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How to get rid of woodlice in the house

Here we explain why you might have woodlice in the house. Find out how to get rid of woodlice and prevent an infestation.

Updated

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Woodlice in the house can be nasty! No one wants these little critters near their food or even worse, their beds. But it’s actually fairly common for woodlice to make their way into your home, especially in the summer. They won’t be harmful to your health but you will still probably want to avoid having to deal with an infestation. Here’s everything you need to know on getting rid of woodlice from your home once and for all.

What do woodlice eat?

Woodlice tend to feed off decomposing plants and fungi, such as compost or leaves by a drain. It is worth regularly cutting and removing dying leaves and minimising the number of plants to avoid a woodlice infestation. Woodlice don't usually eat freshly planted flowers. Woodlice can also eat paper, including wallpaper.

Avoid the build up of woodlice-attracting damp in the bathroom by regularly cleaning tiles with a bleach solution.

You will need:

  • Vacuum
  • Anti-insect spray
  • Sealant

How to get rid of woodlice in your home

There are a few key things to do to get rid of woodlice if you keep finding them in your home.

  1. Vacuum them up

    This is the simplest way to deal with a woodlice invasion and the first stage to getting rid of them in your home. Be sure to empty your vacuum bag and dispose of it as soon as you have completed this step.

  2. Anti-insect spray

    Use an anti-insect spray in the areas where you are finding the woodlice. There are lots of these on the market, some are more toxic than others so be careful if you have children, pets or vulnerable adults around the house.

  3. Seal up the holes

    Now that you have gotten rid of the visible woodlice, be sure to minimise the risk of them returning. Small holes in skirting boards, gaps in doors and other areas can help woodlice access your home. This is most likely where they are coming from. Closing off their entrance will force them to leave your home and find somewhere else. Use sealants to close up holes where you can, especially in bathrooms and kitchens.

  4. Try an electronic pulsing device

    There are relatively inexpensive machines out there that can help. Electronic pulsing devices emit a high-frequency pulsing signal that repels all sorts of pests.

How to prevent a woodlice infestation

Now you know the tricks to getting rid of woodlice, it’s also important to be aware of preventing them so that they never come back. There are a few basic things you can do to woodlice-proof your home.

  1. Make your house as woodlice-unfriendly as you can

    This involves checking for any places that might feel like home to them. Woodlice particularly like moist environments so check there is no rotting wood in your home (think shelves in the bathroom or wooden furniture in the conservatory).

  2. Check for damp walls

    Damp walls also attract woodlice. Check the walls for damp or mould and mildew, and deal with it immediately. This could explain why you find a woodlice infestation in one particular area of your home.

  3. Keep plants and weeds away from doors

    Woodlice are attracted to plants and weeds, so having these near accessible areas such as doors means you are encouraging the woodlice. Keep plants away from your doors, and be sure to clean up any weeds outside your entrances.

  4. Clean your roof gutter

    This is an easy one to miss. But be sure to make sure you clean your roof gutter thoroughly. If it's not draining properly, this could be creating excess moisture which will attract the little guys in.

How concerned are you about disinfecting while cleaning?

These are the key things you need to know when it comes to both getting woodlice out of your house and keeping them out. We're also here to help with getting rid of bugs such as spiders and ants.

Originally published