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Caring for Rolly Pollies (Pill Bugs)

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Rolly Pollies (Pill Bug)

Children love rolly pollies and often what to keep one as a kind of pet. This is a guide about caring for rolly pollies (pill bugs).



Here are questions related to Caring for Rolly Pollies (Pill Bugs).

Question: Caring for a Rolly Polly Baby

My son's pet rolly polly just had a baby and I don't know what to do. Please help me. I don't want to let them go cuz my son's heart would break.

By Sam from Seattle, WA


Most Recent Answer

By Robyn [369]03/11/2013

I love pill bugs! Here are some links to information on their care. Also consider looking up caring for a cricket. It might easier to care for a cricket than a roly poly, and crickets if you get the male ones sing as well.

Here is the info on rolly pollies:

Here is some info on keeping crickets and you can even breed them and sell them to owners of spiders and snakes.

I had a cricket as a pet and they are very interesting. I kept mine in a fish aquarium without the water. I watched as it molted and it was very interesting.

Question: Telling the Gender of a Rolly Polly

How can you tell if a rolly polly is a girl?

By Taylor


Most Recent Answer

By Rolly Polly Lover!05/16/2013

If it is a female, it will have a grayish shell, and will have brown dots on both sides. If it is a male, it will have a pitch black shell (With no brown spots on both sides). Hope this answered your question! :)

Question: Pet Roly-Poly (Pill Bug)

I would like to know about keeping a rolly pollie as a pet. I mostly want to know what to feed him. He's in a cage and has a name, I just want to know what to feed them.

Lindsay from Hollister, CA

Most Recent Answer

By emmy11/18/2009

Guess what if a rollie pollie is blue or purpley it is sick. They are dormant in the winter. and breath through gill like things! *le gasp*!

RE: Pet Roly-Poly (Pill Bug)

Question: Caring for Rolly Pollies

I'm writing because I don't know how to make a home for rolly pollies and how to feed it. Please help.


Most Recent Answer

By CleverDaughter06/23/2015

I made a cage out of cardboard, plastic (for viewing),
and clear tape. Make sure that the tape isn't sticky in the inside, or it will make them get stuck, and their legs will rip off. My dad owns a mastigator (a kind of juicer), and once it removes all the juice, a cut up, chewed up version of whatever we put in there would come out. Usually, we'd throw it away, but I fed mine to my Pill Bugs, and they LOVED it. If you don't want to do that, your leftover (PLAIN) greens, chopped up would be much appreciated by your little critters.

Question: What Do Roly-Polys Eat?

What do roly-polys eat?

Most Recent Answer

By Dena Roberts [35]07/17/2008

We call them "sow bugs", although I have no idea why! Anyone know how to keep them out of the house?

Question: Rolly Polly Care

I just got about 30 roly pollies, and I put them in a big 10-gallon aquarium filled with dirt and leaves and a little bit of food, 3 lettuce leaves. I was wondering if there is a certain food, I have 3 dogs and a ton of poop, that makes them happier.

Also, how do I tell if a roly polly is pregnant and how long are they pregnant?

    By Midsummerdream [1]

    Most Recent Answer

    By Brianna O.07/25/2015

    I have a female roly poly and her babies were born yesterday so they're about 12 hours old. She will have a yellow stomach and if you look close enough, you will see eggs. I feed them bread, apple slices, carrots, and grapes and still alive. Hoped this helped...

    RE: Rolly Polly Care

    Question: Measuring Pill Bug Happiness

    How can one tell if a pillbug is happy or content?


    Most Recent Answer

    By Abigail A. [12]09/27/2014

    A pillbug needs: Cool temperatures, a place too hide under (a rock, damp cardboard, wood, etc.) and garbage or compost mixed with dirt to eat. If you lift up the cover and the pillbug is usually active, then it's probably happy. Never let it completely dry out (don't flood it, just a little damp).

    Question: Feeding Rolly Pollies

    What do they eat?

    By Lois from Dallas

    Most Recent Answer

    By Dimitri H.02/15/2015

    Cardboard, leaves, fish food, grass, decaying flesh.

    Question: Caring for a Pill Bug

    How would you know if a pillbug is pregnant?

      By Taylorsimone [1]

      Most Recent Answer

      By CleverDaughter06/23/2015

      You can tell if a Pill Bug is pregnant by flipping it over, look carefully at the lower half, and if you see yellowish/whitish little figures squirming around, it is pregnant.

      Question: Caring for a Rolly Polly

      So I own 5 pillbugs and keep them in a cardboard container and people say they eat cardboard. I don't want them to get out. What should I do? And do I keep feeding them bread?

      By Cassie M.

      Most Recent Answer

      By Woodlouse Lover07/01/2015

      If I was you, I would change to a plastic or glass container. I had three but ended up with five. I think I may have picked up two by mistake or one had a baby. I have mine in a plastic box type. U could keep feeding them bread but I would feed them maybe half a strawberry, dried leaf, moldy piece of wood, and if u look at other replies u will find some more.

      Question: Rolly Polly Care

      Can pill bugs live without water?

      By Dhannie Q from Sylmar, CA

      Most Recent Answer

      By DCA [4]03/13/2015

      In a word no. They must have access to water like all living things on this planet. The site below will help in providing the necessary food, water, etc.:

      Question: Keeping a Rolly Polly as a Pet

      How long do they live?

      By John

      Most Recent Answer

      By DCA [4]02/27/2015

      Pill, Sow, Rolly Polly...Bugs live about 2 years in a good environment. Unfortunately for them, other bugs like them. I found an article for keeping them healthy here: ... ntary/documents/CarolinaCareCard.pdf

      Question: Caring for Rolly Pollies

      How long do they live?

