Springtails are very small, only around an eighth of an inch in length. They can be a variety of colors but are most often dark in coloration, either brown, black or grey. Slender, their most defining characteristic is the one that gives them their name. Springtails are wingless, but as the name suggests they will use their tail like a springboard to jump several inches, an impressive feat for so small a creature. They are similar in size to fleas, but have more rounded bodies that are easily squashed.
Like woodlice, springtails feed predominantly on decaying organic matter. However, they have also been known to feed on fungi and algae as well. Due to these dietary habits, springtails are most often found in damp areas. Mulch is one of their preferred hiding places. This can lead to problems, especially during dry months, when springtails can enter your home looking for moisture. Some of the most likely areas for springtails indoors are around potted plants, or in kitchens, bathrooms, and damp basements.
Springtails are harmless to humans, as they neither bite nor sting. They also do not cause any damage to homes or property. The main reason they are considered a pest is because they tend to reside together in large groups. This can be especially problematic if these large groups are all able to gain entry and find areas of high moisture within your home. The easiest route for control of springtails is to simply dry out the infested areas. For example, houseplants that are attracting springtails should simply be watered less frequently. However, drying out high-moisture areas around the outside of your home isn’t always so simple. Advanced Wildlife Control technicians can help reduce the population of springtails around your home, identify problem areas, and give suggestions as to how best to keep your house free of these tiny pests.
Did You Know?
Springtails are not technically insects! They are part of a class called Entognatha, meaning that they have internal mouthparts, rather than external mouthparts like true insects!