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Dealing with Woodlice Infestation: A Comprehensive Guide

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Dealing with Woodlice Infestation: A Comprehensive Guide

Woodlice, also known as pillbugs or sowbugs, are common in gardens and become pests when they find their way into homes. These small, crustacean-like creatures are known for their distinctive segmented bodies and habit of curling up into a ball when disturbed.

While woodlice are generally harmless, their presence can be unsightly and, in some cases, indicate an underlying moisture issue. In this guide, we’ll delve into effective methods for getting rid of woodlice and preventing future infestations.

Understanding Woodlice: Habits and Behavior

Before diving into eradication methods, it’s essential to understand the behavior and habitat preferences of woodlice. Woodlice are moisture-loving creatures that thrive in damp environments. They feed on decaying organic matter and can be found in gardens, under mulch, rocks, and in areas with excessive moisture, such as basements and bathrooms. They usually become more active at night and seek shelter during the day to avoid dehydration.

1. Identify the Source of Moisture

The key to effectively eliminating woodlice is to address their attraction to moisture. Start by identifying and eliminating potential sources of dampness in and around your home. Check for leaky pipes, faucets, and areas with poor ventilation. Proper drainage around your home’s foundation can also prevent water from accumulating and creating a hospitable environment for woodlice.

2. Improve Ventilation and Reduce Humidity

Woodlice are drawn to humid conditions. Use dehumidifiers in damp areas like basements, bathrooms, and crawl spaces to reduce moisture levels. Proper ventilation is essential; consider using fans and ensuring that vents are functioning correctly.

3. Remove Attractants

Clear your garden of decaying leaves, mulch, and other organic matter that woodlice feed on. Regularly rake and clean up fallen leaves and debris. Creating a dry and less appealing environment for woodlice can help discourage their presence.

4. Seal Entry Points

Inspect the exterior of your home for gaps, cracks, and openings through which woodlice might enter. Seal these entry points using caulk, weather stripping, or other appropriate materials to block their access.

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5. Natural Remedies

There are several natural remedies that can help repel woodlice. These include:

  • Diatomaceous Earth: Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the areas where woodlice are active. This natural substance damages their exoskeletons, leading to dehydration and death.
  • Citrus Peels: Place citrus peels in areas where you’ve noticed woodlice activity. The strong scent can deter them.
  • Cucumber: Placing cucumber slices near woodlice-infested areas can help repel them due to the cucumber’s moisture content.


6. Insecticides and Pesticides

When infestation is significant and other methods haven’t been successful, you might consider using insecticides or pesticides.

Always follow the instructions on the product label and exercise caution, especially if you have pets or children.

7. Professional Pest Control

If your efforts to eliminate woodlice are not yielding the desired results, it might be time to enlist the help of professional pest control services.

Pest control specialists have the knowledge and experience to assess the extent of the infestation and determine the most appropriate treatment methods.

Please note: There is no professional pesticides currently labelled for woodlice control in Ireland, therefore Owl Pest Control do not carry out woodlice treatments.

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Preventing Future Infestations

Preventing future woodlice infestations involves ongoing maintenance and vigilance. Follow these preventive measures to minimize the risk:

  • Regular Cleaning: Maintain a clean environment both inside and outside your home. Keep garden areas free of debris and promptly clean up fallen leaves.
  • Repair Leaks: Address any plumbing or structural issues that contribute to moisture buildup.
  • Landscaping: Trim bushes and plants away from the foundation to allow proper airflow and reduce moisture accumulation.
  • Seal Gaps: Regularly inspect and seal any gaps, cracks, or openings in your home’s exterior.


Woodlice infestations can be managed effectively by addressing their attraction to moisture and implementing preventive measures. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create an environment that is less conducive to woodlice and enjoy a pest-free home and garden. Remember, persistence and consistent maintenance are key to successfully eliminating and preventing woodlice infestations.

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