The Slater is most commonly light grey in colour but can also be pale brown to dull blue in colour, with an oval body and seven pairs of legs. It does not bite and is harmless, however in rare instances they can become pests to young plants in your garden (especially in very moist conditions in which they thrive). They can become very active after applications of composted wood based mulches
Slaters feed mainly on decaying organic matter therefore mulch, compost and regular watering in gardens favours the development of dense slater populations. At low population densities, they are regarded as beneficial to the garden as they help the breakdown of organic matter. At high densities, however they can cause serious damage to new seedlings and ripe fruit in contact with the ground (such as strawberries).