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Woodlice are harmless creatures for humans and pets. In nature, they have an important ecological value, but once they have spread in the house or basement, they quickly become unwelcome "roommates". Before they are killed with radical methods, they can find their way back into nature alive with a few tricks and home remedies.

habitat of woodlice

The term woodlice does not refer to the fact that they only live in basements, but is based on the fact that basements often have a damp climate and are also dark. These are two aspects that attract woodlice, but they can also be found in bathrooms, attics or sheds and greenhouses.

They don't voluntarily let people stop them from settling in suitable areas. In daylight they hide in dark places. This can be, for example, under boxes, laundry baskets, washing machines, shelves/cupboards or garbage bags. They don't just stay on the ground, but crawl up every opportunity to look for food, especially in the dark and at night.

Perfect feeding spots

This is one of the reasons why they are often drawn to damp rooms, because there they look for algae, mold and moss formations and usually find what they are looking for. But also withered fruit, leaves, wood, spider eggs as well as insect carcasses and animal droppings fill their stomachs. Above all, less inhabited or cleaned rooms such as basements and attics are particularly good here, provided they have a correspondingly high level of humidity.

Moving out of the garden

In principle, woodlice live in nature and can be seen more often in the damp spring and autumn. If they look for a dark hiding place during the day, they often come across small cracks in house walls or openings in windows and doors, so that they can get into houses. If they don't find any food and the necessary moisture there, they usually go back outside on their own. But that can take time. If you don't want to wait for this, you have to help drive woodlice out of the house and/or fight them.

identify and eliminate the cause

If the small beetle-like creatures with the scientific name "Porcellio scaber" may have crept into a room in the house in large numbers, then it is high time to investigate the causes right there. High humidity is less the cause, but only attracts it. Somehow they must have made their way from the outside to the inside.

damage to the structure

Where there is a lot of moisture, wall damage often occurs over time. Check whether there are any cracks in the masonry through which the isopods could have gotten in. Window frames often warp, especially if they are made of wood. Small gaps may also have formed here. Old windows and lattices can lose their tightness with age and cause small cracks. To combat the woodlice, the cause must first be eliminated so that no new specimens can follow.

food sources

If the Porcellio scaber find sufficient food sources in a humid environment, they stay, more come and eventually reproduce on the spot. With a lifespan of around two years, whole invasions can form if you don't intervene and drive them away or fight them quickly. If they don't find any food in damp rooms, as already described under "Perfect feeding places", existing little animals usually leave there voluntarily and a growing number of crawling animals is not to be expected. Therefore, if isopods are discovered, you should always remove possible food sources such as leaves, wood and fruit and, above all, potatoes. With a bit of luck, your problem will take care of itself with a few “roommates”. If that doesn't work or there are already too many, you have to use tricks to drive them away and force them to "move out".

Get rid of woodlice

Fight by killing

Woodlice in the house are annoying and should not be there. Nevertheless, sprays to combat isopods should be avoided. They are very valuable to nature and sprays are usually always designed to kill the animals. There are environmentally friendly (organic) products, but killing is also the result here. It doesn't have to be, because you can also take woodlice with you natural home remedies distribute without requiring a great deal of effort.

Fight with mineral powder

If the Porcellio scaber has spread in the house, you can fight it with special mineral powder. Silica flour, also known as diatomaceous earth, is best suited. The main components are fossil diatoms. They have a sharp-edged surface. Scattered on the ground, the woodlice wander over them and tear open their armor. As a result, you lose body moisture and dry up. Care should be taken when using diatomaceous earth, because the sharp elements could injure the respiratory organs when inhaled. Therefore absolutely for an appropriate one nose and mouth protection or at least hold your breath while distributing the mineral powder.

mineral powder

Drive woodlice out of the house naturally

Natural predators

Songbirds, mice and various species of toads are natural predators of isopods. However, these are difficult to integrate into the living environment. Alternatively, roundworms can be used here. These are available from pet and garden stores. The roundworms, or Steinernema carpocapsae, do not eat the isopods, but infect them with bacteria that kill isopods.

The problem with fighting this way is making contact. Nematodes are not really mobile, so the Porcellio scaber can be lured to the nematodes. This can be done, for example, with special woodlice traps that contain an attractant. This attracts the isopods. If they are in the trap in which the nematodes were previously laid, they touch each other. The nematodes get into the digestive tract of the animals and distribute the bacteria inside the body. As a result, the isopods die from it. The traps can also be used without nematodes and the isopods can then be released outdoors.

Natural baits

If you want to sell Porcellio scaber, you can do that simply with potatoes or something similar. Here's how you should do it:

  • Use withered fruit, rotting vegetables or fallen fruit
  • Cut a deep hole in potatoes, carrots or similar
  • Lay out the prepared fruit/vegetables in the affected room
  • The woodlice will now tamper with it and fall into the cavities
  • Then collect the "bait" with the isopods
  • Ideally, you can release the caught animals in the wild or dispose of them in the household waste together with the lures


Alcohol works effectively to combat woodlice. This is placed in the room with the little animals. Best is suitable spirit of wine as a lure. A faster effect shows the large-scale application of alcohol on walls or the floor. Especially alcohol attracts the animals and stunned her by the smell of alcohol. Then all you have to do is collect the anesthetized woodlice with a broom or vacuum cleaner and quickly dispose of them outside the house. Note that the porcellio scaber will not die from the alcohol, they will just be incapacitated for a few hours. Accordingly, one should short-term control whether stunned animals can be found so that they can be "moved" quickly out of the house.


Driving away with sage leaves offers little effort. The woodlice doesn't like the smell. If she takes him seriously, she runs away. Here it is of course advisable not to block the paths through which the isopods found their way into the house.

Prevent a woodlice infestation

So that you don't have the problem with Porcellio scaber or that it doesn't happen again in your house, you should follow the following prevention tips, especially in basements and attics:

  • Avoid waterlogging / puddles of water at all costs
  • In spring and autumn in particular, ventilate damp rooms at least two to three times (ventilate briefly but effectively).
  • Refrain from hanging up damp laundry in storage and storage rooms
  • Check window areas for existing structural damage such as cracks in walls or crevices and repair if found
  • Attach fly screens to basement and attic windows
  • do not store organic waste such as withered fruit or regularly check stocks for any rotting
  • above all, regularly clean uninhabited storage and storage rooms so that dead insects and their droppings do not provide a source of food

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