small brown crustacean in house
Fri, Nov 28, 2008 at 10:39 PM
I live in Southern CA and we’ve had heavy rain the last few days. Since this morning we are finding small brown bugs that look like a crustacean and kind of like a maggot. They are in the front rooms of the house and on the front patio. Could they be from the rain and what are they? The picture attached is from the web, but the look almost identical. Thanks
in house in Southern CA

Lawn Shrimp

Lawn Shrimp

Hi Lauren,
What a wonderful photo of Arcitalitrus sylvaticus, a Lawn Shrimp, according to BugGuide, or House Hopper, according to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin.  According to BugGuide:  “These are rarely seen except when flooding or lack of moisture forces them to abandon their home in the soil in search for suitable conditions. At such times they often end up dieing on pavement or in homes and become a nuisance. Once they start appearing, there’s not much that can be done except to sweep them up- pesticides are pointless, because by then they’re already dieing or dead. The best solution is to keep the numbers down the rest of the year by keeping the soil from staying too moist- in California, especially, they’re a sign of overwatering. Physical barriers like weather-stripping can also help to keep them out of homes, but their bodies are flat and narrow, allowing them to slip through surprisingly narrow cracks. ”

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15 Responses to Lawn Shrimp

  1. Zach says:

    I’m surrounded by houses with pools. Is it possible I am just seeing these lawn shrimps now because of the drought

  2. Diana Shoaf says:

    I have found them all over my wool carpeting and it looks like they have eaten sections of it down to the base. I keep vacuuming them up, then they are back the next morning. Do they eat the wool fibers?

    • bugman says:

      To the best of our knowledge, they do not eat wool. You may have carpet beetles or clothes moths doing the damage.

  3. Carolyn Henegan says:

    I find these, identical to the photo, in clusters of fifty or more on my screened in porch. The porch is above ground. I have no idea how they get in. They also appear every day on my back open patio, always dead. When I sweep them away, new ones appear the next day. There are hundreds. I have never seen a live one. I live in North Florida. It’s good to finally have identified them but kind of sad to see them always dead.

  4. Geoff says:

    Looks like I got these buggers here in South Jersey.

    I had one crawling up the inside of my pant leg last week and now I’m counting about a dozen dead ones on the dining room floor this morning.

  5. Irene Black says:

    I am in N. Ireland and recently finding these dead on my Conservatory Floor.

  6. christine de haas says:

    hi im from South Africa, and we only just moved into a new house, and discovered these bugs in my living room area and the kitchen, what i would like to know is , are they dangerous and do they bite? i have small children???

  7. Lee Ann says:

    I’ve lived in Southern California my whole life and this winter is the first time I’ve seen these creatures. It has been a very wet winter. With the name lawn shrimp, I’m wondering if they do damage to the lawn or surrounding plants.

  8. Angela Wingfield says:

    Well, I am in Cornwall, UK and finding these little dead guys all over the ground floor of a 4 year old block of flats. Only on the entrance floor of a 3 storey and always dead! Have no idea where they are coming from or how they get in but have noticed them for the past 7/8 months! Weird!

  9. Rachel says:

    My boyfriend’s parents just found a mass of these lying dead on their living room floor. The room is in the front of the house, surrounded by patio/lawn areas on two sides. We had VERY slight rain the night before last, and that came after a solid month of uncomfortable warm temperatures. What gives? Why now? His folks have been in that house for 20 years, and this is the first time they’ve seen anything like this. I am not necessarily fearful of insects like these, but I am utterly REPULSED…yet can’t look away. Like, I’m nauseous & itchy all over, but fascinated. If they swept them all up, will they come back? Do they lay eggs in carpet? Would love any guidance you have! I’ve told my boyfriend I refuse to go have dinner there until I get some answers, LOL… ???

  10. Rachel says:

    *I should have added that we’re in Los Angeles.

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