Springtails Various species in the order Collembola
Shape: Segmented, oblong
Region: Found throughout U.S.
What is a Springtail?
Springtails are tiny critters that get their unique name from their ability to hop around, which resembles an action similar to that of fleas. Springtails are an occasional pest, as most of them are not active in the winter. However, one species of springtail is able to survive harsh winters and can actually be found jumping around on top of snow, earning the name “snow fleas.”
If you’re concerned about springtails in the house, continue reading for prevention tips and to learn how to get rid of springtails.
What Do Springtails Look Like?
Springtails are segmented and oblong in shape, and tend to be black. Their size is about 1/16” long. Because of their small size, springtail control can be difficult, since they are hard to see and difficult to find. When looking at a fresh layer of snow, springtails tend to look like flecks of pepper or ashes on the surface.
Springtails prefer very moist conditions and are often found in matter like damp soil or decaying logs. In the winter, they tend to emerge on sunny days in large numbers, usually surrounding the bottoms of plants where snow has melted. During the summer, springtails gather around pools with nearby vegetation, around air conditioning condensate, drain lines, and other moist areas.
With their ability to withstand almost all types of climates, springtails can be found throughout the U.S., often living in:
- Damp soil
- Decaying logs
- Leaf mold
Springtails in the house do not cause any structural damage or pose serious threats to homeowners. Additionally, springtail control is not always an immediate priority because they are not a health threat to your family or pets, since they do not bite and are not known to transmit disease. However, if you do find springtails and want them out of your home, it is best to contact a licensed pest control professional.
Springtails are beneficial arthropods because their sole diet consists of decaying plant matter, helping with the process of natural decomposition. However, springtails in the house could indicate a moisture issue and should be investigated.
To get rid of springtails in the house, reduce sources of excess moisture. Leaky pipes and standing water are ideal conditions for springtails when the outside weather becomes too cold. If an indoor infestation persists, contact a pest control professional to learn more about how to get rid of springtails.