spinosaid soak for the pots along with liberal use of the slug bait on the ground around them. But thought I would ask here if anyone has had experience with this.

Also, I am curious pill bugs are present outside in the ground but never get the the problem levels like they do in the GH. I am wondering what is limiting their numbers outside. Anyone know of any predators?

I’ve got a lot in my greenhouse as well. There can be just as many outside in damp areas. I haven’t tried control. Do you think they damage the plants roots?

They definitely do eat plant roots, and tops!

I’ve come in the GH at night, turned on a light and seen them up on plants feeding. I try to keep them in some semblance of a balance, but I know of one GH grower who has so many he can’t put plant starts in the ground (tomatoes or peppers) without protection around the new plants otherwise they are goners (but he does not try to control them???). Some years back, I found quite a few onion transplants without any rootlets after transplanting thanks to these guys, but that was before I started trying to control them.

The slug pellets with spinosaid does seem to offer fairly good control on open beds (you can see the white shells from the ones that died showing up). But I can’t think of a way to get that bait into the bottom of the pots, beyond an inch or so if I stuff it into the drain holes.

I think that these pill bugs in my potted citrus may explain the decline and trouble I have been having with them since I moved them from our house into GH. Never thought about possible root eating critter problems before.

I had a bunch of pill bugs living in the bottom of my fig pots. When I would pick the pots up to move them I would see a bunch of them come crawling out everywhere. I didn’t realize they actually fed on the roots, I thought they just liked the moisture. I moved most of my figs to in-ground or grow bags so i don’t have problems with them now.