How to get rid of a woodlouse

Updated July 20, 2017

Also called pill bugs and woodlice, woodlice live in damp, cool areas, and they enter houses to find optimal environments. Although you may find them under sinks and in damp basements, these small crustaceans prefer outdoor locations, such as under rocks, inside logs and in compost piles, if the weather is ideal. Some pest control companies do not service for woodlice, but there is a variety of solutions get rid of these harmless animals, no matter the severity of the infestation.

Use a broom to sweep the woodlouse into a dustpan and release it outside.

Use a vacuum for multiple woodlice and open the bin or bag outside to dispose of the contents.

Use a heavy object or your foot to squish the woodlouse. They do not have the waxy covering of insects, so they squish easily.

Dry out the affected area. Without food or water, woodlice die of dehydration within 24 hours.

Use a chemical pesticide on the affected area. Powders affect the soft legs and belly, thus making them more effective than sprays.

Check all potted plants for additional woodlice.

Seal all cracks around doors and windows to prevent woodlice from returning.


Move any leaf piles, compost bins and wood stacks away from the house, so the woodlice have to travel farther to find the house.


Wash your hands and tools thoroughly after handling a woodlouse to avoid diseases or bacteria transported by the pest.

Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Dustpan
  • Vacuum
  • Chemical pesticides
  • Caulk or other sealant (optional)
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About the Author

Born and raised in West Virginia, Megan Hippler has been writing environmental articles since 2008. Her work has appeared on the websites of various state government departments. Hippler has a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies from Hollins University.