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What's breaking down my compost and mulch?

 
pollinator
Posts: 270
Location: Haiti
26
forest garden rabbit greening the desert
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In this often hot, dry, windy, arid region of Haiti, I'm learning gardening all over again. Including the bugs.

There's a little football-shaped bug that's rather flat and has something like 8-10 legs (maybe more) that is prolific anywhere it finds organic material (compost, under mulch, etc.)

The largest is maybe 1/3 inch long. I can't seem to snap a picture fast enough. They're camera shy (actually they seem to hate exposure to the sun).

They're black in color.

Ideas? Help me identify my little helpers!
 
pollinator
Posts: 3105
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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Are they these guys?



Because if they are, they are part of the Armadillidium group of critters. I love them. They do break things down into smaller pieces. I understand that chickens love them. I know some people, to either get rid of them or to feed chickens, place flat stones or pieces of wood, sometimes with food scraps underneath, out in the yard in the evening, to return the following morning to harvest the yield from their pill bug traps (these guys are colloquially known as sow bugs, pill bugs, potato bugs, and my personal favourite, rolly-pollies, after the way some can roll themselves up for protection against most things that aren't chickens).

Try to get a picture if you can, probably using the trap method. Good luck.

-CK
 
Priscilla Stilwell
pollinator
Posts: 270
Location: Haiti
26
forest garden rabbit greening the desert
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Nope. Not rolly pollies. They don't seem to be able to contract their bodies. They just scurry. I'll try to get them on camera. I just usually don't have my phone in my hand when I see them.
 
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