      By Grace J. from Eastvale, CA

      Most Recent Answer

      By Taylorsimone [1]06/07/2015

      About 2 years judging by the environment its living in.

      Question: Caring for a Rolly Polly

      What do rolly pollies eat? What do I keep them in? Where should I keep them? What things do they like in their habitat?

      By S.M from Perth, WA

      Most Recent Answer

      By Abigail A. [12]12/12/2014

      They live in dirt or compost. They eat garbage, scraps or leftovers. They prefer a damp, but not really wet, environment and they like to be in the dark. Give them something to hide under.

      Question: Best Way to Take Care of a Rollie Pollie

      rollie pollie on white granular surfaceI have three rollie pollies in a 6 and 1/4 inch bug cage. I have no idea how to take care of them, we dug dirt and grass, then some leaves, otherwise, I'm totally clueless!

      By Maddy W.

      Most Recent Answer

      By Taylorsimone [1]06/07/2015

      If you dug up soil/dirt, make sure you add water to it to make it damp but there's too much water most likely it will drown. Since rolly/Rollie pollies, pill, or sow bugs are decomposers they can eat more then grass like decomposing veggies, plants, sometimes healthy plants, and cardboard. Also add rocks because they like hiding under rocks.

      Question: Feeding a Rolly Polly

      What do rolly pollies eat?

      By Shane from Chesapeake, VA

      Most Recent Answer

      By sourskittlekid06/08/2014

      Cardboard, leaves, fish food, grass, decaying flesh.

      Question: Raising Rolly Pollies

      I am trying to raise rolly pollies, but have no idea how to take care of them. Please help!

      By Madeline

      Most Recent Answer

      By minecraftgal08/20/2013

      I'm doing the same thing you need to give it a pretty dark home but they can survive in light. The prefer it to be cool instead of warm or hot. Keep the habitat moist. Id use a spray bottle and but water in it and spray the habitat daily unless the dirt dries out a lot then spray more often.

      I didn't have a spray bottle so I used a water bottle and poked a small hole in the cap with a thumb tack. They eat decaying vegetation like grass picked from the lawn or soft decaying veggies or fruit. You can also give them leaves. In their habitat you put in about an inch or 2 of dirt and then grass and leaves and other decaying things and put a few pieces of bark in there too. I hope that helped.

      Question: Colors of Rolly Pollies

      What are all the colors of rolly pollies?

      By Mary F. from Fort Wayne IN

      Most Recent Answer

      By Dimitri H.02/15/2015

      There are 2 main colours. Males are significantly darker, brown, nearly a black colour while the female is grey with brown spots on the sides.

      Question: Rollie Pollies and Pickle Juice

      What will a rollie pollie do if it smells pickle juice all the time? The container I will keep it in, is a used pickle jar. And it still smells like pickles.

      By Savanna

      Most Recent Answer

      By Barbara Anne [1]03/13/2013

      I'm not sure what the outcome would be, but have you tried soaking the jar with Baking Soda overnight to get rid of the odor? Or even might try dropping in a denture tablet to try and get rid of the odor. Not sure if either would work, but would be worth a try. I have tried these and both have gotten rid of odors. Hope it helps.

      Question: Feeding a Rolly Polly

      What can you feed a rolly polly?

      By Courtney

      Most Recent Answer

      By Shawty [3]04/14/2012

      My little cousin always brings in rolly pollies and goes straight to the fridge. It turns out that rolly pollies eat lettuce chopped up in to really small pieces. ^.^

      Question: Keeping a Roly Poly as a Pet

      If they like salad greens and don't live, long should I keep one?

      By Kendall

      Most Recent Answer

      By Abigail A. [12]08/29/2011

      A roly poly likes a shady space with a couple of rocks, a piece of old wood, and some dead leaves. Add a little moisture but don't keep it too wet. Don't worry if the food gets a little old because they kind of like it that way. If you fix it up right, I doubt your bug will even know it's indoors.

      Question: Caring for a Roly Poly

      If a Roly Poly is having a baby how do you take care of it?

      By Blakely H. from Houston, TX

      Most Recent Answer

      By lexus S09/17/2013

      Do the same you would do as normal. Water its cage, feed her, but since she is having a baby, feed her more than usual.

      Question: Life Cycle of a Roly Poly

      How do roly polys develop over time? How do they get the shells on the outside? Recently my daughter and I found a roly poly that was having babies. The babies came out of the top area and the roly poly used her 2 top legs to push out the babies.

      They look like little whitish yellow roly polies the size of a flea that move around with legs. She had about 20 babies and just dropped them off to fend for themselves. What happens next?

      By Shauna from San Diego, CA

      Most Recent Answer

      By Lisa [2]04/22/2010

      Wow, that's a neat thing to see happen! How did you notice it? (I'm betting it was your daughter who noticed. I know MY daughter takes the time to see those little details, while I'm busy with other things!)

      I don't know about their life cycle, but I did a quick search, and maybe these two links will help: ... ebrates/isopod/Pillbugprintout.shtml

      In particular, there is a paragraph in that second link called "Life Cycle and Habits." It will explain what you and your daughter witnessed.

      It's cool that you and your daughter got to watch that together. A couple years ago we had a praying mantis camped out on our front storm door. I think it was a good place to catch bugs at night (the porch light comes on when it gets dark). One evening, we got to watch him shed his old skin/exoskeleton. It was really neat, and she still remembers it. Good times! :-)

      Question: Pill Bugs as Pets

      I just had pill bug babies, but I have way to many to keep in my container. Do they rely on their mommies and daddies when they are little or can they fend for themselves? I have some that are almost full grown, and some that are barely visible because they're so brand new. Please help! Thank you.

        By Jacob R [1]

        Solutions: Caring for Rolly Pollies (Pill Bugs)

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