Woodlice are not in fact insects, but land crustaceans, close relatives of lobsters and shrimp. Grey in colour, they have 14 legs, long antennae and can live from two to four years.
They aren’t harmful to your health, but having these small creatures scurrying around your home is unpleasant. If left untreated, an infestation can soon get out of hand.
In this article, we find out how to get rid of woodlice from your home and how to stop them from coming back.
What Causes Woodlice in the House?
Usually, woodlice live outside, anywhere that’s dark and cool. They can often be found under stones, rotting wood or in soil.
Since they prefer damp conditions, they are not often found indoors. If you find one or two, it’s usually nothing to worry about. However, if you’re seeing many of them on a regular basis, you may have an infestation.
Finding an infestation means that the woodlice have been able to enter your house easily and they have discovered an ideal living environment, such as the kitchen, bathroom, garage or basement which can get damp.
They are more likely to enter your home if there is a nest near to an entry point. They can enter through your doors, or through drain pipes.
They will be more likely to stay if they find damp mould growing somewhere or rotting wood.
How Do You Get Rid of Woodlice Permanently?
To get rid of woodlice, you can simply vacuum them up. You’ll need to locate the source of the infestation and once you do, vacuuming them up will get rid of them.
If you find that they come back, or you aren’t able to get them all, you can also use an insect repellent.
You can find sprays or powders specifically for woodlice or generic insect repellents. Apply the product around the area where you found the infestation.
To make sure they stay away permanently, you need to take preventative measures, as outlined below.
Finally, to ensure that the woodlice are gone for good, limit the ways that they can get into your home.
Be sure that windows and doorways are sealed properly and there are no cracks and crevices through which they can crawl.
How Do You Prevent Woodlice?
Follow the tips and tricks below to discourage woodlice from making your home theirs.
- Make sure there’s nothing that could become a potential nest just outside a door or window. If you have piles of old wood lying around, be sure to remove it as soon as possible.
- Woodlice thrive in damp conditions, so be sure to keep your house as dry as possible. Check for any hidden damp spots in your home and treat it as soon as you can.
- Check for decaying wood, such as skirting boards, windowsills or cabinets in damper areas such as bathrooms or under the sink.
- Try to avoid over-watering plants as this can lead to leaf decay and woodlice feed on decaying matter. Plus, moist soil is the perfect home for them.
- You can also move houseplants away from doors and windows that lead to a garden as woodlice will be more inclined to come in if they can find decaying leaves and moist soil.
- Don’t leave compost in an easy-to-access area. Be sure to keep it in a covered bin.
- Keep your gutters clean as woodlice love to feed on the decay and mildew that builds up in them and they can also enter your house this way.
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