Control – woodlice
The woodlouse is likened to the silverfish, even though they don’t look alike, they are both attracted to the same living conditions, namely damp, dark, cool places such as bathrooms and behind skirting boards.
Woodlice do not cause any damage to wood but probably get their name from the fact that they are often found living in rotting logs and old tree trunks. They spend most of their time outside, beneath piles of damp leaves or decomposing garden waste, anywhere dark and damp. They eat dead plant matter and tend to be nocturnal. In the autumn, when the weather gets cooler, you may find them crawling around inyour home. Heavy rainfall can also drive them indoors. With modern central heating systems woodlice don’t actually survive very long in the warm, dry conditions of a house, but if they find an older damp building, or get intobathrooms they can last a little longer.
Woodlice look like a miniature armadillo, with a stiff, segmented body and 14 legs. They are harmless to humans but are disliked by their look and creepiness. They have been known to cause damage to young plants and newly cultivated plants such as strawberries. The woodlouse has a shell-like exoskeleton and as it matures, it sheds this exoskeleton in two parts. There are 3000 different species of woodlice and over 40 are native to the British Isles, they all range in size and colour shade and this has brought about a range of different names for them. The woodlouse has many nicknames, some of which include; Slater, Gramersow, Chucky Pig, Pill Bug, Cheeselog, Armadillo Bug, Carpenter, the Buckle Bug and the Potato Bug.
The Common Woodlouse’ official title is Oniscus and this is the most commonly found woodlouse in Britain. The Pill Woodlouse (Armadillidium) uses its back as a shield when provoked by rolling up into a spherical ball.
The female woodlouse has a small pouch on the underside of its body, where it keeps fertilized eggs until they hatch into small, white babies.
The presence of woodlice in your home can indicate damp problems. Although they don’t cause any harm to humans or their homes, you would probably prefer they didn’t live with you. If you want to get rid of an infestation of Woodlice there are a few things you can try.
Most insecticides will kill Woodlice Infestations. The powders are more effective than the sprays because the shell like back of a woodlouse can protect it from the spray, but its legs and underside will not be protected when crawling through the powder.
If you want to be kinder, you could just sweep them up or use a vacuum cleaner and then put them back outside. They prefer the outdoors anyway.
Prevent them returning by getting rid of anywhere they might shelter such as old plant pots or piles of leaves and garden waste.
You should thoroughly dry out your home and carefully look for any signs of damp and deal with any problems of this kind swiftly. Caulk gaps around windows, doors or cracks and crevices in walls and skirting’s to prevent them and other pests getting in.
If you have a particularly bad infestation then you should contact the pest control specialists for advice and a visit if necessary.
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