Woodlouse photo, what it looks like and where the crustacean comes from | Structure

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Woodlice (lat. Oniscidea) frequent guests in gardens and houses. Meeting with them does not please anyone, although there is not so much harm from them, but they can be beneficial. They are safe for humans, but cause irritation with their unattractive appearance. And yet, it is better to know what to do when they are detected.

Description of appearance, characteristics and structural features

Many mistakenly consider wood lice to be insects or arachnids. In fact, they are crustaceans of the higher crayfish class, belonging to the type of arthropods of the isopod order. In simple terms, it would be correct to call them crustaceans.

Woodlouse is easily recognizable, its appearance is as follows:

  • The body is oval, elongated, convex on the back, in hard rigid shields, arranged like an armadillo. Their color is usually gray with a greenish tint;
  • The size of the common woodlice at sexually mature age is a maximum of 2 cm, but individuals 1-1.5 cm long are more common;
  • There are 2 pairs of segmented antennae on the head. One of them is long, the second is much shorter and less developed. The breaks and length of the segments make it possible to determine the species of the crustacean;
  • The eyes are located on both sides of the head;
  • The larva of the woodlice has 6 pairs of legs, and the adult has 7. In this case, the first 5 pairs are arranged so as to cover each other according to the principle of tiles. On the inner surface lies the function of the gills, the outer serves as a cover;
  • The body is made up of 8 segments. The first of them wraps around the head on both sides, protecting it; the last one has a notch. The segments in the middle remain free;
  • The mouth organ has a jaw (mandible), the upper part of which is devoid of tentacles.
  • Although the woodlouse is a predominantly terrestrial organism (only some of its species live in close proximity to water bodies), its respiratory organs are gills.

    The crustacean is unpretentious in food, and can eat almost everything that gets in its way:

  • dust layer;
  • Leftover food that has begun to rot;
  • Slime, mold, soap solution in the kitchen and bathroom;
  • Small microflora;
  • Plants (more often their roots and root zone).
  • It can be said that woodlice sometimes benefit by eating some microorganisms and harming weeds.

    habitats

    Most often, wood lice can be found in the garden, garden, flowerbed. This is her natural habitat, rich in food and most comfortable. In mid-latitudes are usually found:

  • Silverfish;
  • Woodlouse-armadillo ordinary;
  • Centipede;
  • Marine;
  • Two-tailed.
  • After rain, they can be found under stones, fragments of construction debris, firewood, clods of earth and other objects that hide the surface from sunlight and keep damp for a long time.

    Since woodlice are very fond of eating decaying plants and food debris, another place they often inhabit is compost heaps and decaying foliage.

    In apartments and houses, 2 types mainly come across:

  • Rough woodlice;
  • Battleship.
  • They can penetrate into the living quarters from the street, but mainly during cold weather and only into basements and underground floors. They make their way into the rooms only if there are convenient conditions there: dampness and the presence of stale garbage with leftover food. Usually they can be found at night in the kitchen and bathroom.

    Pay Attention to the Soil in Pots of Tropical Flowers. This is especially true for orchids that grow in conditions of frequent watering. Such soil wood lice will be chosen first of all.

    reproduction

    The time when wood lice begin the breeding process is in the spring, namely in April-May. By this period, the crustaceans have already reached the age necessary for procreation. The fertilization procedure itself takes place at night and has certain features:

  • The crustacean climbs onto the back of the female, begins to drum on her with his front paws, while licking her head;
  • Without leaving the partner during the movement, the male passes the seed into one of the genital openings of the female;
  • Thus, he fertilizes all the genital openings of the female;
  • A “brood sac” is formed in the partner, during the act it is filled with seminal fluid. Fertilized eggs pass into it;
  • Juveniles hatch and emerge from the “brood pouch” as fully developed larvae.
  • Part of the seed that fell into the female is not immediately converted into eggs. It remains “in reserve”, and begins to perform its fertilizing function only after the appearance of the first generation.

    Lifestyle

    Among all crustaceans, the woodlouse is the most terrestrial. Although she loves wet places, she constantly lives outside the aquatic environment. Dampness is needed for normal life support, including nutrition: due to the soft mouth organ, the wood lice eats only food that is soft from decay.

    The favorite habitat of crustaceans is not only wet, but also dark places. Therefore, they are mainly nocturnal, or hide in rotten leaves and grass, under stones, in damp crevices, in wet ground.

    At the first danger, the woodlice curls up into a ball, completely hiding the abdomen.

    What are dangerous

    Woodlice do not pose a direct threat to human health and life. They don’t even bite, so they can’t hurt.

    But they can cause other harm:

  • In the cellar, basement, the crustacean will spoil the products stored there;
  • Woodlice love damp soil, so they will harm indoor flowers, which need a lot of moisture to grow and develop, settling in pots;
  • Seedlings on a balcony or windowsill will suffer from these creatures that compact the soil and disrupt air exchange in it;
  • The biggest danger is fungi, its own excrement and mold, which the wood lice carries on its paws, leaving it on any surface.
  • Therefore, it is important and necessary to fight this crustacean. The best measures are preventive, and to prevent the appearance of wood lice in the house, you must:

  • Monitor the health of the water supply;
  • Ensure regular ventilation of the premises;
  • Check ornamental plants for living organisms in the soil.
  • Increased dampness in the room will surely attract wood lice. Avoiding too high humidity is the first step in preventing the appearance of an insect.

