Skip to main content | Skip to section menu | Access keys.

Clackmannanshire Council Online

Woodlice - Pest Control

Woodlice - Pest Control

Information on this page is primarily for the residents of Clackmannanshire.

If you live outwith Clackmannanshire, it is recommended that you contact your local Environmental Health Department or a private pest control contractor.


WoodlouseWoodlice or slaters are members of the Crustacea family which also includes crabs, lobsters and shrimps.

There are about 35 species of woodlice in Britain and some of these are of horticultural or agricultural significance, because they eat and damage plants. Some woodlice come indoors, especially during the cooler autumn and winter weather, and of these the most common is the Garden Woodlouse.

Woodlice have to live in damp places to survive. When large numbers of woodlice are seen indoors it may mean that there is a problem with high levels of moisture in the room due to condensation or dampness. In most cases, however, woodlice simply enter houses to seek protection from cold weather, perhaps encouraged by the build up of vegetation outside a house.

Although unsightly, woodlice are harmless.

Life Cycle

After mating the female woodlouse commences to produce a variable number of eggs usually up to about 150. These are contained within her body, in a brood pouch, until the young have hatched when they are then released into the environment. The young woodlouse is white and 2mm long. The woodlouse grows through moulting its skin and when fully grown may be 15 mm in length. It also has seven pairs of legs. In Britain it is common for most of the species of woodlice to produce only one generation of offspring per year.


Woodlice are harmless. They are best swept up and returned to their normal outside environment. Alternatively a vacuum cleaner should be used to remove them. The best form of control is to stop them getting into the property by repairing holes, gaps or cracks in walls, floors and door frames. Occasionally the weather bar at the base of the door frame should be replaced. The presence of woodlice may be a sign of condensation or some other form of dampness. By resolving this problem the woodlice will eventually disappear. Also to help prevent further entry from the adjacent garden, rubbish and other potential refuges of woodlice should be removed. As a last resort an insecticidal barrier of a residual dust or spray may also help to discourage the presence of woodlice.


This Service does not provide treatment for woodlice. You are advised to contact a private pest control company for any treatment that may be required.

For Further Information Contact

Environmental Health
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000