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How to get rid of Woodlice

Woodlice, also known as pill bugs are harmless pests. They come in a variety of species in the UK but the most common one is an oval-shaped crustacean. They are easy to identify due to their distinctive horizontal ridges and brown / grey coloured exterior.

The odd woodlice here and there is not normally an issue. People dislike them in the gardens if they appear in large numbers, however a more alarming problem is if they end up indoors.

Where do woodlice live?

Woodlice are usually found outside, where they tend to live in damp areas, cool conditions of vegetation, the bark of rotting wood and the underside of rocks and slabs.

woodlice crawling on rotten wood bark

Are woodlice harmful?

Woodlice are not particularly harmful outdoors but can be if they end up indoors. They may occasionally nibble young seedlings, but they are generally more interested in dead leaves and decaying material.

It can be argued their presence in the garden is probably more beneficial than harmful. However, indoors they can cause significant damage to wooden objects including furniture, wooden floors and more.

What causes woodlice in the house?

Woodlice coming into the house is usually caused by an overflowing garden that builds up around the perimeter of your home.

To deal with this start by stripping back the garden, remove dense shrubs and plants around the house. We also recommend removing any bark from flower borders and planters, clearing the area of decaying wood or move log piles away from the house.

Simply opening up the outside space and drying the area out may be all it takes to rid yourself of your woodlice problem.

decayed wood pile

How to prevent woodlice from entering your home

Stop woodlice coming inside your home by filling any obvious points of entry with decorators caulk or a similar product, and spray the outside area with a long lasting residual spray such as Dethlac or Digrain C40 WP woodlice killer.

woodlice outside house

How to kill visible woodlice

If the woodlice are visible, you can use a spray such as Dethlac directly onto them for instant knockdown results. Alternatively, a woodlice killing powder such as Organ-X can be used indoors and out, but in rainy periods it’s not so effective.

How to deal with a large woodlice infestation

If you have a particularly large woodlice infestation indoors, a smoke bomb is an effective way to treat an area in one swoop. The insecticidal smoke is very good at getting to places you might not think to treat yourself and also areas with restricted access.

Recommended Products

You can find details on “how to use ” all the products listed on their individual product pages. These are a selection of products to control woodlice you can find more under woodlice control.

Product 1: Woodlice Control Kit

The woodlice control kit is an all-in-one solution to any woodlice problem and will help you get rid of woodlice effectively in your home. The kit contains four complimentary products, an Insecticidal Spray, Organic Powder, Bellows Duster and Woodlice Smoke Bomb.

Product 2: Dethlac Woodlice Killer Spray

Dethlac Insecticidal Lacquer is one of the best woodlice killers on the market and has existed as a trusted household pest essential for over 50 years. Dethlac can be used both indoors and outdoors which makes it the ideal solution to get rid of woodlice. It has residual properties so remains effective for many weeks.

Product 3: Organ-X Woodlice Killer Powder

Organ X Killing Powder or diatomaceous earth is a naturally mined mineral product. It is non-toxic and kills all crawling insects.

Product 4: Rentokil Insectrol

Another long-lasting and very effective spray treatment for woodlice which contains Permethrin. Again has residual properties so keeps on working.

Product 5: Insecto Woodlice Smoke Bombs

Insecto woodlice smokebombs are a very east and effective product to use against woodlice. They can only be used indoors and you must seal of the area you are treating.

Product 6: Digrain C40 WP Woodlice Killer

Digrain C40 WP woodlice killer is a wettable powder that you dilute with water and apply from a pressure spray gun. It is very effective and is a product that can be used indoors or out and can be sprayed around the perimeter of your house where woodlice are active.

DIY Pest Control are the UK’s leading supplier of professional, effective pest control products at an affordable price. We have an expert team on hand ready to help with any questions you may have.


  1. Hi There

    I have a woodlice infestation in my children’s sandpit. Everyday, I have to clean them out of there.
    Can you let me know if there is a woodlice killer that is not harmful to have in my children’s sandpit and around children please?

    Thank you

    1. Caroline
      this is a bit tricky and even if you treat and kill any that are present it will be hard to stop more entering overnight. The only product that I can suggest you could try that wouldn’t be harmful would be Organ X Woodlice killer powder. This is a totally natural product and would be safe to use. I would suggest sprinkling this on the surround in the evening when the children are not using the sand pit.

  2. Martin Lynch

    I have a problem with a woodlice infestation in scirting boards and 4″ X 2″ wall plates and floor joists. Can you please advise which treatment you would recommend.

    Yours greatfully,
    Martin Lynch

    1. Hello Martin

      The only reason woodlice become a problem is because there is a damp issue. The most certain way to eradicate them for good is to remove the damp. In the meantime, you can use insecticide to kill the woodlice you see. Any insecticidal spray will do the job. You can also lay a desiccant dust to dry them out, although this can be a little messy. Oa2ki powder or Desidust are popular.

  3. how about salt and/or diatomacious earth to dry them out?

    1. Hello Alice. You’re right. Dessicants are effective and safe pest destroyers. Not so sure about salt, but Oa2ki Powder or Desidust would the job. We also sell Oa2ki in spray form.

  4. Sue Benjamins

    Wouldnt the sandpit be insanitary if woodlice had been crawling in it? Sadly I would chuck out, disinfect tray, refill and arrange a cover to stop them getting in.

    1. Hi Sue. Woodlice aren’t particularly insanitary, but I would probably replace the sand and cover it too.

  5. Hello! I have a damp bathroom because of a lack of sealant in the vinyl flooring and a problem about a year ago when the bathroom flooded twice. I’ve just discovered a woodlouse on the edge of my bath. We’ve seen a few in the living room before but my partner has always killed them or let them back outside. It’s probably not an infestation, but what should I do?

    1. Hi Marianne. I don’t think it is an infestation or that you need to worry too much. The odd woodlouse is not a problem. If you get more in the bathroom or they start troubling you, you could spray a residual insecticide such as Dethlac around the edges of the vinyl floor. This will kill any wandering ones and works for quite a few weeks. As always though, if there is a persistent damp problem, it will encourage insects like woodlice and silverfish, so the ideal answer is to deal with that.

  6. Hamaira Haroon


    I have an issue with woodlice coming in through my front door. Theres no holes or cracks and my door is fairly new. We had the same issue with the old door. It seems to have gotten worse this year and I am forever finding a woodlouse or 2 around my house.

    As advised I have used Dethlac around the front door (outside) and it has helped a little. I know they are coming in from the front door as I have a ring door bell and the motion sensor goes off almost every night with a woodlouse crawling up/down the wall. We have cleaned guttering and front garden is very clean.

    What more can I do to get rid of them?

    1. Hi Hamaira. You probably have a garden that is conducive to woodlice. Spraying insecticides will help somewhat but if you have a lot outside your front door, then you will always have an issue. Think about what you might be able to do in your garden to make it less attractive to woodlice. Bear in mind that they are not harmful and the odd one or two is not a serious problem

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    This article gives detail about how to get rid of woodlice. This article gives suggestions on limitations and delimitation of such selection. I enjoyed reading while going through this article and this is the best link for gaining all the information about it.

    1. Hello

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