Facts, Identification & Control
Amphipods belong to an order comprised of over 7,000 species, their habitats, characteristics and feeding habits vary. Most members of the amphipod species have flat bodies with large, compound eyes on the sides of their heads. The majority of amphipods utilize a defense mechanism known as a tail flip, wherein they use their abdomens to propel themselves away from a predator.
Adult amphipods range from 5 to 20 mm in length.
Behavior, Diet & Habits
All amphipod species prefer moist habitats. Amphipods that live in water are primarily white, although some may also exhibit light brown, green, dark brown or black coloration. Most amphipods become red in color when they die. Amphipods can thrive in marine settings and on moist land. Other species are found in home gardens and beneath flowerpots.
Some amphipods are herbivores, while others are carnivores. Sand-, mud- and moist-soil-dwelling amphipods feed on bacteria. Other species are scavengers that feed on dead plants and animals.
Females lay their eggs inside a brood pouch where they remain until they hatch. Immature amphipods look like miniature versions of the adults. While most amphipod females produce a single generation of offspring, there are species that can produce several generations within a five-month period.
Signs of an Amphipod Infestation
There is only one main sign of amphipods: the amphipods themselves. They may be encountered in moist damp areas outside of the home or potentially inside after heavy raining periods where the soil and ground cover become saturated.
How Orkin Treats for Amphipods
Amphipods are crustaceans, not insects. So, a thorough inspection and accurate identification of these organisms is critical since terrestrial amphipods are often thought to be fleas or springtails since they jump around in a manner similar to these insects. If you encounter pests that you suspect are amphipods, contact your pest management professional and get an accurate assessment. Failure to accurately identify amphipods may result in wasted time and expense for efforts that do not properly address amphipod treatment.
The key element for treating amphipods is locating the source of the infestation. Amphipods survive and multiply in moist environments like lawns, under rocks and other debris. Amphipods are often seen when they leave their moist, protected environments and move into garages, houses and onto sidewalks or patios. Amphipods die quickly after moving to a dry environment, so using chemical treatments is generally unnecessary. If your pest management professional suggests using chemical controls, the appropriate manner of use is a spot treatment where the numbers of amphipods are particularly high. However, in most situations your pest management professional will recommend non-chemical treatment methods that dry out their moist habitats. Some of the non-chemical treatments include drying out the top surfaces of mulch by raking, plus removing plant debris and rocks.