It’s Easter next week which means seafood is in high demand, especially prawns.
But a different type of prawns have been popping up in Aussie homes lately – and they aren’t the kind you will be wanting on your dining table come the long weekend.
One woman shared a photo of the “weird” looking bug the Mums Who Clean Facebook group: “Does anyone know what these things are?”
“They’re small, like less than 1cm long, and I often find one or two dead ones near my washing machine along with what look like eggs,” she continued, adding a photo of the “ugly” creature.
“I sprayed the area with insect killer and a week or so later I find lots of these dead buggers.”
So do you know what they are?
CSIRO research scientist and entomologist at the University of Canberra Dr Valerie Caron said the creepy looking critter was in fact a lawn prawns, explaining we could be seeing more of them because of the recent record rainfall.
“They’re often found in the garden,” she told news.com.au. “In Canberra they’re usually found under rocks, leaf litter.”
Lawn prawns, also known as lawn shrimp, are the land version of the oceans variety we like to eat, explaining it is a land crustacean and not an insect.
“Probably what happened is that we have had so much rain that they’re like, hang on we like wet but that’s too wet, (and) went inside,” she said with a laugh.
“(The) Laundry is a good place.”
This explains why so many had commented on the woman’s post saying they too had found the “weird” creatures in their home and were baffled.
“These things I’ve never seen before,” another person said. “Randomly look down at my laundry floor and what they, is that a lawn shrimp?”
“I’ve been finding these guys too. Tried googling what looks like a large flea haha and got nothing,” one person commented.
While their appearance might make people think they are vermin like cockroaches, Dr Caron said they didn’t pose any threat.
“They can’t do anything; they’ll just die eventually. It’s not a pest as such – they don’t bite they’re not a parasite, they just hang out,” she said.
“It would have to be quite a damp laundry for them to reproduce so that shouldn’t be an issue at all.”
But Dr Caron said they did do one thing that some found unsettling.
“The thing I think probably makes people freak out is that they jump, a bit like a shrimp,” she said.
“People might be worried that they’re a bit like a flea but they’re not, they can’t bite or do anything.”