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Woodlice in my vegetables!

Research carried out to date has demonstrated that woodlice feed on dead organic matter, in other words, they are detritivores.

The knowledge

According to many research institutes, such as INRAE, these small creatures, also called isopods, “feed on dead organic matter such as dead leaves and dead wood”*.

Close-up view of woodlice

The observations

IMG_20221003_081439 (1).jpg
Common woodlice on a tomato crack and on a zucchini plant

However, as we can see in the photos above, farmers can see that woodlice also feed on fresh material: tomatoes, zucchini plants, etc.

There is therefore a gap between current knowledge and what market gardeners observe in the fields!

These woodlice can be observed on farms practicing “living soil market gardening”, that is to say agricultural land abundantly enriched with organic matter. This contribution could be the reason for the arrival of these isopods in crops.


This is a problem that can also affect private vegetable gardens: “HELP. I have woodlice eating my young cucumber and melon plants in the greenhouse. I know they say that they are logically allies but this is quite the opposite... They are swarming at the base of my plants... How can I fix it? »** we can read on a Facebook group specializing in permaculture.


Would these woodlice come to hydrate on the tomato? Would they come to find nutrients rich in nitrogen?

Unanswered questions that could inspire research projects.


* The INRAE descriptive sheet for woodlice →,pr%C3%A9sente%20dans%20leur%20tube%20digestif


** Observations of woodlice in private homes (Facebook) →

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