When you hear the word springtail, it sounds like it might be a small animal you would find in the forest. They are actually tiny, wingless, moisture-loving insects that seek dampness indoors and out. Springtails are one of the most common insects in the environment, even though they are inconspicuous and are often overlooked. Extremely large numbers can be found when they have a suitable habitat. Springtails do not bite or sting making them harmless to humans but they are still unwanted in your house.
How Do You Identify Springtails?
Springtails are almost invisible. They are so tiny and are as small as 1/16 and 1/18th inch long but are a fraction of this size until they are full grown. They can be gray, all shades of brown and black or white. They blend in when their numbers get large and the look like little balls of fabric. When they leap into the air it’s done with an external body part known as the furcula that is folded under its body. The furcula acts a bit like a mouse trap. When this body part is released, it pops the tiny bug into the air. If they are disturbed, they will spring into the air and can go as high as several inches and will form visible clouds.
What are Springtails Habitat?
Outside they will be found in wet soil, decaying straw, rotting leaves and other damp organic material and they will feed on fungi, mold and algae. When the soil or areas become dry, they will look for moist conditions. This is when they will make their way indoors and will be found in garages, basements and greenhouses and in floorboards that are damp as well as carpets, under kitchen sinks and in the soil of potted houseplants.
What Will Repel Springtails?
Springtails are a nuisance pest and will seldom do major damage but will cause some damage to plants as they chew the roots in the soil that will cause the plant to suffer. If you have areas of dampness in your home it can invite springtails. Inspect and repair leaky pipes or roofs, poorly sealed sinks and tubs or porous walls in the basement. New homes may also be at risk of springtail infestations. If homes are exposed to moisture like rain or high levels of humidity during the framing stage and aren’t completely dry, they may be trapped inside. Finding them here may be a sign that mold and fungus may be present. While moisture control is the best way to eliminate a population of springtails there are other methods to help. Once the moisture issue has been taken care of, the next step in springtail control is the application of lawn granules and control sprays, foams and dusts. Small numbers can be removed by hand or vacuumed.
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Springtails are most commonly observed in summer when conditions outside are particularly hot and dry, but cooler, moister conditions exist indoors. A professional pest control company like A Five Star Termite & Pest Control can perform an inspection, identify springtails and other pests, and come up with a treatment plan for both nonchemical and chemical control methods. Call A Five Star Termite & Pest Control today!