Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Unidentified Bugs


We have been finding small bugs in one room of our house. They are about a 1/4" and always dead . They seem concentrated along the sliding class door and then spread in small piles around wood furniture, but only in half the room.
my concern is that they may be in the termite family.
I appreciate any insight you can provide.

Dear Imke - These are nothing to worry about, they are a type of crustacean called amphipods. Most amphipods are strictly aquatic where they are scavengers on decomposing organic matter, but a few species, such as your specimens, will come out on land when conditions are right. They often are called 'lawn shrimp', and basically just are nuisance pests when they come indoors. See http://tinyurl.com/lv5rezm for more detailed information on these interesting creatures.

Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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