The Springtail is a very small insect, measuring about 0.04 to 0.08 inches in length that is commonly mistaken as a flea. Springtails have a unique identifying feature, for which they are named for. An appendage called the Furcula, that folds from the abdomenís tip and is underneath their body, like a spring. When it is threatened, it releases this and the Springtail is propelled. Springtails are typically in large groups and are tiny, dark, jumping insects that invade homes and are particularly prone to areas of heavy moisture. Basements, bathrooms and kitchens can all be susceptible to a Springtail infestation. Springtail populations will also seek high levels of organic matter around the structure, and wet plaster. As surroundings dry out, the Springtails will either die or move on to a new location.
Seeing large numbers of Springtails inside a structure would indicate a moisture condition. This could be a plumbing leak or excessive saturation near the foundation due to poor drainage. Moist conditions provide an ideal habitat for many pests, and should be rectified quickly. Springtails will also enter a structure in search of an ideal location if the exterior conditions are excessively dry.
Control methods would be to remove or repair the moisture problems. Use a fan or dehumidifier to dry out an area that has signs of moisture. Reduce the mulch and leaf litter that is accumulating around the structure that will give the Springtails a harborage area. It may be necessary with heavy numbers to apply a perimeter treatment around the outside. Also treat the exterior cracks and entry points for better control. These practices will also aid in eliminating other pests from gaining entry to your home.
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