During the day, woodlice hide in dark damp places so they are often found under logs, stones and flower pots. At night they move around in search of food, which is mainly rotting plant material.
There are several species of woodlice commonly found in gardens. They are up to 1cm (½in) long and are often grey in colour, with the body segments sometimes flecked with yellow or pinkish brown markings. Some species, known as pillbugs, can roll themselves into a ball when threatened.
Woodlice produce eggs in spring and these are retained inside the female’s body until they hatch. The newly hatched woodlice, known as mancas, are kept in a brood pouch on the underside of the female for a few days before they disperse.
Immature woodlice are similar in appearance to the adults and they shed their outer shells on a number of occasions as they grow bigger. They become adults by late summer and overwinter before reproducing in their second year.
More information on woodlice can eb found from the British Myriapod and Isopod Group