10 Tips on How to Get Rid of Woodlice

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wood bugsWith spring fully upon us, the time is ripe for the full blown reappearance of the little crawling and creepy things. As part of an intermittent series on how to deal with various such unwanted house guests, today we turn our attention to wood lice. As wood bugs go, they may not be the worst; they don’t actually eat your house. (If you’re worried about that, see our post about controlling termites.) but you still don’t want them around. So, here is your handy wood lice treatment plan in these 10 easy tips on how to get rid of woodlice.

10 Tips on How to Get Rid of Woodlice

1. Always best to start off being informed, what actually are wood lice? Also known as sowbugs and pill bugs, these odd little creatures are not insects at all, but actually land crustaceans. Unlike insects, they breathe through gills which must be kept moist. Consequently, while they feed on decaying organic matter, such as leaves, grass clippings and mulch, they prefer to do so in dark, damp areas under rocks, wood piles, or in basements and crawl spaces.

2. The lesson from that information is that you can control wood lice if you deny them access to the environment they require to survive. Certainly, insecticides can also help, but many people are uncomfortable using them around the home. Happily, some vigilance can go a long way to preventing it from getting to that stage of things.

3.  Start by checking the base of the exterior walls of your home for excess moisture around the foundation. Remove any wood, planters, debris, stones or mulch that may provide places for wood lice to feed, breed and hide.

4. Next, you should inspect your roof and gutter for leaks or any signs of improper water drainage. They could contribute to the accumulation of water either under the house or in the walls.

5. The next best thing to not having wood lice anywhere near your house is not allowing them any way to enter it: close up any gaps you find around windows and doors. Another good idea is to check the caulking around kitchen and bathroom plumbing at the point of entry into your home. If it’s broken, crumbling or otherwise damaged, repair or replace it.

6. If you decide you want to use a pesticide, spray it around the foundations of your house. Target the likely culprit areas for entry such as cracks, crevices, and under exterior stair steps. If you’re going to use insecticides, best to use the residual kind that continues to kill or repel the lice for days or weeks later.

7. Now that you have the immediate hot zone under some control, let’s extend our security perimeter with a trip into the garden: remove any rocks, bricks, pieces of wood, planters or unneeded compost piles. These are an open invitation to woodlice for gathering and breeding.

8. It’s also important to free the area of any rotting plant matter, such as leaf piles, wood chips, bark, rotting firewood, weeds or trash.

9. As a general maintenance tip, do not overwater the soil in your garden. It’s not especially good for the plants and it is all too inviting for wood lice and other wood bugs and various crawly pests. Air flow obstacles that prevent garden soil from drying out well between watering is another thing to watch out to avoid.

10. In your garden, you probably want to avoid the use of pesticides, but you might try applying diatomaceous earth to kill wood lice.

Wood bugs of any kind are never fun to have in the house, so we hope these 10 easy tips on how to get rid of woodlice give you the wood lice treatment plan that serves your needs.