photo: ausbonzai
  • Binomial Name:                                         Porcellio Scaber.
  • Family:                                                     Porcellionidae.
  • Porcellio Scaber are known in Australia as slaters or pill bugs.  In other parts of the world they are known as woodlouce (UK), sowbugs (USA) or soilbugs (NZ).
  • They play an important role in breaking down organic waste materials, but unfortunately they are not averse to feasting on sprouting seeds, young shoots and seedlings.
Why Slaters are a Pest.
  • They are a mixed blessing in an Ecobed.  The moist conditions in the Ecobed's worm farm make a fine habitat, and they prosper doing an excellent job of shredding and breaking down the organic waste.
  • Unfortunately, they stray into the growing areas of the bed often attracted by mulch on top of compost, and munch on any soft green plant tissue they can find.
  • I keep numbers down by using (organically approved) iron chelate based snail bait scattered lightly where seeds have been sown, and new seedlings recently planted.  I don't broadcast the bait since I am not interested in eradicating the slaters.