Termite Inspection Orange County Termite Terry Pest Control

Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, South Orange County, Long Beach Area

What Are Lawn Shrimp?

Terrestrial amphipods or “lawn shrimp” are a pest that most people have seen, but very few know them by name. In Orange County, it is common to see dozens of them on sidewalks, patios and migrating into homes after a heavy rain.

These small pests are usually about ½ inch long, are pinkish/brown in color and have a “shrimp-like” form. Look close and you’ll see they have two pairs of antennas, two eyes and they have leg-like appendages. Lawn shrimp are sometimes misidentified as springtails. The way you can tell the difference is that springtails have six legs and only one pair of antennae.

Lawn shrimp are scavengers and can usually be found living under stones or decaying vegetation. A very important point to consider is that they don’t have a waxy layer of protection over their body as do insects. That means that they lose or gain moisture from their environment. If they lose too much water, that will result in desiccation and if they gain too much water, that is also lethal. So, when you see them migrating out of rain soaked areas, you’ll know they are trying to keep from dying by gaining too much moisture. The ones that do escape from the excess moisture, die quickly in the drier environment found within structures or on drying surfaces. Dead lawn shrimp can be safely swept or vacuumed up and discarded. There are no insecticides labeled for use on lawn shrimp, however, an application of a residual insecticide will accelerate their mortality in homes.

If you have a continuous problem on sidewalks, patios or in structures after rains, you’ll need to find a way to help dry out the mulch or ground cover near these areas. Excessive moisture conditions can often be corrected by improving drainage and by reducing irrigation. You may want to consider installing weather stripping on the bottom of doors to help keep these pests out.

During rainy weather, you may also find large numbers of these pests in swimming pools and they may even cause your pool filters to clog. So, it is important that you service your filters on a regular basis. Please note that you should never apply any insecticides near a swimming pool.

Again, the key to solving lawn shrimp problems is to control moisture. By reducing moisture, you will significantly reduce their population and you’ll have much less of a problem during the rainy season. Do you need help with these or other pests? Call Termite Terry Pest Control at (949) 631-7348 or click on order form and we’ll be happy to schedule an appointment at your convenience.