Springtails, also known as snowfleas, are small insects that get their name from the spring-like structure located on the underside of their abdomens. When these insects feel threatened, this structure goes into action and propels them into the air up to 4 inches.
Springtails, despite the nickname snowfleas, will not bite people or pets. These creatures become a nuisance pest when they invade houses in large numbers when looking for moisture.
Most springtails will develop in soil and feed on organic plant matter. This causes them to become a pest in agricultural communities or other areas where water is present. Breeding can occur year-round. To fully develop, the egg will need 5 to 11 weeks. Immature springtails are identical to adults, except they are smaller in size. Springtails will most often be seen in structures once their habitats become too dry to inhabit. Outside, they will be found in mulch, leaves, and other decaying matter like wood. Like other insects, they are attracted to light. This may be one of the reasons they enter your house. They can find their way inside through cracks, pipes, and hitching a ride in potted plants.
Types of Springtails
Springtails measure 0.04 to 0.2 inches long. They are wingless and vary in color. Springtails have been known to have black, gray, white, yellow, lavender, red, green, or gold bodies, sometimes patterned with metallic scales. They have one set of antennae and three pairs of legs, along with the forked furcula on the end of their abdomen that allows them to jump. Often misidentified as fleas because they can jump and are found inside the home, springtails differ in anatomy. Fleas are brown and flat, whereas springtails are round and soft-bodied.
Springtails In The Home & The Apartment
Once indoors, they will usually be drawn to moist environments. They are commonly seen in bathrooms, kitchens, crawl spaces, basements, and even moldy furniture.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you control a springtail infestation?
Springtails will not usually harm houseplants. If you see a springtail infestation, it indicates healthy, rich soil. If this is the only place they are found, no measures need to be taken unless they become a nuisance. The key to keeping springtails away is reducing moisture. If they are found in kitchens or bathrooms, wipe down and clean these areas, and then thoroughly dry them. This will only be a temporary solution. You must continue to clean and dry the affected environment to deter these pests. Springtails have been known to group together in masses as large as a softball on sidewalks and porches, but there is no need to take any action. These will normally disappear within two days. If they must be removed, spraying with water will disperse them. If further control is needed, a pest management profession can treat the soil surfaces of potted plants.
Benefits of Professional Springtail Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a springtail problem. Finding and treating the springtails can be challenging, especially if they are spread throughout your yard. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the springtail infestation.