Woodlice can be an obnoxious problem for homeowners. If you are trying to get rid of wood lice, here are some suggestions.
Know your enemy
Wood lice are actually crustaceans, which puts them in the same family as crabs and lobsters. This means that they require moisture to live because they use gills for breathing. Wood lice in a dry environment dry up and die within hours. Besides a damp environment, they also need a way in and out of the house to access their breeding grounds.
Wet spots are trouble spots
Chances are that if you are seeing wood lice, there is a wet spot someplace in your home. However, this doesn’t mean that you are going to be able to see them. The first thing that you can do is try to dry out the air of the room in general. A dehumidifier can help remove extra moisture from the air. Properly venting bathrooms and kitchens can also help remove moisture.
If this doesn’t work and you are still seeing wood lice, you could have a hidden source of moisture in your home. This will require a room by room check for damp areas:
Bathrooms – Since bathrooms use a lot of water, it is possible that you have a link somewhere. Check under sinks, around toilets, and along bathtubs/showers. You may have to pull back part of the flooring to check for dampness and decay.
Basements – Due to their underground nature, basements tend to be damp and therefore the perfect environment for wood lice. Waterproofing your basement may help if this is a chronic problem. Check along pipes, walls, and floors for damp areas.
Laundry rooms/kitchens – Check under and around appliances for leaking areas and damp spots. Check under and around sinks for the same.
Attics/Roofs – If you are seeing wood lice on an upper story of the home, it could be a sign that the roof is bad. Check for leaks and holes in the rough and places where moisture may have collected.
Other rooms – If you are seeing wood lice in other rooms, such as a bedroom, check the ceiling for leaks and make sure that windows are watertight and do not have water pooling around the sills.
Look for entrances
If you see wood lice in your home, this means that they are coming in somewhere. Check along your home for potential entrances, such as cracks in the foundation, along pipes, low windows, etc. Seal off any entrances that you might find. Some people have found success removing wood lice by using cavity wall insulation.
Another way to help prevent wood lice is to make sure that they do not have any outdoor breeding grounds. Piles of rubble, wood, and stones create the perfect breeding habitat for wood lice, particularly if they are close to your house.
As a last resort, you can try using pesticides to get rid of wood lice. Ask about a specific wood lice killer at your home and garden store. You may be able to choose between spray and pellet formulations. All insecticides should be used with caution around children and pets.