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Are Rolly Pollies Poisonous? (All You Need to Know)

Rolly Pollies are a crustacean group that belongs to the order Isopoda. But the spooky and prehistoric appearance of Rolly Pollies has given them the identity of bugs, even though they are not bugs or insects.

However, since Rolly Pollies are widely recognized as bugs and many bugs are poisonous, it may concern you with the query that are Rolly Pollies poisonous too or not. 

So to end all of your queries regarding this topic, look further into the detailed explanations to get answers. 

Are Rolly Pollies Poisonous?

Rolly Pollies that is mononymously known as Pill bugs are not poisonous at all and they don’t cause any harm to humans as well Besides, Rolly Pollies don’t even carry any virus of any fatal disease too. But they cause harm to young plants by munching on their young leaves and immature roots.

Rolly Pollies are well-known as terrestrial crustaceans, they are the sole crustacean group that fully have adjusted to spend their whole life on the ground. And being a crustacean group, Rolly Pollies are not actually any bugs or insects.

Rather they are very closely connected to crayfish, crabs, and shrimps than ants or other insects living on land. 

Hence, Rolly Pollies aren’t any bugs or insects, they absolutely don’t contain any poison nor they are poisonous like some other bugs/insects. In fact, Rolly Pollies don’t even sting or bite, so there isn’t any chance that their bite or sting can be considered poisonous, neither they are dangerous.

Besides, these Rolly Pollies don’t transmit any fatal diseases too, therefore, they aren’t harmful or poisonous to human beings. 

However, Rolly Pollies are harmful to plants as they eat leaves and immature roots of young plants but they aren’t poisonous to plants as well. 

Moreover, know that Rolly Pollies are more colloquially cited as the “Pill Bugs”. And they got this name Rolly Polly because of their ability to curl up into a ball alike shape to protect themselves.

Most of the people at first glance assume Pill bugs as a bug because of their similar spooky appearances like bugs and their living habits on land like bugs. But they aren’t typical bugs or insects. 

Can You Eat Rolly Pollies?

Just know for sure that Rolly Pollies aka Pill bugs are surprisingly as edible as any other wild bugs such as a wax worm or wax moth caterpillar. And only Pill bugs are edible but also they taste quite similar to shrimp. 

However, knowing that fact regarding the edibility of Pillbugs, you might be more curious to know exactly how Pill bugs are eaten, like raw or cooked. So below this query is also shortly explained. 


You surely can eat cooked Rolly Pollies. In fact, Pillbugs are known to taste the most flavorful when you will be eating them cooked. You can roast them with your favorite spices or sauté them butter, either way, is a tasty way to eat cooked Pill bugs.

And these roasted or sautéed Pill bugs will give a shrimp-like taste. Also, you can add them to your soup or make a sauce with them to eat. 


Although most people prefer eating cooked like roasted or sautéed Rolly Pollies, you can eat them raw as well and it’s absolutely okay to consume them. Just clean and them well and then you can eat a handful of raw Pill bugs with hot sauces or peppers.

While eating raw they might not taste exactly like shrimp but still will fill your mouth with a remarkable flavor. 

Besides, eating raw Pill bugs is not dangerous, poisonous, or harmful to consume, neither they transmit any diseases to the human body.

Are Rolly Pollies Poisonous To Dogs?

Rolly Pollies are not poisonous to dogs but if any dog eats them in a large quantity, these Rolly Pollies can build a bezoar inside its belly or mouth and this condition will need a veterinary intervention for the removal of it. Also, symptoms like lack of hunger, bloody or painful stools can occur. 

Generally, to speak, it’s bad for any dog to consume Rolly Pollies aka Pill bugs.

Sometimes dogs are seen to eat bugs and most people take it as an unproblematic issue. However, the case of a dog consuming pill bugs is can’t be considered a safe one unless the dog has eaten or chewed only one or two Pill bugs at most.

