Woodlice are sometimes called Pill bugs or Slaters and are quite strange in appearance. The most common being the oval shaped crustacean which is brown/grey coloured and can be as large as 15mm in length.
There are over 3,637 species of woodlouse worldwide with 35 species in 10 families being native to the British Isles. Five types of woodlice have become particularly common throughout the UK and have become known as the ‘famous five’
Their natural habitat is outdoors and you will usually find them in wood storage piles, or under stone slabs. Here they will feed on bark, rotting wood and leaves.
Woodlice don’t usually cause problems but may cause superficial damage if they up invading your home so knowing how to get rid of woodlice is important.
How to get rid of woodlice in your home
There a few products that we can employ to get rid of a woodlice infestation depending on where they are.
As prevention is better than cure it is worth treating some exterior areas of the house with an insecticidal powder like Residex P.
You can apply this with a Polminor Duster for easy application. Puff the powder into and around air bricks and any cracks and crevices in brickwork.
To get rid of woodlice inside your home you can apply a spray like Protector C, Rentokil Insectrol or Dethlac (all of these have residual properties and keep on being effective for several weeks). You can also spray the woodlice directly for an instant knockdown effect.
Depending on the circumstances and where the woodlice infestation is you could use an Insecto Woodlice Smoke Bomb to target a whole area / room.
Smoke bombs are effective against woodlice as they penetrate all cracks and crevices where powders and sprays can’t be applied.
If you want to get rid of woodlice naturally then Organ X Desi Dust applied to areas of activity or directly onto them kills the woodlice by drying them out.
What causes woodlice in the house?
A woodlice infestation is usually caused by poor maintenance of gardens and shrubbery that builds up around the perimeter of the property.
We recommend cutting back any overflowing areas and disposing of any decaying wood that may left lying around your home.
Woodlice are attracted to damp areas and in search of these conditions, can end up in your home.
Make sure there are no water leaks or drips that may be creating wet areas, pay particular attention to kitchens and bathrooms where these can occur.
What do woodlice eat?
Woodlice feed on pretty much anything that is rotting such as decayed wood, mildew and plants. In fact, they have picked up the name ‘recyclers of the insect world’ because of this.
Garden woodlice will tend to eat decayed plants, but there are instances where they feed on healthy fruit plants.
You may think Woodlice eating decaying wood and plants isn’t much of an issue, but this becomes a problem when they enter your home and start destroying furniture, floorboards and more.
How to prevent woodlice
Preventing access for woodlice can be a difficult task to to the small size of this invader. They will only venture indoors if they environment is to their liking or their is a large number present around the house.
Start by removing any stacked wood from against any exterior walls, cut back on any vegetation that is growing close to the house. If you have any planters or pots against the house remove these also.
Next, check masonry and brickwork close to the ground for cracks and repoint as required. Air bricks could be protected with Mouse Mesh Grills these are fine enough to keep out woodlice.
If you find woodlice in upstairs rooms it can be a sign your guttering needs cleaning out as this is a favourite haunt and breeding ground.
Seal around any pipe work entering the home, holes and gaps between floors and skirting boards you can do this with a decorators caulk.
If you live in an old property and have a rising damp problem this will certainly attract woodlice. They can get behind any lifting wallpaper and feed of any mould that occurs.
If you live in a warm dry home it is unlikely you will suffer from woodlice entering it.
Does bleach kill woodlice?
Using bleach to kill woodlice may be effective due to the chlorine within it but we wouldn’t recommend this as a long term solution.
The bleach will kill woodlice it comes into contact with but a professional product will be more effective and leave behind a deadly residue which can last for months.
Does vinegar kill woodlice?
Vinegar is a fairly ineffective method of killing woodlice as it’s a weak acid which is usually used to remove grease within homes. The outer shell of woodlice is strong and will be resistant to any vinegar applied.
How long do woodlice live?
The average lifespan of a woodlouse is up to 2 years but certain ones can live up to 4 years if living within the ideal conditions.
Are woodlice dangerous?
Woodlice are harmless and not very dangerous at all, especially if found outside. They only become a problem when they end up indoors but even then they aren’t dangerous to humans.
Do woodlice eat strawberries?
There are occasions where a woodlouse may be known to eat strawberries, but this is very rare. They are often confused with slugs who are known to take more of an interest in this fruit.
To be safe we recommend keeping strawberries off the ground and away from potential woodlice.
Recommended Woodlice Products
Below is a handpicked list of recommend products for dealing with a woodlice infestation. There are different types of products available including woodlice sprays, woodlice powders and woodlice smoke bombs to suit your needs.