Snowbugs and Pillbugs are Isopods that resemble little armadillo-like creatures. They are often seen in moist areas of basements, beneath debris, rocks, or boards in gardens. Both are wingless and are related to crustaceans, such as shrimp, crayfish and lobsters. They are not insects.
Snowbugs (sometimes known as woodlice) have two tail-like appendages at the tip of the abdomen. They normally feed on decaying organic matter. However, if their numbers become very large they may damage roots and leaves of plants.
Pillbugs are similar in appearance to Snowbugs except that Pillbugs roll into a ball when they are disturbed. Their tail-like uropods (last abdominal appendages) are rounded rather then pointed like Sbnowbugs. They are both normally found in areas where there is an abundance of moisture and are particularly noticeable in years when rainfall is high. They are most active at night and likely to be found under boards, rocks, garbage or decaying vegetation. Dark damp basements are also a preferred hiding spot. They often cluster together to conserve moisture.
Reproduction of these Isopods takes place in the spring. Eggs are carried by the female in a brood pouch on the underside of the body. They hatch in three to seven weeks. Then the young are carried in the brood pouch for another six weeks. Some species have only one brood per year, while others have two. They are inactive during the winter. Some may live as long as three years.