Slaters - Any Danger?

Hi there,
Around here, there are a fair amount of slaters, also called rolly-pollies, pill-bugs, sow-bugs etc.
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=slater
When tilling my little bit of land (formerly just neglected grass in densely-packed soil), I found some things a few cm.s deep, that might be slater lavae or something. They were white/clear, and didn't move when disturbed. (I also found a developing caterpiller that got up and walked away...)
So, are slaters dangerous for veggies (going in over the next few weeks.)
Thanks in advance for your advice!
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On Sun, 31 Aug 2003 20:51:04 -0700, Down Under On The Bucket

I don't think so, but I'm not sure. I don't remember ever reading that they are harmful to veggies.
The white or clear things you mention sound like cut-worm grubs, however. When the cut-worms develop, they are harmful and eat young plants at the stem - cutting them off at the stem. When I find a white or clear grub, I smush it.
Pat

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Down Under On The Bucket Farm wrote:

While these little guys usually eat decaying organic matter, they can be terrible pests of seedlings. They will show up en masse and eat things right to the ground. I start seeds outdoors in a sheltered area and have to put the flats up on a table--if I leave the flats on the ground, everything gets eaten. I also have to be very scrupulous about turning the mulch pile, raking up drifts of fallen leaves, and getting rid of places they like to hide. They're awful. I wish something would eat them!!
Monique Reed College Station, TX
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If you're talking about slaters - we call them woodlice - they are eaten by something. My chickens would die for them.
Mary

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Try a google search for slaters on the aus.gardens newsgroup for the local opinions.
Slaters seem to function by cleaning up rotting material. I have never seen any damage that could be pinned onto slaters, and have gardened where there were many. I have found them on the base of some strawberry fruits, but these have always been those few fruit that were making direct contact with the soil rather than sitting on straw, and I've assumed that the fruit had already begun to rot before it proved attractive to the slater. (Otherwise they would be on fruit that wasn't in contact with the soil, too.)
Others have written that they HAVE experienced damage to some healthy plants.
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John Savage (news address invalid; keep news replies in newsgroup)


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