How to Get Rid of Lawn Shrimp: Efficient Solutions for a Pest-Free Garden

Lawn shrimp, also known as Browne’s blechum, may be an unwelcome guest in your yard. These tiny creatures can become a nuisance, and it’s essential to address the issue before they cause significant damage to your lawn or garden.

Getting rid of lawn shrimp involves understanding their habits and implementing measures to prevent their proliferation. In this article, we will discuss various methods to help you maintain a healthy, shrimp-free lawn. As we explore different techniques, we will also consider their pros and cons, ensuring you make the best decision for your specific situation.

Understanding Lawn Shrimp

Lawn Shrimp Characteristics

  • Color: Pinkish-brown
  • Size: Small, less than 1 inch

Lawn shrimp, or terrestrial amphipods, are small crustaceans native to Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. Known for their pinkish-brown color, these amphipods resemble tiny shrimp. They are often found in moist areas, and after heavy rain, they can appear in large numbers in garages and under house doors.

Habitat and Distribution

  • Moist Areas: Ground cover, leaf mold, garages, under house doors
  • Countries: Australia, New Zealand, UK, California

These crustaceans typically live on the surface of mulch and moist ground, up to a depth of 13mm. They thrive in soft ground cover and leaf mold, particularly beneath shrubbery. Lawn shrimp are now widely distributed, including California, where they have been introduced.

Relation to Other Crustaceans

AmphipodsCrayfishShrimp
Slender, nearly transparentMore robustSlender, slightly transparent
First 2 pairs of legs have pincersFirst 3 pairs of legs have pincers (1st pair large)First 2 pairs of legs have pincers
Tail flattened side to sideTail roundedTail fan-like

Lawn shrimp belong to the Arcitalitrus sylvaticus species and are closely related to other crustaceans such as crayfish and regular shrimp. They share some characteristics with both, including their overall shape and the presence of pincers on their legs. However, unlike crayfish, their tail is flattened side to side, and they have a more slender and nearly transparent appearance.

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Lawn Shrimp Behavior and Impact

Feeding Habits

Lawn shrimp, also known as terrestrial amphipods, feed on various organic materials. Some examples include:

  • Decomposing plant debris
  • Algae
  • Dead leaves
  • Fungi, such as mushrooms

They mainly thrive in moist environments and can often be found in areas with damp soil, such as gardens, wet lawns, and leaf litter.

Reproduction and Population Growth

Lawn shrimp reproduce quickly, which can lead to a significant growth in their population, especially in wet conditions. For example, conservancy fairy shrimp found in vernal pools can hatch and mature within 37 days. Their rapid reproduction can sometimes cause an infestation, becoming a nuisance to homeowners.

Lawn Shrimp vs Conservancy Fairy Shrimp Reproduction:

AttributeLawn ShrimpConservancy Fairy Shrimp
Maturity TimeRapid37 Days
Ideal ConditionsWet, damp soilVernal Pools

Role in Ecosystem

Despite being harmless to plants and humans, lawn shrimp are an essential part of the ecosystem. Some key roles include:

  • Decomposing organic matter, promoting healthy soil
  • Serving as a food source for various predators, such as birds and small mammals

However, in large numbers, they can become a nuisance for homeowners, often entering garages or homes when seeking moisture.

To summarize, lawn shrimp are small, harmless crustaceans that can become bothersome due to their feeding habits and rapid reproduction. As part of the ecosystem, they play crucial roles in breaking down organic materials and providing food for other organisms.

Managing Lawn Shrimp Infestation

Physical Removal Methods

Lawn shrimp, also known as amphipods, can be a nuisance in damp areas of your yard. To get rid of them, try these physical removal techniques:

  • Vacuuming: Use a vacuum to remove lawn shrimp from surfaces, such as patios or decks.
  • Sweeping: Sweep them away from your home’s entrance during dry spells.

Pros:

  • No chemicals required
  • Immediate results

Cons:

  • Time-consuming
  • May not eliminate the entire infestation

Using Chemical Solutions

In some cases, you might need to resort to chemical solutions. Two options include:

Pros:

  • Effective for larger infestations
  • Can provide long-lasting control

Cons:

  • May pose risks to non-target organisms
  • Can be harmful if not used correctly

Preventive Measures

Preventing lawn shrimp infestations requires proper yard management. Focus on these key points:

  • Reduce dampness: Limit overwatering and improve drainage to keep topsoil fresh and dry.
  • Remove organic matter: Regularly mow your lawn and remove wet leaves, as these environments attract amphipods.
  • Mulch management: Ensure mulch is not overly damp and aim for a depth that does not exceed 1/2 inch.

