Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Woodlice  (Read 4756 times)

Muc

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Co Clare, Ireland
Woodlice
« on: April 23, 2012, 12:10:02 pm »
My polytunnel is infested with woodlice, probably because my compost contains sawdust (from the henhouse). If I had been forewarned, I could have put some hens in there before planting time but now I'm stuck.

 I have successfully nurtured tomatoes, potatoes, onions and even cucurbits to the stage where they can do no damage but I'm fighting a losing battle with beans. Those sown directly in the soil are eaten as soon as they germinate and those started in pots only survive for a day or two. The creatures gather around the base and bite their way through, not unlike foresters felling a tree. I disturb them with a stick when I can but they return within minutes. I can accumulate them under damp flowerpots, newspaper etc but they scatter very quickly when disturbed and it is well nigh impossible to gather them up.

Though I try to walk the organic way in the footsteps of John Seymour and Laurence Hills, I would be prepared to use chemicals but none are available for these crustaceans. Do I just give up for the season and release the hens?



deepinthewoods

  • Guest
Re: Woodlice
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2012, 12:31:27 pm »
im sure i saw woodlice killer in the shop the other day, could you not use a solution of lime, nothing likes that

Sylvia

  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Woodlice
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2012, 03:34:29 pm »
You can eat them! I believe Hugh F.W, would collect them, drop them into fast boiling water for a few seconds, drain them and mix them with batter and deep fry them :yum: :yum:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Woodlice
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2012, 04:55:31 pm »
Oh none for me thanks  :D :D

I've no idea how to get rid of them - unless you make nice piles of rotting wood for them somewhere, which is tastier than old sawdust, then once they have moved in you could take the lot back to the compost heap.   I think though that you must have spread your compost/manure too soon, before it had rotted down properly.  It's why I don't use sawdust for bedding - takes way too long to rot properly, and takes nitrogen from the soil if you use it too soon.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

colliewoman

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: Woodlice
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2012, 09:34:30 pm »
Diatomaceous earth powder?

Too tired to spell or find the link for you sorry :D :D
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
Massive,
but passive.


Bring the peace back

Muc

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Co Clare, Ireland
Re: Woodlice
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2012, 10:01:45 pm »
I'll have to give this diatomaceous earth powder a go. I found this link which is most encouraging: http://www.richsoil.com/diatomaceous-earth.jsp
I think a pinch around the base of each bean seedling should do the trick. In any case, I'll try it and report back.
Thanks all.

colliewoman

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: Woodlice
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2012, 10:19:24 pm »
Works on fleas, ants, spider mite to my knowledge but is harmless to bees :thumbsup:
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
Massive,
but passive.


Bring the peace back

Muc

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Co Clare, Ireland
Re: Woodlice
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2012, 12:41:22 pm »
I haven't got the diatomaceous earth yet but have had some success by not watering near the base of the plants but instead watering through a sunken flowerpot. Keeping the soil surface dry seems to keep the critters away from the stems. Also, flicking them off the stems with a pencil encourages them to feck off elsewhere. They've killed about half the plants but the others may be strong enough now to resist them.
 Ah the tranquility of gardening!

deepinthewoods

  • Guest
Re: Woodlice
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2012, 02:20:43 pm »

Muc

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Co Clare, Ireland
Re: Woodlice
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2012, 12:25:16 pm »
I know you have all been waiting anxiously to learn how I got on with the woodlice problem. Well they finally realised they were up against a superior intelligence and have conceded defeat.

 I never got the diatomaceous earth but will one day. Instead, I started my beans in topless and bottomless plastic bottles. Then, when they were big enough, I slid them into their bed. Sometimes, I made a hole and sometimes I just put them on the surface and I can't see a big difference either way but the woodlice have been unwilling or unable to climb into the plastic containers.

I hope they spread the word in the insect/crustacean/molusc world not to mess with me in future.

sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Woodlice
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2012, 12:13:54 am »
They must have put the word out, we are done for chaps. ;D

 

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