    How to get rid

    In the conditions of the garden and the garden, it will not be possible to completely expel wood lice. But if crustaceans appeared within the living quarters, this should be dealt with immediately.

    The first thing to do is to eliminate the causes of high humidity in the house.

    For this:

  • Repair all plumbing in places where it leaks;
  • Clean out the ventilation, removing all debris from there;
  • Insulate rooms if possible;
  • Check possible cracks and gaps in the walls, eliminate them;
  • Ventilate the premises regularly;
  • Dry clothes in specially equipped places.
  • These methods will help get rid of wood lice over time, if they have just appeared. If you need a quick and effective elimination, it is better to use folk or chemical means. They allow you to destroy the already existing population and prevent its reproduction.

    Folk remedies

    The use of such methods is completely safe for people and pets. The most popular in the fight against wood lice are:

  • Quicklime. Recommended for underground and basement applications. Disinfection is carried out by abundant sprinkling of horizontal surfaces;
  • Boric acid. It is scattered on the places of accumulation of wood lice and wet cleaning is carried out with an aqueous solution of the product;
  • Salt. Used in the same way as boric acid. It also wakes up places near garbage cans, near the bathtub, toilet bowl, under the baseboards;
  • Dry kvass. It is brewed with boiling water and sprayed from a spray bottle into places with high humidity;
  • A mixture of soda, red pepper and tobacco. Funds are taken in equal proportions (10 g), dissolved in 1 liter of boiling water and sprayed on areas where pests were noticed.
  • Chemicals

    The advantage of modern production facilities of much greater speed and efficiency in the destruction of pests. Unfortunately, they may contain hazardous substances of varying degrees of toxicity that can cause poisoning, allergic reactions, chemical burns.

    When working with chemicals, be sure to follow the recommendations in the instructions and use protective equipment: rubber gloves and masks.

    Several of these drugs have earned popularity due to their effectiveness.

    Bait-gel Schabengel

    Available in a 20 ml tube. Designed for processing a plot of 50 m2. sq. Can be processed:

  • Skirting boards;
  • Furniture;
  • Seams between tiles in the bathroom and toilet.
  • The positives include the following:

  • Doesn’t smell;
  • Fast acting;
  • Inexpensive (50-150 r per tube).
  • Liquid Tetrix

    Release form for 250 ml or 5 l containers. The product is diluted with water in a ratio of 1:10. For work you will need a protective suit and a respirator. The ready-made solution is sprayed on areas with a large accumulation of pests.

    The tool is very effective, but its negative sides include high toxicity and cost. 250 g of Tetrix costs 2000-3000 r.

    Gett aerosol

    Also available as a concentrate, which is diluted with water according to the instructions before use. It is applied in the same way as Tetrix, every 10 minutes the aerosol needs to be shaken.

    The drug is low-toxic and does not smell. But its cost is quite high 500-1000 r per bottle.

    After the chemical treatment is completed, wash your hands thoroughly and wash the clothes in which you sprayed. It is also recommended not to enter the room for about a day, and then ventilate it and wash the surfaces.

    If the pest reappeared

    A re-infestation of wood lice means that food waste has accumulated somewhere or the humidity level in the room has not been reduced to the optimum level. In this case, repeated chemical treatment is carried out not only in places where pests accumulate, but also in all baseboards and secluded corners.

    If this does not help, you will have to resort to the help of special sanitary organizations.

    Woodlice will not harm if there are very few of them, and they are concentrated in non-residential premises. But it is better to react to their appearance promptly and immediately begin measures to get rid of pests. And prevention will help completely to know the problems due to this crustacean.

    Useful properties of wood lice

    All living organisms of the planet (including parasites) are part of the overall ecosystem, and in any case, in addition to the obvious harm, they can also provide certain benefits. Especially when it comes to wood lice.

    In fact, the harm of these insects is greatly exaggerated. On the contrary, feeding on rotten plants and foliage, they rarely cause damage to root systems. And if such insects are wound up in the cellar, they will feed exclusively on spoiled parts of vegetables and plants.

    And to determine their usefulness, you need to consider the advantages of their existence, which include:

  • Usefulness for indoor plants, soil fertilization with waste products (of course, if the number of wood lice is reasonable).
  • Eating rot, which provides an opportunity to recycle what will decompose, t.e. certain sanitary functions.
  • A certain specificity of the digestive system, which allows woodlice to ideally perform the functions of a cleaner: these insects are able to feed on dirt (parts of vital activity, mold and much more).
  • Eating small insects (the same mites) that are definitely dangerous to humans.
  • So the harm from these insects is consistent with the benefits that they can bring.

    Breeding and keeping wood lice

    Woodlouse acts as a terrarium orderly, because this insect is able to eat waste products, food debris, fight mold and mites that are dangerous for the inhabitants of the terrarium. Quite often, woodlice are also bred as food for baby tarantulas.

    These insects are quite easy to care for, which is also very convenient for breeding them. To create a comfortable habitat for wood lice, it is enough to immerse a small amount of earth, branches and foliage into a container. All you need to do next is simply place the wood lice in their natural environment, and don’t forget to put in some fresh food. The substrate for such insects will serve as an excellent coconut substrate woodlice are also able to consume it as food. And insects will use branches and bark of trees as shelter from enemies. It is important that a petroleum jelly is not required to keep these insects, since they are not able to move along smooth vertical surfaces, which means they will not run away.

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