|A dead lawn shrimp.|
Just when you thought you had seen it all, along comes the lawn shrimp. Most amphipods (shrimp-like crustaceans) require water to live, but there are about 90 terrestrial species found here in the United States and Canada. These terrestrial amphipods do require moist living conditions like the underside of rocks or decaying vegetation. They are very small in size, ranging from 3/16 to 3/4 inch long, but generally just a bit smaller than a grain of rice. Lawn shrimp are often confused with springtails (see photo below), which are not crustacea at all, but insect-like arthropods who also live in moist environments in the landscape.
These harmless invaders are commonly found by homeowners under or near the doors of houses, or in garages and porches. Once they make it inside they will die and can be vacuumed or swept up and thrown away. Weather stripping under the door can help prevent them from reaching the inside in the first place. Click here to learn even more about this fascinating creature!