Joined: 30 May 2006 Posts: 2162 Location: West of Ireland
Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:04 pm Post subject: Woodlice - Oniscus asellus, Porcellio scaber.
Woodlice - Oniscus asellus, Porcellio scaber.
Woodlice are also commonly known as tiggyhogs, grey lads, God's little pigs and sowbugs.
No noteworthy effect on plants.
All year round
Woodlouse, photo / picture / image.
Appearance of damage.
4 to 15mms long, our common woodlouse are covered in a grey or pinkish-brown coloured, hard segmented shell. The lower edge of this shell is faintly white in colour.
Underneath the shell there are seven pairs of legs attached to a creamy-white body.
Two pointed tails at the back of their body and antennae on their head helps them feel their way around, making up for their poor eyesight.
Woodlice are to be found in the compost heap, under pots, pieces of wood, stones and the within the cracks in old wood/brickwork. Basically anywhere dark and damp, as Woodlice dry out easily, so they need a regular supply of dampness.
In the damp area where woodlice have been left uninnterupted for a while you may notice a faint fish or prawn-like smell. This is because they are related to the Crustaceans such crabs, prawns and lobsters etc.
The woodlouse poses no noteworthy threat to established plants or the gardener.
They feed mainly on dead or decaying plants and wood.
if you were to remove the woodlouse from your garden, the decomposition process in the soil would go much slower.
Occassionally they can nibble at the stems and lower leaves of young seedlings.
Organic or cultural control.
None needed normally. However, removing plant debris and rubbish around the site will result in a reduction of numbers.
Video. Woodlice going about their day to day business.
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Video. Woodlouse close up.
Please note that Irishgardeners.com does not advocate the removal of animal or insect life, instead, this forum encourages wildlife preservation. However, there are occasions where a wildlife becomes a problem within the garden for certain people. Be aware that wildlife is a link in the chain of life, benefiting something or someone down the chain. Please at least think about this before you remove wildlife from your site.
I have a really bad woodlice problem in my garden, they eat absolutely ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING!!! - seedlings (devoured overnight) , tomatoes, turnips, potatoes, beetroot... the only thing they dont seem to like are onions and garlic!! I thought they were leaving my greens alone until one day i noticed a load of them clustering around the stem of a kale plant - it seems they were very slowly munching away around the circumference so that the plant would die, thus making it tastier.
Imagine harvesting a beautiful big aubergine, getting it to your kitchen cutting it open only to find it full of woodlice..... horrible!!
Can anyone help me, or at least empathize? Am i the only one suffering from woodlouse devastation? Perhaps i have inadvertently created some new kind of monster hybrid.
I am an organic gardener, and have been using this plot for 2 years. I would love to hear if anyone has any solutions that don't involve chemicals or scrubbing every corner and removing every pot and stone. I am already getting nervous about next seasons disappointments.
I will also post this message as a seperate forum topic and see if i can get any solutions....
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