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My compost heap is crawling with woodlice and contains loads of their eggs. Is it OK to use it like that or should I try and get rid of them first? If so, what's the best way to control them?



  • sallyat6sallyat6 Posts: 6

    Thanks - I worry that when I'm planting a new plant, putting in compost full of woodlice might not be the best start for it? Do they est the roots?

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,097

    Hi Sally. Think Verdun's right -they're really only a nuisance if they're in the house. They're very useful in the garden as they help with decomposition but they don't eat 'live' material only decaying as far as I'm aware.image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • sallyat6sallyat6 Posts: 6

    That's good news - I prefer to let things be where possible.

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,105

    Leave them alone. They are one of the primary movers in the compost world. They eat decayed or decaying matter and help break it down into the nice crumbly stuff that we like to spread on our soil. Their teeth are not strong enough to eat anything but very soft green material or as said, half decayed stuff. They love dark damp places. Only time they might be a nuisance is if you have lots of them where there is not enough food and they then attack seedlings.

    If you have them where you do not want them then the answer is to clear out any rubbish plant material and let in the light. Talcum powder will stop them as they find it difficult to cross it.

    Finally if you really have huge numbers then, fried in butter they are supposed to taste like shrimps.

  • sallyat6sallyat6 Posts: 6

    Thanks for the advice, I'll give it a try (letting in the light not frying in butter).

  • Boo Boo 1Boo Boo 1 Posts: 1
    Was concerned that they were spoiling my compost... Sobthis us all good news. image
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,284

    Woodlice seem to be part of the composting process. They take over when the heap has rotted down quite a bit and the worms and slugs have moved on to the newest heap.

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