By following these guidelines, homeowners can minimize the chances of dealing with a persistent lawn shrimp issue.

example table:

MethodProsCons
Physical RemovalNo chemicals, immediate resultsTime-consuming, not always 100%
Chemical SolutionsEffective, long-lasting controlHarmful if misused, kills others
Preventive MeasuresSustainable, safe for allRequires regular maintenance

Ensuring Lawn Health and Protection

Maintaining Proper Yard Management

Short and frequent watering can lead to shallow root systems in plants, which is not ideal for lawn shrimps. Instead, focus on deep watering, which promotes a healthy lawn and keeps the pests at bay. Maintaining your lawn well-mowed and clean can also discourage lawn shrimps from taking up residence. Examples of good yard management include:

  • Removing excess dead leaves, debris, and decaying plants
  • Retaining proper light penetration by trimming overgrown plants
  • Reducing excess moisture through proper drainage systems

Attracting Natural Predators

Introducing natural predators of lawn shrimps, such as birds and fish, to the area can help keep their numbers under control. Some examples of predator-friendly features for your lawn are:

  • Bird feeders or houses
  • Pond or water feature for fish
  • Avoiding use of harmful chemicals that can harm predators
Lawn Management TechniquesBenefits for Lawn Shrimp Control
Deep WateringDiscourages shallow root systems
Clean & Well-mowed LawnLess attractive environment
Proper DrainageReduces excess moisture

Authors

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  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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37 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Lawn Shrimp: Efficient Solutions for a Pest-Free Garden”

    • No they have not. Populations of Collembola in that area are just fine and these have nothing in common with them nor have they out-competed them for food resources etc.

      Reply
  1. I have loads in my garden for a few years, and found your info here searching the internet as to what they are. I live in Brighton, East Sussex.

    Reply
  2. I’ve got thousands of these in my garden, lived in my current home two years, they’ve always been here. I’m in Gloucester, UK.

    Reply
  3. Suddenly appeared in my house in the last 10 days or so, on the Isle of Arran off the west coast of Scotland. The ones inside up until tonight, have all been dead and salmon coloured, but tonight I found about 6 indoors jumping about on my carpet and rug. Not nice! I don’t know where they’ve come from all of a sudden, I’ve not introduced any new plants recently, but they’re obviously getting into my living room through the sliding patio door somehow. I’m going to ensure that there are no plant pots outside the doors any more, that they’re all much further away from the house in future. At least they seem to die off quickly, I don’t relish sharing my lounge with any jumping insects!

    Reply
    • I thought these were fleas because we have animals. ..I’m so glad they’re not but how do I get rid of them? Could it be from dampness in an old cottage?

      Reply
  4. Just found these in my garden in Peacehaven UK. Glad it is not a flea! Looks like one! A huge one! I left one on the deck in the sun and when I went to move it back to the soil it had died – in only about 20 seconds! Extraordinary. They seem harmless enough.

    Reply
  5. just discovered them in our back garden under pots .. we are in Northern Ireland…my kids loved them!! we nature journal so have come inside to sketch and record our findings.

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  6. I have just moved to Cornwall and have not seen these before so had to look it up. Found a dead one so just googled ‘jumpy shrimp bug’..it worked. Now I know. Lol.

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  7. I have what I believe to GE lawn shrimp but they’ve been submerged, walking the perimeter of a pet water dish like a hippo. Very clumsy.

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  8. I saw them in my garden at the start of summer. There are thousands.
    I read they are in the south but I live in the North East. ?

    Reply
  9. I saw them in my garden at the start of summer. There are thousands.
    I read they are in the south but I live in the North East. ?

    Reply
  10. Keep finding dead ones on the floor in my house in Northern Ireland. Glad to hear they are harmless/not a sign of a dirty home! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • Me too I live by the sea in County Down and find them all over my house when hoovering. Particularly in the bathrooms

      Reply
  11. Just found a couple in my garden in North London. Never seen them before so looked them up and ended up on this page. Thanks!

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  12. We have found dozens dead in our conservatory (just outside Coventry).WE have damp garden so looks like good for them – probably recent heavy rains drove them in. Must be recent arrival as no seen before this year , although wehave had the odd woodlouse. Like Lesley lloked for whatthey were and arrived here

    Reply
  13. We moved into our house in Herne Bay, Kent almost two years ago. Our garden is paved with pots and we see dozens of lawn shrimps jumping around on the paving whenever we water the pots.

    Reply
  14. Found several dead on our down stairs floor…in the morning…seen a few live jumping about at night..we on the Isle of Lewis and live very near the shore…do not like sharing a house with them though :/

    Reply
  15. Lawn shrimps around the food waste bucket in my garden in east Sussex. Hard to get a good look as they don’t stay still for long.

    Reply
  16. This is the 1st year I have seen them in Georgetown,SC. So they have moved north from Southern SC to the Grand Strand area, approximately 160 miles north of the Bluffton report. They must have been in the area for awhile as the local Terminix office knew immediately what it was when I sent in a photo for identification. The reason why I called was the worry that it was a new species of termite. Thankfully, it’s not! It would be great if others knew of this site to track the invasion of this annoying creature. In my case it has been coming in from my dogs feet. So I have to vacuum them up because it has been raining and I am guessing that they are drowning from the abnormally high rate of rain.

    Reply
  17. I had a problem with rats in my house and had no alternative but to put down poison, but as soon as that seemed to work, I’ve been seeing loads of these horrid little things jumping around or dead in my downstairs bathroom and kitchen. I live right on the shoreline of the Moray Firth just outside Inverness and I don’t know what’s caused the sudden appearance. Never seen them before. I’ve always had woodlice, which I can just about tolerate because I can just put them outside, but these vile jumpy things are too much.

    Reply

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