Springtails

In the Spring when the temperatures start to warm up homeowners start to see additional guest.  Some of these Bugs are not insects but mites, book lice, or more properly “psocids”.  Our moisture loving guest can create quite a disturbance in our lives. 

Springtails are another insects found around moisture, and homes may seem to be invaded by these tiny little bugs.  You can find them in high populations in the outdoors in the springtime.  These guys can spring like a flea because of their “furfula” an appendage attached  to the tip of their abdomen.    They cannot bite, but it is possible that when they land on your skin and then make the leap and snap the appendage sticks in your skin causing you to feel as if you have been biten.

The common type is normal looking insect with longs legs, antennae and a dark grey color.  They feed on tiny bits of algae, fungus, moss, mold or decaying plant materials.    Potted plants soil can be the ideal place to grow your own springtails, particularly if the soil stays moist.  Allowing the water to dry between watering will help. 

Spring tails can be an indicator of something bigger going on in your home.  If you are seeing the come up from the drains you might have a crack in the plumbing that is allowing the insects in the pipes from below.  A very large number of springtails should indicate a leaky pipe causing moisture in the wood.  This can cause fungus, mold that will need to be taken care of. 

Springtails can be a sign of moisture and also a sign of drought.  When rain stops and dry situations occur homeowners may see an increased population of sprigtails inside as they search for water. 

Springtail Image

Springtail Image

Control of springtails has a lot to do with habitat modification and the ability to control the moisture.  Looking for springtails under rocks, mulch, potted plants, areas that will be protected from the light but contain adequate moisture.  Large piles of lumber or fire wood can create the perfect breeding ground.  Change their environment, get sunlight into the dark areas and drying it out will lower the population.

Any general insecticide like Bifen, Suspend and Cy-kick are all great control solutions for creating a barrier treatment around your home. 

Monica Bird (928 Posts)

Monica’s compassion for her customer's struggles with pest control issues and passion for pest control stems from over 10 years in the industry. With a master’s degree in entomology, she uses her knowledge and experience in chemistry, insects and pests to educate her customers.


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