Re: Woodlice

From: Michael Hunt (
Date: Thu May 06 1999 - 07:43:43 PDT

Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 10:43:43 -0400
From: "Michael Hunt" <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg1557$foo@default>
Subject: Re: Woodlice

Hi Steve,
>From across the ocean I will offer MHO. I'm not a expert on the subject. But
I do feed mass quantities of these things to my chameleons. These
crustaceans (order: Isopoda, sub order: Oniscoidea) are as you guess fond of
a detritus environment.
They have many common names. Here in the states they are called pillbugs,
sowbugs, potato bugs, rolly-pollies, ball bugs, etc. Also woodlouse. The
pill bugs roll into a ball when disturbed, the sow bug can't do this. They
are harmless. A compost pile is a gourmet delight for these creatures.
Always liking moist decaying matter they seldom bother plants, but they can.
Mainly fruits either on a plant or on the ground. They can nibble on roots
or tender new growth. But this isn't a real problem.
You can control overwhelming populations with Malathion, Diazinon, or Sevin.
But holding the populations is the best one can hope for, these ancient
creatures know how to survive and really represent no threat.
Take care,
~Michael Hunt
St. Petersburg Fl

----- Original Message -----
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Sent: Thursday, May 06, 1999 6:59 AM

> Dear All,
> My Sarracenias have had, possibly for as long as the last 10
> years, an infestation of woodlice (Armadillidium sp?) in the pots.
> This doesn't seem to have affected the plants too badly (or I would
> have done something about it), but it makes repotting unpleasant.
> So - do woodlice cause damage (other than giving me the creeps)
> or are they just detritivores?
> And how can I get rid of them? I assume they can't swim and so,
> because the pots stand in water for much of the year, each pot
> must have its own isolated colony. Do I a) wait until, Tepui-like,
> each pot evolves a new exciting species of woodlouse, b) wait until
> they die out from the genetic results of inbreeding, or c) poison the
> buggers? If c), what with?
> Help me - they're icky!
> Steve Alton
> UK Co-ordinator - Millennium Seed Bank
> Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
> Wakehurst Place
> Tel: 01444 894079
> Fax: 01444 894069

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