Church invaded with woodlice

THOUSANDS of woodlice are causing problems at a Somerset church.

THOUSANDS of woodlice are causing problems at a Somerset church.

The pesky insects have infested the building and are nibbling away at the carpets and furniture. The church is thoroughly cleaned every month, but just hours after the church warden has emptied the building of bucket loads of woodlice, hundreds of the creatures find their way back into the walls and make themselves at home again.

Warden at St Michael and All Angels Church in Rowberrow, Sue Gunn, said: “It’s a real problem, we’ve got 1,000s of them.

“If the church is cleaned in the morning, by the afternoon there will be about 100 of them back. They are a real nuisance.”

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Worshippers believe the woodlice live in the disused passageway between the church and The Manor house, which used to be a monastery.

Monks used to walk along the route to get to the church, but when the monastery was converted into a house, the passageway was closed off.

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The dark corridor is the perfect breeding ground for the crustaceans, which venture into the village church and make themselves at home in crevices and under the carpets.

Sue said: “We pick them up using dustpans and take them outside. It takes ages. Most of them gather near the altar or the belfry.”

As well as crustaceans, the church also attracts mice which can cause hundreds of pounds worth of damage.

The little creatures have been known to chew the organ wires during harvest festivals when food is brought into the church.

Members of the congregation have invested in some high frequency alarms to ward off the tiny mammals.

The devices emit a high pitched sound, which keeps the mice away.

Sue said: “We’ve had the alarms for a while now and they work really well. The noise is very high. Dogs can’t hear it, just small animals and it gets rid of the mice.

“If only they kept the woodlice away.”

• Pictured: Margaret Pritchard clearing the woodlice.

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