Even if a dog has eaten one Pill bug, sometimes the bitter exudate can lead the dog to throw up or drool a lot, so it’s bad for dogs. 

Moreover, in cases where lots of Pillbugs have gone into the dog’s hatch, they will build a bezoar (a tough mass) in the canine’s stomach which is incapable of passing through its digestive tract. And will require surgery to remove it. 

And if such a serious condition doesn’t occur, it doesn’t mean eating Pill bugs is less harmful to dogs. Consuming a large number of Pillbugs still can cause a dog severe stomachache accompanied by throwing up or diarrhea.

It can also cause the dog to lose its appetite and hurtful bloody stools. Not to mention, any of these health conditions are as agonizing as a bezoar for a dog to tolerate. 

Are Rolly Pollies Poisonous To Cats?

Since Rolly Pollies/Pillbugs don’t contain any poison, so they aren’t typically poisonous to cats as well.

However, if any cat consumes Rolly Pollies, the exoskeleton of these Pillbugs can cause the cat symptoms like oral irritation or gastrointestinal upset such as constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. that later can turn into serious health problems as well. 

Therefore, it’s always better for your cat’s health if it doesn’t consume Rolly Pollies at all, not even one or two. 

Are Rolly Pollies Bad For Your Garden & Plants? 

Practically, Rolly Pollies is not that bad thing for your garden as they offer many significant benefits to the garden. 

First of all, Pill bugs are a very natural means of removing heavy metals safely from your garden’s soil because the toxins such as cadmium, lead, and other metals like arsenic aren’t bad to these Pill bugs.

So, having them in your garden will let you have good and cleaned soil for plants. 

Another major benefit that Pillbugs can offer to your garden is that they live by eating decaying matter as it will accelerate the decomposition rate in your garden’s soil which releases nutrients sooner in the soil and increases plant growth. 

Also, Rolly Pollies help to keep pests/insects away by consuming any insect/bug eggs they will find in your garden. 

However, Rolly Pollies can turn into an enemy of your plants if no decaying or other food sources aren’t available for them. That time, they will start munching on young plants’ leaves and roots. 

Do Rolly Pollies Carry Diseases?

Rolly Pollies do not carry any type of disease, neither they do bite or sting so there isn’t even any possibility that through their bite or sting any disease will transmit to human bodies. A large number of Pillbugs may create a nuisance but they will not make any human sick. 

How To Get Rid Of Rolly Pollies In The House?

If Pillbugs have gotten into your home and creating a nuisance all around, go through the following tips listed and explained below to solve this Rolly Polly problem in your home. 

Minimize The Moisture Level: 

Pillbugs enter the home only when they get a hiding place with enough moisture. So to get rid of Pillbugs for a long period, the most beneficial solution is to minimize the moisture in the basement and their probable dwelling places around the foundation. 

Keep Your Home Clean: 

Keeping your home always clean and tidy is another solution that can help you to get rid of the Pillbugs. So always throw garbage and debris instantly, keep the areas near your home plant clean, clear any plant debris too, and keep all the places dry. 

Don’t Allow Water To Accumulate: 

Never let any water accumulate around the foundation or in the trudged places. Always detract any water away from the areas near the foundation wall by maintaining properly functioning drains, downpipes, and splash slabs. 

Repair Any Leakage: 

If your air condition unit, any faucet, or water pipe is leaking, repair it as immediately as possible. 

Seal Cracks/Opening: 

Seal any crack or opening in the foundation wall outside and around your home’s basement windows.

Then install door sweeps/thresholds with a tight-fitting at the bottom of any outside door. After that apply caulk at those door’s thresholds sides and the base of the outside perimeter. 

Final Thoughts 

Pillbugs which are terrestrial crustaceans are absolutely non-toxic. Also, these Pillbugs don’t carry any diseases that can be transmitted to the human body through them. So they are harmless to human health. However, Rolly Pollies can eat young leaves and roots of young plants causing them harms.