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Key features

These are grey, grey/brown animals with a characteristic shielded surface, similar in appearance to a slated roof, hence the name of “slaters”in some parts of the country. This is just one the over 60 common names that these animals have, others being “ cheese bugs”, “coffin cutters” and “monkey peas”!

Adults are around 5-17 mm in length depending upon the species. They have stout, clearly-segmented antennae that project from the front of the head.


The older Isopoda contains more than 10,000 species worldwide.

All woodlice need damp atmosphere in which to survive.

Adult females carry their eggs in a blood pouch, which is located in the thoracic cavity of the woodlouse.

The young woodlice hatch within the brood pouch in the mother and then emerge in a mass suspended beneath the adult. The number of young produced per female varies greatly with some species having as few as 7-10 young while others have between 100-200.

The young emergent woodlice generally inhabit the soil where they feed on fungal moulds, decaying plant material etc. The life of the woodlice as young, before reaching maturity, can vary from 40 to 90 days.

Adult life can be many years; it often takes up to 2 years before the woodlice are capable of breeding.

Most woodlice are nocturnal.


They are found world-wide, 37 species are known to breed outdoors in the British Isles.

Two species, Oniscus asellus and Porcellio scaber are particulary common around buildings.


Woodlice constitute a slight nuisance pest in some parts of the country. They are found where the humidity is high, and in certain parts of the country there is often an apparent epidemic of them in dwelling houses etc.

Also there are some reports of woodlice causing damage to soft fruit etc.


Please contact East Lancashire Pest Control on 0800 023 6116