Lawn shrimps are harmless critters that resemble leaping fleas.
Also known as land hoppers, lawn shrimps are amphipods that you can find in Australia, California, New Zealand, and the UK. They prosper in damp habitats, while too dry or wet climates threaten their survival.
Although harmless, catching sight of lawn shrimps in the yard can be upsetting for some homeowners. You can get rid of them easily using the right tools and techniques. So, if you want to learn more about lawn shrimps and how to get rid of them, let’s go!
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What Are Lawn Shrimp?
Scientifically named Arcitalitrus Sylvaticus, lawn shrimps are amphipods that belong to the Talitridae family. Despite their name, animal experts do not categorize them as insects or shrimps. They are crustaceans with slanted-compressed bodies and multiple legs.
Lawn shrimps have a bean-shaped appearance, with their heads sticking to their body. Their body is pale brown and only grows up to an inch in length. Some misidentify them as springtails since both bugs have similar body movements, colors, and shapes.
However, lawn shrimps have a short lifespan and die within a year. They are common in western and southern parts of the United States, where soil conditions are ideal for nourishment. Although most amphipods are marine animals and live in fresh and aquatic waters, lawn shrimps are terrestrial and inhabit the soil.
They can be a nuisance sometimes, especially when the weather is too dry or wet. During the rainy season, lawn shrimps can roam to elevated areas such as sidewalks and car porches to escape death in the wet soil. They might make their way into your swimming pool if it’s too dry.
Lawn shrimps prefer damp flowerbeds where they can scavenge for food. Here, they munch on decomposing organic substances such as fallen leaves and decaying wood while enhancing soil fertility.
Why Are There Lawn Shrimp In Your Yard?
If you have found lawn shrimp or yard shrimp in your yard, it is because your lawn is too wet. Lawn shrimp prefer living in moist conditions since their skin does not hold moisture well.
Despite being small and harmless, they are not pleasant residents for any homeowner.
A prolonged dry spell might also be a reason for a lawn shrimp infestation in your yard. Since dry conditions threaten their survival, lawn shrimps migrate to damp areas. They might even try to get indoors during heavy rains, hoping for a dryer habitat.
The presence of lawn shrimps in your yard isn’t an indication of poor yard management. They are just a part of the ecosystem that defines wetter climates. If you can manage the dampness levels in your yard, these critters won’t trespass on your property.
Is A Lawn Shrimp Infestation Dangerous?
No. A lawn shrimp infestation is not dangerous. While they may be an annoyance, lawn shrimp can not harm you, your pets, or your property.
Homeowners often misidentify lawn shrimps as harmful pests when in fact, they can prove to be beneficial for your garden or yard.
Lawn shrimps thrive on rotting organic matter such as leaves and decaying wood. While breaking it into food, they recycle the soil’s nutrients. As a result, the soil becomes more fertile, and your plants and flowers thrive.
Still, the sight of dead or alive lawn shrimp in the yard is unappealing. These critters die quickly without the ideal habitat to prosper in. If they run out of moist soil or decomposing organic matter, they will migrate to a more feasible location.
Your swimming pool or fish tank water could be their next home if they don’t find any damp places. This could prove to be a real headache if not dealt with quickly.
How Do You Get Rid Of Lawn Shrimp?
To get rid of a lawn shrimp infestation from your yard you simply need to remove moisture. Lawn shrimp can’t stand dry conditions, so reducing moist spots in your yard is the best way to eliminate them.
They can’t survive unless they have a suitable living environment. You can get rid of them by simply changing their living conditions. Depending on where you live and your setup, this may be easier said than done.
Here are some tips to help you get rid of lawn shrimp in your yard
- Remove any ground covers that offer shade to these critters. Under the sun’s scorching heat, any lawn shrimps in your yard will be forced to move out or die.
- Heaps of decomposing leaves can also lure lawn shrimps to your yard. To avoid this, dispose of them quickly and don’t leave piles of dead leaves in your yard or garden.
- Avoid overwatering your plants. Wet topsoil is a perfect breeding ground for lawn shrimp. So, a regularly watered yard is an open invitation for these critters.
- Finish off with a light insecticide for any areas that you are not able to easily control.
I recommend the insecticide as a last resort since the majority of your lawn shrimp problem can be controlled simply by making some temporary changes to your layout and watering habits.
If you are not so fussy about these harmless amphipods in your yard, you can also leave them be. This way, they are less likely to invade your home or pool water. They will continue to dwell in the moist topsoil without causing any trouble.
In a nutshell, removing shade, eliminating moist areas, and regularly raking your soil can discourage lawn shrimps from entering your yard in the first place.
Can Lawn Shrimps Get Into Your Home?
Unless lawn shrimp are experiencing long dry spells or a heavy rainy season, they won’t consider relocating to a new spot. Only extreme weather conditions can force them to move indoors in search of a better habitat.
A prolonged dry spell or heavy rain can force these pests to move out of your lawn. Lawn shrimps tend to live near their food sources, such as wet leaves and damp compost. You can find them lurking under the bushes, trees, or a half inch under the topsoil.
Seeing lawn shrimp on your car porch, sidewalk, or garage suggests that your yard may be too dry or too wet. In some cases, they might even enter your home through the small gaps in the bottom of your doors.
Sealing those gaps under your front and back doors is the best way to prevent lawn shrimps from entering your home. You can also contact pest control services to deal with the lawn shrimps on your behalf.
The Bottom Line On Lawn Shrimp
Lawn shrimp pose no threats to humans or your property but can be an unpleasant sight nonetheless. These insects are extremely sensitive to habitat changes and tend to enjoy damp conditions.
Using excessive pesticide or chemical treatment against these harmless species is a last option. If you want to get rid of lawn shrimp, just eliminate shady and moist areas from your property and say goodbye.