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Woodlice eating flowers

So, I was looking for information on old threads about woodlice eating flowers, as I suspected they were munching my pansies.Only the petals and only the white ones!  Lots of info I imagefound says they only eat rotting matter. Just caught one in the act! Any ideas on how to decrease the woodlice population - we seem to have more than necessary. 



  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,247

    I think that mulch of wood chip or compost under plants seems to encourage them.

  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530

    They are mainly detritivores ie they feed mostly on dead plant matter, and are on balance beneficial in the garden as they help break down mulch and release nutrients into the soil.  It would be a shame to lose the benefit for the sake of just one sort of flower.  I must have thousands of them in my garden and never seen them eat flowers, so there must be plenty of things you can grow which they won't eat.

  • CbeddoeCbeddoe Posts: 2

    Thanks- the garden had lots of woodchip when we moved in. We won't be adding any more!

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,295

    I'd rather have woodlice than pansies.image

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • wakeshinewakeshine Posts: 967

    Really? I never knew woodlince were good, so I have learnt something new. So if you see them around plants in the soil, is this good? What about when they're under stones/bricks/pots etc on the patio? Is there a way to decrease the population then?

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,295

    all part of the system of breaking down stuff in the ground. part of the creation of soil,

    Balance ecosystem or a few bedding plants?

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • They eat our pansies too Cbeddoe, especially the young ones and we too have woodchip on all our flower beds which cuts down on weeding, which is a positive for us with such a large garden. There are plenty of plants that woodlice don't appear to find tasty, it's a question of trial and error.

  • I've had two large and identical pots planted with pansies. One is perfect and the other I have just cleared out as all the plants were dead. When I emptied the soil out (which was good compost straight from the bag in June) the soil was alive with woodlice and larva. Do woodlice eat pansies? - I think they do!!
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    And not just pansies! Sometimes the numbers can be unbelievable. The only time I got on top of them was when we had a visiting duck live with us for a year, she hoovered them up.
  • Something has been eating nearly all my pansy petals this year while they are in bud, mainly those in pots, but also some in the flower beds (all colours). I've found tiny woodlice lurking in a couple of petal-less flower heads - maybe they are indeed the culprits. I've had this occasionally in the past, but this year it's oddly affected nearly all. I wonder if the babies were there or hatched in the trays of plants when I bought them. 
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