What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Lawn Shrimp
Location: Castle Hayne, NC
August 3, 2016 7:01 am
I found these little creatures in our pet’s water bowl yesterday and googled what they might be, your site gave me the answer and now I’m letting you know they are also just outside of Wilmington, NC!
Signature: Becky H.

Lawn Shrimp

Lawn Shrimp

Dear Becky,
Thanks so much for reporting this North Carolina sighting.  Lawn Shrimp are an introduced species from Australia that are well established in California, and BugGuide indicates they are also found in Florida, though the data on the site indicates Georgia reports.  This North Carolina sighting cannot be considered a normal range expansion as this is an introduced species, but there is no telling how far North they will be able to survive in North America.  We have already reported Lawn Shrimp in South Carolina.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Castle Hayne, North Carolina

18 Responses to Introduced Lawn Shrimp hit North Carolina

  1. Karen says:

    I live in Wilmington, NC which is near Castle Hayne and have tons of these little guys in our yard. I find them dead most of the time, but often alive.

  2. Barbara says:

    I live in an apartment in Austin TX. I find these bugs in the breezeway outside and all over my entry way. They are always dead. Have I done something to encourage their arrival? No one has ever seen them before. They are outside the door of the apartment next to me and across from me. Please let me know what I can do.

  3. Danielle says:

    I’m up in Swansboro just north of Wilmington where the original post was. We had some bad rains come through from the Tropical Storm Cindy and now I’m finding them just inside by the front porch and on the porch itself. Thanks for the post though! We get occasional cockroaches being surrounded by woods and I was glad to find out they aren’t little baby cockroaches!

    • bugman says:

      We suspect that Lawn Shrimp are also being spread through nursery stock. When conditions are favorable, they multiply to amazing proportions without any natural enemies.

  4. Michael says:

    Im In Wilmington nc and I just moved a wet towel on my shop floor and seen these little guys jumping around. I now know what they are but at first I had no clue. They do seem to be spreading to nc. We have had a lot of rain and I have a few customers boats here. Figured they came from one of them into my lot. First time ever seeing them. What do they do and eat? Stupid question do they bite or anything?

  5. Libby says:

    Yep. We here in Hampstead, NC (just north of Wilmington on the Intracoastal Waterway) have had very healthy lawn shrimp populations the past two summers. I have a bowlful as we speak. Are they any good grilled on the barbie?

  6. Karen says:

    Just found this:

    What you are seeing is a land or terrestrial amphipod, commonly called lawn shrimp. Amphipods are in the crustacean order, hence their resemblance to shrimp, and are typically found in marine or freshwater surroundings. Some species, like the lawn shrimp are found on land, but they still need moisture to thrive.
    Terrestrial amphipods typically live in the top ½ inch of mulched soil and in moist ground areas in our landscapes. Unlike insects, lawn shrimp do not have a waxy layer on their exoskeleton to protect them from water. In times of heavy rains, they migrate out of their habitat seeking higher ground. Without the protective waxy covering, they are unable to live in a rain-soaked environment, but neither are they able to survive exposure to dry areas. Lawn shrimp are active at night and that is why they are found dead — often in masses — on porches, patios, driveways and the like in mornings after a storm. They can also get under doorways and into homes.

    ** Also read they do not bite. I found several live ones the other night and I picked them up and put them back outside. None of them tried to bite me!

  7. Kim says:

    I am in New Bern, NC and have recently spotted them out side my front door. They are new to me. How can we get rid of them?

    • bugman says:

      We do not provide extermination advice, but perhaps one of our readers will have a comment.

    • Karen says:

      Why get rid of them? I don’t see that they do any harm.

      • Libby says:

        Wondering the same thing, except they do kinda fill up the dog water bowl. Now I’m finding thousands of their crispy little carcasses in our very dry garage, under the fluorescent lights!

  8. Christian Martin says:

    We just moved into a new home in costal South Carolina and find literally hundreds of these especially after a hard rain we have never seen a live one though. Are they nocturnal ?

  9. The lawn shrimp have finally reached central Fla. Ocala, Fla. to be more specific. I’ve been retreating to my wood shop at evenings to enjoy smoking my pipe and kept seeing these
    little critters crawling/hopping around on the floor.
    At first I thought those look like large fleas ! Also thought they may have been infantile
    wood roaches since we are next to wooded area. I was wrong………found this site, now I
    finally know. “lawn shrimp”, Whooda thunkit!
    Much thanks

  10. Jane says:

    We have found hundreds of these creatures on our driveway here in Oak Island, NC, (near Wilmington) over the last several days, and I finally have an answer as to what they are. Thanks!

  11. Sandra Waddell says:

    Weve had lawn shrimp here lately in our office building in Southport, NC

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