Wednesday, May 14, 2008

That upside down half-grapefruit trick...

OK, so I guess I am not the only one that didn't know what the upside down half-grapefruit trick to catch pillbugs was! I learned it from my organic-gardening neighbor. Here it is:

Step 1: Acquire a tasty Grapefruit, cut it in half, and consume it - Yum!



Step 2: Scoop out the insides so as to make an upside down dome and drink the juice -Yum, again!



Step 3: Place said scooped and dome-ized half grapefruit shell upside down on the ground in the garden near where the pillbugs attack



Pillbugs are Isopods and breathe with gills; they are therefore restricted to areas with high humidity, under rocks or logs, in leaf litter or in crevices or UNDER that half-grapefruit you just put in the garden.

Step 4: Go out in the morning and look under the grapefruit and you will find PILES of these little buggers all snuggled up underneath it. Shake them out into a bucket of water and drown them - they can't live under water for long! Just make sure you change out that bucket of water every day or two though, because dead pillbugs get STINKY quickly! (I think they smell like rotten shrimp).

So there ya go. How to control pillbugs in the garden using an upside down grapefruit. I actually put out about 6-8 of the halved grapefruits in a row to help solve my pillbug problem. It worked pretty darn well, I tell you what!

16 comments:

katina said...

Nifty. I shall have to try this when the pill bugs start going after my seedlings again...

Carol said...

I never knew pillbugs were a problem in the garden until I went to Austin for the spring fling. We have them here in the midwest, but they don't see to cause problems in our gardens...

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Lori said...

Nice! This trick goes especially well with my love of grapefruit! ;)

austin urban gardener said...

what an awesome garden tip! I have to post a link to this on my blog.

Ralph said...

I never knew that pillbugs ate plants. I always thought that they were amusing but not a nusance. And now, thanks to you, I know what to do about them.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

I've seen this trick at every garden I've visited in Austin recently. And I was surprised when the out-of-towners at Spring Fling said that pillbugs weren't a problem for them. They love to mow down every tender seedling. Maybe pillbugs are just bigger in Texas.

I did discover that my goldfish love to eat pillbugs.

gardensofcasamartin said...

Wonderful info. I had no idea these were an issue! I didn't know much about them at all, actually. Now I do...I know lots more. Thank you!
Maggie, Gardens of Casa Martin

Bonnie said...

Cool- although I wouldn't know pillbug damage if I tripped over it. But thanks to MSS, I now know I can feed them to my fish.

Lee17 said...

Katina,

Yes, do try it. It works splendidly!

Lee17 said...

carol,

I know! I never had a problem with them in Seattle, but in Austin -hordes of them!

Lee17 said...

lori,

Exactly! Yum - grapefruit ;)

Lee17 said...

Austin urban gardener,

Yes, feel free! I thought I was the last one in Austin to learn this trick - I guess not.

Lee17 said...

Ralph,

yep - grapefruit'em and drown'em!

Lee17 said...

mss,

I think they just don't have any good rotten stuff to eat down here so they eat my seedlings instead!

Lee17 said...

casamartin,

You are welcome. Who really spends time thinking about pillbugs anyway? Except for when they eat your baby plants!

Lee17 said...

Bonnie,

Yeah! who woulda thought goldfish would love'em? I have african cichlids - I wonder if they would eat pillbugs? (probably not - I think they are vegans...)