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In the vast world of crustaceans, amphipods, commonly known as “lawn shrimps”, have carved a niche for themselves. Residing predominantly in water, some have dared to venture onto land, embracing the terrestrial way of life. At Mint Pest Control, we understand the intrigue these creatures spark and the necessity to manage them. Let’s embark on a journey to understand these captivating creatures a bit better.


At first glance, an amphipod (Amphipoda) might remind you of a tiny shrimp. These creatures are elongated, laterally compressed, and possess no carapace, making their thoracic segments stand out. Sporting two pairs of antennae, with one notably smaller, their unique appearance is both fascinating and identifiable. Their vibrant transformation, turning a deep shade of red upon death, is a visual marker that sets them apart from other crustaceans.

Common Amphipods Species

Gammarus pulex (Freshwater Shrimp)

Description: Typically measures around 10-20mm long, with a curved body and long antennae.

Habitat: Found predominantly in freshwater streams, ponds, and lakes.

Ecological Importance: Vital in freshwater food chains, consuming detritus and serving as prey for fish.

Hyalella azteca

Description: Smaller than Gammarus, usually around 5-8mm in length, with a translucent body.

Habitat: Found in freshwater bodies across North America.

Ecological Importance: Acts as a primary food source for many small aquatic predators.

Talitrus saltator (Sand Hopper)

Description: Measures around 20mm long, with a tendency to leap when disturbed.

Habitat: Primarily found on sandy beaches, often burrowing into the sand.

Ecological Importance: Consumes decaying seaweed and other detritus.

Gammarus fasciatus

Description: A freshwater benthic amphipod characterized by its robust body structure.

Habitat: Found in rivers and lakes, it is notable for its ability to tolerate very low salinity levels.

Ecological Importance: Contributes to nutrient cycling in freshwater ecosystems and serves as a food source for various aquatic predators.

Caprella Penantis (Skeleton Shrimp)

Description: Another species from the fascinating skeleton shrimp group, has an elongated, slender body.

Habitat: Dwells on the seabed in shallow waters and is distributed in many parts of the world.

Ecological Importance: As with other Caprella species, it feeds on detritus and small organisms and serves as prey for larger marine predators.

Gammarus Pecos (Pecos Amphipod)

Description: This species belongs to the Gammaridae family and is recognized by its unique morphology.

Habitat: It is endemic to Pecos County, Texas, residing in the region's freshwater habitats.

Ecological Importance: Being an endemic species, the Pecos amphipod is an integral part of its local ecosystem, assisting in the breakdown of organic matter and serving as prey for local predators.

Amphipods (1)


Originally traced back to New South Wales, Australia, and some Pacific islands, these wanderers have made their way to the Western Hemisphere, with some species even settling in as far as California. While many of their kin prefer the underwater life on beaches hidden beneath rocks or amidst decaying vegetation, terrestrial amphipods love the damp ground, leaf mold, and moist areas beneath shrubs. Heavy rains can often see them migrating to drier territories, including our homes


Being the scavengers of the crustacean world, amphipods are not fussy eaters. They feed on what’s available, from decaying plant matter on beaches to tiny organic debris in moist habitats. Their dietary habits play a crucial role in breaking down organic matter, thus aiding in the nutrient cycle of their respective ecosystems.


How to eliminate Amphipods

Managing amphipods, especially the terrestrial kind, requires a two-fold approach: understanding their needs and depriving them of the same. Here are some tips:

  • Maintain Dryness: These creatures thrive in moist environments. By ensuring areas around your home remain dry, especially after rains, you can discourage their presence. Turning over mulch or reducing water exposure to certain grounds can be effective.
  • Physical Barriers: Weather stripping on doors or using fine meshes on windows can deter their entry into homes.
  • Regular Cleaning: For those with pools, frequent filter cleaning, especially during rainy seasons, can prevent amphipod infestations. Inside the house, vacuuming or sweeping them up is usually the most effective approach since they can’t survive long in dry interiors.
  • Insecticides: Although there aren’t specific insecticides targeted at amphipods, spot treatments at entry points using general-purpose insecticides can reduce their intrusion. However, always ensure the insecticide is safe for your home environment.

Dive deeper into the world of pests and their management with Mint Pest Control, your trusted partner in creating a balanced and harmonious space.


Are amphipods harmful to humans?

No, amphipods do not harm humans. They neither bite nor transmit diseases. However, in large numbers, they can become a nuisance, especially in domestic settings like pools.

Can amphipods live outside water?

While they predominantly live in aquatic environments, amphipods can survive in damp places with sufficient moisture. This includes under decaying leaves or logs.

How can I prevent amphipods from entering my pool?

Regular maintenance, including cleaning and balancing the water chemistry, can deter amphipods. You can also use fine mesh filters in water inlets and outlets to prevent the entry or exit of amphipods. Additionally, ensuring that organic matter like leaves doesn't accumulate can help.

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