Country diary: The woodlice play dead, but the garden feeding station is thriving

Langstone, Hampshire: They’ve made a cosy home between the lid and walls – but they don’t like to be interrupted

Due to the unseasonably mild temperatures we’ve been experiencing, hedgehogs are still sporadically visiting the garden feeding station, and it’s not unusual to find a variety of other creatures sheltering inside – the odd blood-engorged tick that has dropped off its hedgehog host, rabbit hutch spiders (Steatoda bipunctata), garden (Arion hortensis) and leopard (Limax maximus) slugs, and several species of woodlouse.

Common rough woodlice (Porcellio scaber) are most prevalent. There are usually a dozen or more congregating in the damp crevices between the lid and walls, or searching for food – while their diet consists largely of decomposing plant material, they are also partial to biscuit crumbs, hedgehog faeces and the degrading chipboard floor.

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