What are woodlice?

Woodlice are very common harmless insects in Britain, and there are about thirty-five different types. The adults are about 15mm long, and slate grey in colour. They are very flat and can roll into a tight ball if disturbed.

Where do they come from?

Many types of woodlice are found in the garden, and can be seen beneath stones, flowerpots and other types of cover.

Woodlice usually come indoors during the cold weather, attracted by vegetation and niches immediately outside.

Once in the home they are found in areas of high humidity and dampness, such as the kitchen and bathroom.

Life cycle

A female can produce up to 150 eggs, which she carries on her body in a pouch. A young woodlouse is white, and only about 2mm long. It may take up to a year for a woodlouse to reach the adult stage.


Woodlice can be controlled by thoroughly cleaning the room as they do not breed indoors, and eradicating any damp spots.

Any cracks or points of entry to the outside should be sealed and any rubbish in the garden removed.

An insecticide dust or spray will help to prevent any further woodlice entering the home.

Date of last review: 01 September 2015