How To Get Rid Of Woodlice In Your Home

  • Woodlice are a common home invader in the UK.
  • Learn how to get rid of them using our guide!
several woodlice sat on rotting wood

Woodlice aren’t dangerous, but that doesn’t mean they can’t wreak havoc on your home if given enough time and furnishings. They aren’t exactly pleasant to look at, and although they are not harmful, having them in your home can point towards other issues that may have been overlooked.

Why woodlice cause damage

You see, woodlice actually eat mould and rot. For a home with a mould problem, having the addition of woodlice can make the situation much worse.

The average woodlouse will eat leaves, rotting wood, and any kind of mould growth. This includes mould on wallpaper. When they’re outdoors, they feast on decomposing plants and love damp areas, which is why you might find a lot of them after rainfall or during autumn.

a damp garden pathway strewn with leaves
A damp pathway with plenty of autumn leaves for woodlice to munch on.

Despite the damage that woodlice can cause, it’s not all bad. It’s in their nature to “recycle”, as it were. These little creatures are perfect for compost bins, and only make their way inside your home when they find a way in.

Unfortunately, it can be mould or wood rot that entices them indoors.

Preventing woodlice from entering your home

Let’s talk preventative measures. As we mentioned, woodlice will usually only go indoors when they find rot or mould that they can eat. They’re attracted to damp places and will happily follow leaks to their source.

Indoor issues

To prevent woodlice from becoming new residents, you’ll want to target all of those damp places that shouldn’t be damp. Bathrooms and areas of the home that lead out to your garden will be the biggest problem areas.

Dripping taps can easily cause damp and minor mould issues in bathrooms and kitchens. Focus on these first, because they can be fixed more easily than damp or spreading wall mould.

Next, have a professional come and take a look at any mould or damp issues. These usually happen in the bathroom and kitchen but can also appear in living rooms and bedrooms. If you have mould or damp in one room, always check the others.

Both mould and damp, when left to their own devices, can cause serious damage to your home. This damage can cost thousands of pounds to fix. It’s better to deal with the issue as soon as you notice it, than leave it until later.

Outdoor issues

In addition, do a little bit of work outside, as well. Woodlice eat leaves, so any leaves near the exterior walls of your home will encourage them to go in that direction. Take special care around any drains or vents you have outside.

Keeping your home warm and dry can help prevent damp and mould. This will also stop woodlice from making your home their home because they prefer damp climates.

Getting rid of indoor woodlice

Before you start immediately clearing up and disposing of your house woodlice, take a moment to assess where they might be coming from. Note where you found them and look around for any areas that look wet, damp, or have mould growing.

Woodlice have a tendency to appear more during the wetter months – so think autumn, winter, and springtime. Summer is too warm for them to want to come indoors, as they’ll be looking for dark and damp places to hide out.

It’s quite easy to hoover or sweep up and remove woodlice. If you’re removing them, take them outside and put them back in your garden away from your house. Or better yet, if you can, remove them to a local patch of greenery or a field.

Once you’ve removed all the woodlice that you can see, it’s time to start treating your home for damp and mould. You should also seal up any cracks in the walls and flooring. Check behind appliances for small holes in the walls and skirting boards.

See Also

The bathroom is usually a problem area when it comes to woodlice. Particularly underneath the bath and around the walls and windows that face your garden if your bathroom is downstairs. Upstairs bathrooms don’t have as many infestation issues for these creatures.

a woodlouse crawling on sand
A woodlouse crawling along.

How your garden affects woodlice control

If you have any plant pots next to the exterior walls of your property, it would be in your best interest to move these. Woodlice like to live underneath plant pots because it’s usually dark and damp, and they can be right near any dying plant matter which they like to eat.

When you’re suffering from a woodlice infestation, it’s important to look at the external factors that could be causing it.

Do you have any climbing plants that are using your home’s external walls? Check their condition, make sure they’re all alive and healthy. If they aren’t, woodlice could be using them for food. In addition, if these plants are near an opening to your home… Well, that’s now a woodlouse door.

Seal up any of these cracks in your walls near your plants or otherwise. It’s fairly inexpensive to seal mortar joints and you shouldn’t need the help of a professional to do it. You should also use a mastic sealant to go around your window frames and doors.

This might be slightly more difficult, but check your guttering, too. If you’ve found any woodlice in upper floor rooms, they could be using your guttering as their home. Clear out the leaves, muck, and other garbage from your gutters.

Woodlice control treatments

Once the holes, cracks, damp, and mould have been treated, reassess your situation. In the event that you’re still noticing woodlice in your home, check again for places that they might be using to get inside and then consider purchasing some woodlouse treatments.

Treatments usually include sprays for insects that can be used in the problem areas that are suffering from woodlouse infestations. Remember to wear the correct PPE when using these products.

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