If wood lice start up in the apartment: what types are there and how to deal with them?

If wood lice start up in the apartment: what types are there and how to deal with them?

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Sometimes, while taking a shower, you can find an unpleasant surprise under your feet - a small outwardly unpleasant creature that looks like a mustachioed beetle.
Often, unknowingly, these creatures are really mistaken for beetles, centipedes and even silverfish (although there is no resemblance to the latter outwardly at all). However, this is just an ordinary wood louse (armadillo), a completely harmless, but no less unpleasant creature from this.

This article will discuss how to get rid of wood lice in your home. Most people believe that these unusual creatures are dangerous, can bite, or are carriers of various diseases.

This article will debunk the myths that relate to woodlice, describe the reasons for their appearance and how to get rid of them, as well as many other interesting facts.

General information

At the moment science knows 3,600 species of woodliceliving all over the world, both on land and in water. Woodlice are the ancestors of crustaceans that developed in the aquatic environment, and then moved to land. Certain species have adapted to different habitats, due to which they can survive in any conditions (what do woodlice look like?). Their strong shell, like a shield, provides a reliable barrier against external factors (temperature and pressure drops). The only condition that interferes with their existence is a dry microclimate. Woodlice always need a moist environment, otherwise they dry out and die. Insects are omnivorous.

Their digestive system can digest waste from other animals and insects, cellulose, and even some poisons. Woodlice multiply rapidly. Females lay eggs at a rate of 30 eggs per day. The uterus stores eggs in a special bag on her body until they are opened. The size of individuals at birth is about 2 mm.

Most often, woodlice are noticed in the fall. Habitat - wet and dark areas of the house, as well as under stones in gardens and orchards. As soon as cold weather sets in, they move inside living quarters in search of a warm place. Woodlice will stop where it is warm and wet. Food and other conditions play a secondary role.

Attention! Wood lice are not a pest - they harm property, do not attack people, do not steal food. Only occasionally can they feed on the roots or leaves of flowers. But the scale will be very small. 1 gram of sugar is enough for wood lice to eat for several months.

In detail about whether woodlice are dangerous to humans and how, we talked about in a separate article.


Woodlice do not tolerate infections and do not bite. They can be beneficial - when buried in the soil of flower pots and eat up rotten debris, providing oxygen to the root and improving the quality of the soil. In temperate climates, several species of woodlice can exist.

Armadillidium vulgare

It is one of the most common types. Armadillos, despite their small size, an important role in the decomposition and disposal of cellulose, also process waste from other species into fertilizers. Their habitual habitat is leaves, dead shrubs, rhizomes.

Armadillo is sometimes called rolls. This is due to their ability to curl into small balls, when the outer cuticle forms a kind of armor on the outside, protecting their soft insides in times of danger, much like hedgehogs do.

Porcellio scaber

It is another most common species, which is often called quite officially - woodlice mumps. This is a smaller representative of a large family of wood lice, relative to the previous species. Porcelain does not have the ability to curl.

The hard outer shell of wood lice, or exoskeleton, is constantly renewed. The process takes place in two stages. First, the back half of the shell falls off, and then, after two or three days, the front part changes. Nature has provided for such an algorithm so that the creature would not be left unprotected for a long time.

Common battleship

The body length reaches 15 mm. An adult, dark-colored invertebrate with an elongated body and clearly divided sections. Antennae and legs are visible from under the armor (19 pairs).

The crustacean is active at night, prefers to rest during the day. It feeds mainly on plant foods. In dangerous situations, it curls up into a ball.


An insect that is also not harmful to humans. It feeds on insects, flies, pests. It doesn't attack people. If the poison comes into contact with the skin, it can cause allergies (most often, redness, less often - scabies).


Silverfish is a small insect with an elongated body and a large number of legs, which provide it with a fast movement speed.

It feeds on small insects, including ticks that harm humans.


Another name - earwigs belong to the class of insects. They live in dark, damp areas. They enter living quarters by accident. If you do not disturb the two-tailed, it will leave on its own. On contact with a person, it can sting. The poison is not fatal and not dangerous, it only causes a slight burning sensation.


Individuals reach 20 mm in length, have a wide shell, powerful, rigid legs. Mostly possessed in water, can live in clogged labors, clogged water filters or water glasses. Completely harmless to humans, feed exclusively on waste and garbage, including inorganic.

IMPORTANT! If you live close to the sea, then the appearance of wood lice is most likely random and does not indicate high humidity in the house.

How to get rid of them?

Woodlice are harbingers of dampness and mold. They warn the landlord that there is a source of dampness and moisture somewhere nearby. The easiest way to get rid of them is to create a dry microclimate, then they will go away on their own. Without a source of moisture, woodlice cannot successfully increase their population.

Emergency methods of struggle

  • Salt.

    Spread a layer (1-1.5 cm) around the perimeter of the nest from where the wood lice are climbing.
    The most effective method violates the water-electrolyte balance and woodlice becomes dehydrated.
    The method is classic and fast-acting, but it only helps for a short period of time. To get rid of them completely, you will have to find their hideout and eliminate it.

  • Boric acid.

    This drug from the group of insecticides has a pronounced food toxic effect for insects and causes little harm to the human body. It is assumed that wood lice should swallow capsules of boric acid, but they also feel poison and avoid it.
    However, the damage from acid evaporation is enough to kill even a large adult.

  • A mixture of hot red pepper, tobacco and soda ash.

    This bundle effectively fights wood lice, but it is not recommended for use in residential premises.
    Red pepper and tobacco have an increased volatility of essential oils and small particles.
    It is necessary to carry out the invasion in a room that is well ventilated.
    It is recommended to wait a couple of hours after processing to avoid getting large amounts of pepper into the lungs.

Moisture measurement

This method is not thoroughly accurate, but it is very simple and does not take much time.

  1. You need to take a full glass of cold water, and place it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, until the water reaches a temperature of 4-6 ºС. Then move the glass of water to the room in which you want to measure the humidity, place it away from heaters and batteries.
  2. If the surface of the glass is first covered with condensation and fogged up, and within the next 10 minutes is completely dry, the humidity level in the room is low.
  3. If, on the contrary, condensation has formed on the wall in the form of droplets, the humidity is increased.
  4. If, after ten minutes, the surface of the glass is not dry, but not flowing, then the humidity level is normal.

Use a dehumidifier to adjust the moisture level. This is a simple, cheap appliance sold in the home appliances department. It will help in a matter of hours to change the humidity and get rid of wood lice.

Some people mistakenly believe that woodlice are animals and belong to arachnid arthropods, although this is not the case. They belong to the class of higher crayfish and to the arthropod type of the order of isopods. Read our articles on where these creatures come from in the bathroom and toilet and how to get rid of the nasty white wood lice.


Summing up, we can highlight that woodlice are not insects, but crustaceans, which means that insecticides are ineffective and will cause more harm to humans than these small creatures. They are not pests, but only signal high humidity, possible problems with the sewage system or a pipe break. It is easier to reduce humidity, thereby creating conditions unsuitable for their life, than to eliminate by harsh methods.

If the cause of the appearance is not eliminated, sooner or later other individuals will take their place. Remember that they are fighting dangerous pests, saving you from the need to poison them and yourself with dangerous drugs.

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