101 Files – Slaters

You are currently viewing 101 Files – Slaters
101 Files - Slaters

101 Files – Slaters

Have you ever lifted a pot plant or scraped back some mulch and found some curious little roley poley looking bugs underneath? 

These are slaters, also known as Pill Bugs, or Wood Lice. 

Just like worms, slaters are great for your garden as they eat organic matter and return nutrients to the soil. 

Having a few slaters around will keep your plants happy and healthy.

Slaters need moisture and are mostly active at night when the risk of drying out is low. 

What do they look like?

  • Oval body with a convex above and a flat or hollow under belly
  • Pale brown to dull blue in colour
  • Can grow up to 19mm in length
  • Small head and abdomen
  • Head has eye
  • Prominent segmented antennae
  • Its body has 7 hard individual but overlapping plates
  • 7 pairs of legs
  • 2 tail like appendages
  • Mostly active at night
  • Inactive during winter 

What is the lifecycle of a slater?

The female gives birth to numerous live young and carries the young in a pouch on the underside of the body for about 44 days. 

Depending on the environmental conditions usually 2 generations are produced each year. 

An average of 28 young is produced in each brood. 

The young are white in colour and their first moulting occurs within the first 24 hours after birth and the 7th pair of legs appear. 

The 2nd moulting occurs during week 2, the 3rd during week 3. After this time, they young moult every 2 weeks until they are 20 weeks old. 

Where can slaters be found?

Slaters prefer most locations and are found under objects on damp ground or under vegetable debris. 

They have been known to bury themselves under several centimetres of soil.

Slater have been known to invade damp basements, fern houses and first level of houses which would indicate a large presence externally 

What do slaters eat ?

Slaters feed on decaying vegetable matter 

Do slaters bite?

Slaters do not bite and are not dangerous to humans 


If you have an issue with slaters call Sydneys Best Pest Control on 1800 819 189 for free advice on how to keep your yard and home free of slaters. 



Photo by Jared Belson – Pest Push