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Isopods are arthropods which measure 1/4 to 1/2 inch in length. They are gray in color with a shell-like body and have seven pairs of legs. Common species include Pillbugs and Sowbugs. Pillbugs can be distinguished from Sowbugs by their tendency to roll up into a ball when threatened. Sowbugs do not roll up. Both Pillbugs and Sowbugs are nocturnal and feed on decaying organic matter, such as leaf and flower debris. They do very little damage, if any, but may be considered a nuisance to African Violet growers.

Distinguishing Symptoms

If your Violet has this symptom, it is probably being visited by Isopods.


The best treatment for Isopods is to simply remove them by hand. They are large enough to see and easy to find. During the day, look for them taking shelter beneath pots or among leaf and flower debris which have gathered on the surface of the soil.


Keep pots and growing area clean of leaf and flower debris. This is where Isopods typically feed. Also, avoid watering from the top. Isopods are attracted to decaying organic matter, especially when it can be found in moist conditions.

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